Monday, January 12, 2015

Three New Books This Year

I updated my website - - with info on the three new books I have coming out this year - two of which I wrote. Check it out!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thank yous!

Here is a random assortment of thank you notes from the students at George C. Baker Elementary school - which I visited in early December. I read them THE WATERMELON SEED, NUMBER ONE SAM, and the forthcoming TRICKY VIC, TEMPLETON GETS HIS WISH, and DRAGON WAS TERRIBLE, which Kelly DiPucchio wrote. I couldn't scan and post them all - but here is a sampling of the notes the students sent me. If anyone from Baker is reading - THANK YOU!!! - you guys are the best. I hope to visit again.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Kirkus Starred Review for Tricky Vic

Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower - my first nonfiction picture book - just received its first review, and it's a star from Kirkus! 

Here's a link to the full review.

Anyone who knows me, knows how much I care about this book, and how it started as a zine in an offset printing class at UArts - and how I figured it could never be published traditionally. Sitting here this morning and reading this incredibly generous review felt pretty surreal. 

Three more months and I can share it with everyone - and I am so looking forward to that. Look for it on March 10th!


Sunday, November 2, 2014

ALA "READ!" Poster (and bookmarks)

I was honored to make a "READ!" poster and bookmarks for the American Library Association featuring my picture book characters. Super excited to say they are available now!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


So today is my 3-year anniversary of making books and illustrations full-time. It's been an incredible few years - I'm so grateful to everyone who has bought books, or come to events, or sent me notes, or hired me for jobs - it's all very much appreciated.

The next couple of years are packed with more books, more events, more big news (soon!), more everything. I couldn't be happier doing this work - and I couldn't do it without you guys and your support - so thank you!

art from my forthcoming picture book, Templeton Gets His Wish (May 2015)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Princeton Children's Book Festival

SATURDAY JUNE 20th from 11am-4pm

I'll be at the PRINCETON CHILDREN'S BOOK FESTIVAL on Saturday, sharing a table with my buddy Zachariah OHora. We'll be signing books and I hope drawing pictures with kids, too. Hope you can make it out!

Sunday, August 10, 2014




Oh, it's August 12th?


Ok, well, I'm in a Halloween mood anyway, since NOT VERY SCARY is out today!

NOT VERY SCARY was written by Carol Brendler and I did the pictures. Janine O'Malley was our editor at FSG, and I really couldn't wish for a better collaborative team.

We had a lot of fun making this book, and we're all thrilled that it received a starred review from Publishers Weekly. I've decided to share some sketches and early stuff here for those interested - here goes . . .

The final cover
Very early cover thumbnails

Early concept sketches of Melly
Melly in the final book

Early Goblin sketch

Some lettering options (we went with my favorite at the top)

A spooky house that I threw out

Some rats that also got canned - hope to find a purpose for these guys someday
Rat close-up

And here is some of the final art from the book:

The Title Page (sans author/illustrator/publisher type)

My wife's favorite character is this spooked ghost

I threw in some easter eggs, too, for any super fans out there (and mostly to keep it fun for myself)

A screenprint by my friend Tim Gough that hangs in my living room
found it's way into the book as the "Pin the Drool on the Ghoul" Game
Here's Tim's poster in the book (with his permission of course)

Sculpture by my mother-in-law Julia Healy, made from pencils and a tree branch
Melly's cousin Malberta has a very similar sculpture in her living room
In a way the whole look of the book felt like my version of a tribute to one of my art heroes, Charles Schulz, and I directly referenced his work from the "A Charlie Brown Christmas" movie:

Pretty obvious right? 

NOT VERY SCARY is out now! Hope you'll check out the book, and Happy Halloween!*

*In 2 and a half months