The inside story of El Deafo!

22 Mar

Starting this Monday (March 23rd) at 10:00 AM EST, I’ll be airing the first installment of a chapter-by-chapter deep dive into the world of El Deafo. These installments will be pre-recorded, so you can watch the first one anytime after 10:00 AM EST on Monday the 23rd.

Seventies references! The inside scoop! Some, if not all, of your questions answered! Stick with me long enough, and you may finally find out why the characters are bunnies…and what happened between me and Mike Miller…and just why did Martha vomit so much?

The first chapter will be presented this Monday, and then subsequent chapters each Monday after that. I hope you’ll check it out! It’s mostly gonna be info-tainment rather than educational, really…and you will actually be actually amazed at just how many times I actually say the word “actually.”

And finally, I learned how to make and edit subtitles on YouTube, which is something I should have learned how to do a long time ago. My apologies for all the non-captioned stuff I put out there previously…I think I neglected to do it because a) I’m a dummy, and b) I knew what I was saying (since I was the one recording the video), so wouldn’t everyone else? DUH. Me not subtitling my videos?!? Of all the nerve! So I’m working through a backlog of old videos and captioning them now. Might take a while, but I’ll get through ’em!

Here’s a sneak peek of the upcoming Inside Story of El Deafo!

Tune in on Monday if you like…and stay safe.

Mrs. Huffman talks about the origin of the book Bee-Wigged!

20 Mar

I’m so impressed with all the educators right now who are working hard to reach and teach their students.

One of my very favorite educators is pre-school/kindergarten teacher Mrs. Huffman, who also happens to be one of my very best friends.

I hope you’ll enjoy listening to her talk about how the book Bee-Wigged came to be!

Please stay well!

Drawing El Deafo with the letter U

17 Mar

I hope everyone is staying healthy and sane. I’m thinking about everyone trying to navigate this new world…and it brings me a little comfort to know that so many of us are trying to keep the scary stuff at bay.

I’ve made a new little video for you. It’s like the other drawing videos I posted previously: the letter U (especially upside down) is a great starting point for all kinds of drawings.

Here’s the latest. Even my character El Deafo starts with an upside down U! I hope you’ll use the letter U in your own cool ways. Stay well, my friends.

The silver lining…

13 Mar

Cancelling my small book tour means more time to make drawing videos for you! I noticed recently how much the letter U factors into my drawing style. (I’m too lazy to draw necks, ha ha.) Do y’all know about the amazing Ed Emberley? He’s an extraordinary illustrator who created books with step-by-step instructions on how to draw. His books were my favorites and I checked them out from my elementary school library every weekend for many years. He taught me how to draw!

I made a video showing my LOVE for the letter U (and for my pets and for YOU):

And here’s another video showing how the letter U is the basis for my characters Chick and Brain…and even for the EGG! (Or is it an EYEBALL??????)

I hope you enjoy these. If you’re home from school right now, why not make some drawings using the letter U…and check out some of Ed Emberley’s amazing drawing instructions. SO MUCH FUN.

I’ll be posting some new U videos soon. Stay well, everyone!!!

Chick and Brain are no longer going on a trip. :(

10 Mar

Today’s the day: Chick and Brain’s new book is out.

BUT I’m sorry to say that I’ll no longer be traveling to promote EGG OR EYEBALL and SMELL MY FOOT in Maryland, DC, and Charlottesville, VA.

I’m really sad about this. It’s a combination of event cancellations due to coronavirus… and the fact that my dog destroyed my left hearing aid over the weekend. I won’t be able to get the situation resolved until right before I was supposed to go on the road. For those of you who wear hearing aids, you know what a bear it is to adjust to brand new aids. It makes your brain (and even Brain, when he thinks about it) sooooo tired. I’m really going to miss meeting so many cool folks like you.

I know a lot of you aren’t venturing far from home, but if you get a chance to show the Takoma Park Library and Politics and Prose some love, please do. (That’s where I was supposed to go.)

Also, if you were planning to attend the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville, VA, it is officially canceled. You can read their statement here. Ugh. PLEASE stay well and healthy. I’m thinking about ALL of you and hoping for the best.

4 Mar

CHICK AND BRAIN: SMELL MY FOOT got a Geisel Honor in late January! I am pleased as punch and very grateful to all the librarians of the American Library Association, especially those on this year’s Geisel Committee. Many thanks to them, and to all the folks who take the time to read my books!

Where I’ll be this summer and fall…

31 May

I’ll be doing a lot of traveling this summer and fall to promote my upcoming book, Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! Maybe you can stop by and say hi if I’m in your neck of the woods!

Here’s the schedule of events that I’ll be attending that are open to the public:

July 8 – 9: nErDcampMI
Western High School: 1400 S. Dearing Rd., Parma, MI 49269

Check out this piece, which will be part of the nErDcampMI art raffle:

(And I’ll be around to fill in the speech balloons however the raffle winner likes!)

August 31: National Book Festival
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington, DC 20001

September 7: Festival of Books & Authors
(Hosted by Bookmarks, a literary nonprofit and independent bookstore.)
From the Bookmarks website: Saturday’s free street festival will take place on September 7 along Poplar Street, Holly Avenue, and Spruce Street in downtown Winston-Salem.

October 5: Chappaqua Children’s Book Festival
Bell Middle School, Chappaqua NY 10514 (What a great name for a school!)

And here’s the schedule of events for librarians and booksellers that I’ll be attending:

June 21 – 23: ALA Annual in Washington, DC
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mt Vernon Pl NW, Washington, DC 20001

June 26 – 28: ABC Children’s Institute (hosted by the ABA)
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
500 Mansfield Avenue
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15205

October 15 – 17: NAIBA Fall Conference
Crowne Plaza
2349 Marlton Pike W , Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 

November 14 – 16: AASL National Conference
Kentucky International Convention Center
221 S. 4th Street, Louisville, KY, 40202. 

 Lots of great swag to be had, too!



I’m coming out of hibernation! (briefly)

17 Apr

Hello! How ya been?

I’m briefly coming out of hibernation in the very near future!

I’m hoping you’ll join me on Sunday, April 23rd at 2:00 at BBGB in Richmond, Virginia to celebrate the relaunch of my personal favorite book of all my books—Bee-Wigged!

Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 8.28.34 AM

The return of Jerry Bee!

(BBGB is a wonderful children’s book store and one of the biggest supporters of Jerry Bee from the get-go. I can’t think of a better book store to host this event. And here’s my proposed logo for them…maybe one of these days they’ll take me up on it):


Continue reading

School Library Journal features El Deafo and its connection to deaf readers

31 Jan

Thanks, School Library Journal, for this really lovely piece about El Deafo and the way it has connected with deaf readers. Huzzah!

The article is possibly a reminder that sharing our personal stories helps spread understanding and empathy. And sharing all the funny stuff in this world is good, too. Gotta have the funny.

Here’s a sampling:

Though the book was beyond Sarah’s reading level, she assiduously “read” it and invented stories to go with the pictures. “She would point to the pictures and say, ‘Just like me!’ The surprise on her face spoke volumes,” says DeBrodt. The speech bubbles in El Deafo are often blank or contain garbled words to convey the protagonist’s hearing experience, which kids like Sarah also connect with.


When Bell came to speak at Sarah’s school and chatted with her while autographing a book, “it may have been Sarah’s first encounter, up close and personal, with a deaf person who conversed with her,” says DeBrodt. Sarah still tells DeBrodt how she “reads” the book before bed or while in the car. “I know she is not literally reading the words,” DeBrodt says. “She is comforted and edified by the kinship she feels with the character.”

Many thanks to Sarah Bayliss for all her hard work putting this altogether. All together? I am turning into Donkey…she took the time to interview a lot of folks, not just me. Sarah and I had a wonderful time talking on Skype, that’s for sure. Yay, Sarah Bayliss!


29 Jan

If you’d like to read something political, click here. If you’d rather see a picture of a glittery manatee, click here. Maybe you’d like to check out both! Either way, remember that kindness really is the greatest virtue, especially in times like these.