TWO Months until TOO MUCH!

1. Countdown to TOO MUCH! And just like that, a book I had an idea for about a decade ago will be in stores in two months! TOO MUCH! NOT ENOUGH! has been getting some excellent press. You can read reviews on Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, University of Manitoba (I really loved their review), and Story Monsters Ink. I was also recently interviewed on Boston Voyager where I talk about my winding journey to become an author/illustrator. I'll be blogging quite a bit more in the next two months - sharing sketches and videos about the making of TOO MUCH! Stay tuned!

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2. In today's mail I've been squirreling away swag for just this moment. I'm finally sending out these boxes to independent bookstores across the US. If you are a bookstore owner, send me an email and I'll make one up just for you! Some of you will get a Moe box, some will get a Peanut box, and just one of you will get a Moe AND Peanut box! But who!

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3. My To-Be-Read Mountain I've been incredibly busy at this time of year for the past few years. Which inevitably leads to a huge pile of books I desperately WANT to read but have no time for. I dream of a book vacation and until then will humbly share most of these books with the kids who are burning through books at a fierce rate. Also, there are a dozen books I want to add to this pile but I am barely restraining myself (Mary's Monster by Lita Judge will land there soon, I know it.)

4. Father's Day Shopping If you follow me on social media, you'll notice I've shared IT'S GREAT BEING A DAD quite a bit in advance of Father's Day. I had so much fun creating the illustrations for this book, and it's a little uncomfortable for me to hawk books aggressively but I really think more families need this book! You still have time to order from uh, that place with prime shipping and have something for Dad to cuddle up with on Sunday morning while you finish making breakfast (or getting dressed to go out!) ***But if you live near Exeter, Water Street Bookstore has a few copies left AND a million other awesome books - I dare you to leave with just one. I know I can't do it.

5. But I'm listening! Don't feel too sad for my lack of reading time. I am plowing through a lot through my ears while I work. Recent audiobooks I've enjoyed: Wild, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, and have just started Genuine Fraud. For podcasts I've burned through a ton of Hollywood Crime Scene (my new fav!) peppered with weekly listens to Westworld with Jay, Jack & Mike, Wait, Wait, and How I Built This.

IT'S GREAT BEING A DAD - Cover sketches

With one week to go before the release of IT'S GREAT BEING A DAD I thought I would share the process of creating the cover.
There are SO many characters in the book, that my first round of concepts was partly a game of 'how can I make them all fit':

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I know what you're thinking. What is this mess? How can she read her own writing? I know. It's ugly and illegible but it's my process. And with more effort it leads to the next step...

A bit nicer, right? There are things that I still really like about each concept. Having Loch Ness in each concept really added an extra challenge. She made a great base for that creature pyramid though, right?

So after talking with my fabulous editor Samantha Swenson, I made some changes and refined a few ideas:

Sam focused in on the framed version, but without the frame:

Want to see the photoshop layers fly by? Watch this video of the cover, layer by layer!
You can preorder IT'S GREAT BEING A DAD on Amazon, Barnes & Noble or at your local independent bookseller (Indiebound can help!).