I’m happy to announce the publication of Marty McGuire, a new book written by Kate Messner, which I had the pleasure of illustrating. The book is out now from Scholastic. Marty McGuire is a warm and funny novel of the third-grade, involving frogs, school plays, and princesses. Kate has created a wonderful story and set of characters. I painted the cover art and drew about fifty black-and-white interior pieces for the book.
“When the promised land of third grade does not pan as promised, Marty McGuire finds herself playing a completely new role.
Mrs. Aloi, her maracas-shaking teacher, is putting together the parts for the class play of The Frog Prince, and she decides that Marty is perfect for the part of the princess. Marty, who prefers learning about frog anatomy to kissing or, worse, throwing a frog, is horrified. She gets little support from her scientist mother or her teacher father—a princess she shall be! On top of this bad news, Marty’s best friend has joined the girly-girl group and does not seem interested in playing outside and pretending to be Jane Goodall anymore. Messner gets all the details of third grade right: the social chasm between the girls who want to be like the older kids and the ones who are still little girls, the Mad Minutes for memorizing arithmetic facts, the silly classroom-control devices teachers use and the energy students of this age put into projects like class plays. Floca’s black-and-white sketches are filled with movement and emotion and are frequent enough to help new chapter-book readers keep up with this longer text.
Believable and endearing characters in a realistic elementary-school setting will be just the thing for fans of Clementine and Ramona.”
Thank you, Kirkus! Also please note the Jane Goodall subplot. What is in the water this spring?
Marty McGuire is available now, in both hardcover and softcover. Hopefully you’ll find it at your thriving local independent bookstore. I’ve also put links to all the usual online suspects on my web site, here. You can also read more about Kate Messner, and Marty McGuire, on Kate’s web site, here. I hope you’ll give Marty McGuire a look and that you enjoy the story and drawings!