Pictures Words Us

Up Next: Everywhere, Wonder

About five years ago, Robbi decided that we were going to start a small press that would publish children’s picture books. After all, we made books. We had kids. Our kids liked books. We liked our kids. The one small problem was that I’d never written... read more

9 Comments

  1. A book about the scandal of particularity — somewhere, Binks Little is proud!

    Reply
  2. Hello! I just picked up the book today at Barnes & Noble in Falls Church, VA. Will gift it at a baby shower tomorrow.

    As I was standing in B&N turning to page two in the book, I said aloud: “This is such a great book!” Intrigued, I turned to the back fold to see who you were and found that you all reside in MD, and have your own printing press! Now, I look forward to checking out your other work and sharing with my friends. (Particularly my pregnant friends. Something’s in the water…)

    Speaking of, I suspect you are well into your own pregnancy and I send my best wishes for you all.

    Reply
    • Hello, Danielle,

      Many thanks for supporting our work and for your kind message. Yes, we are indeed Marylanders, Robbi by birth and I by long-term squatting. The aforementioned pregnancy has reached its logical conclusion. The result, Jasper, has been a gratifying sort of person so far. Sleeping well, smiling frequently, and distracting his older siblings with recreational babysitting events. We have zero complaints. Thanks again for reaching out. With any luck, we’ll connect with you again, either on paper or otherwise.

      Best,

      Matthew

      Reply
  3. Looks very similar to a book created by a creative and passionate author I know, in some cases, page for page, and was actually published in 2014!

    ….I’m curious as to what inspired you to create this particular children’s book?…. since, quote: “The one small problem was that I’d never written children’s books before and didn’t really know if I could. So before we committed to starting Bobbledy, I set out to see if I’d be up to the challenge.”

    Reply
    • Hello, CynVecs,

      Thanks for commenting. I was inspired to write Everywhere, Wonder (though the first title was In Egypt, There are Pyramids) by the abundance of beautiful things to be found in the world and the limited opportunity that most of us get to experience them. The idea was to first establish and share the grand and difficult -to-obtain wonders and then to pivot the narrative so that the kid/reader could see that many of the same virtues of beauty and wonder could also be derived from a careful and attentive observation and appreciation of one’s own surround. The idea that wonder is less about scale and distance and more about the reverence of the viewer.

      We would be curious to know the title of this other book you reference, if you’d be willing to share.

      Thanks again for checking in!

      Matthew

      Reply
  4. Dear Matthew and Robbi,
    Thanks for creating the book everywhere, wonder. I am an arts integration coach and early childhood educator that goes around and teaches teachers and children to use their “lookers” and become wonderers. This books is perfect for that foundation I am trying to create in children and adults. I have a presentation to a faculty tomorrow on Taking books for a walk ( art and literature integration) and I am reading this book to them as it goes perfect with teaching how kids need to gather information, pictures and words by paying attention to detail to the world around them. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am excited for what more you have to give to the picture book world! Keep it up!
    jen terry
    a picture book lover-artist and teacher

    Reply
    • Hello, Jen,

      Apologies for taking so long to get back to you. Your job and your presentation sound so perfectly matched for our book! We’re delighted that you found it and so glad that you are putting it to use exactly as we had hoped it would be used. Robbi and I have put together a companion booklet called “My Book of Wonder.” It contains prompts that spur kids to write down and illustrate the beautiful and interesting places and things they observe in their world. Send me your email address, and I’ll send you a PDF of it to print out and use in your teaching and presentations. Thank you for reaching out! And for your kind words about our book.

      All best,

      Matthew

      Reply
  5. Yesteday, I was trolling through the picture books and there was everywhere, wonder! Full disclosure, I was buying the book simply becase the main character appeared to by a brown-skinned kid. Standing in line at the register, I opened the book and found that little boy was The character. May be I should buy two copies . . . Not until this morning waiting for my tea to steep did I actually read the book. Wowzer! Now I really can’t wait to read this book to the kids at the Headstart next fall. Yep, I should have bought two copies. In fact, I think this book may be visiting a few families I know soon.

    Thank you for a delightful, thought provoking and encouraging book Mathew. Robbi simple thanks doesn’t seem to be enough for making a brown skinned young man the object of such lovely, mind expanding watecolors but will have to suffice. Thank you.

    Reply

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BOOK US TO SPEAK, PUT ON A WORKSHOP OR DO A SHORT TERM RESIDENCY AT YOUR CONFERENCE, COLLEGE, COMPANY OR KINDERGARTEN



We are Robbi Behr and Matthew Swanson, an illustrator/writer, wife/husband, loafer/taskmaster duo.
This is our story.

At our desks

 

Pretty much everything we do, we do together, and all of it involves the combination of pictures and words.

 

We live and work together in the hayloft of an old barn on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, while occasionally providing meals for our insecure dog and three small children.

Idiots'Books

 

We run a small press called Idiots’Books that publishes what we tend to describe as “odd, commercially nonviable picture books for adults.”


Bobbledy Logo
 

We also run Bobbledy Books, a small press that publishes children’s books and music and encourages kids to get involved in writing, drawing, and making.

We spend a lot of our time traveling the country, sharing what we know with anyone who cares to listen. We give talks, run workshops, and do short-term residencies at conferences, colleges, companies, and kindergartens.

Along the way, we’ve had some unexpected adventures in trade publishing, including titles with Chronicle Books and LB Kids—as well as two forthcoming picture books and an illustrated middle grades series with Macmillan Kids.

Looking back, it has been an unexpected journey. In 2006, we quit our jobs, sold our house, gave up our health insurance, and moved across the Chesapeake Bay to make books for a year until we ran out of money. It was a recipe for certain financial ruin.

But somehow, we didn’t run out of money. We just kept making stuff together and somehow, the word kept spreading.

Eight years later, we’re still going strong. We don’t sleep much, and we get a lot of papercuts, but somehow, improbably, our job is to getting up in the morning and making stuff together.

We wouldn’t have it any other way.

If you’re interested, please check out our blog and our store, or join our mailing list. And let us know if you’re interested in booking us for a talk or other event.

For now, we’re getting back to it.