ABOUT US

Robbi Behr and Matthew Swanson are an illustrator/writer, wife/husband duo who spend all their waking hours making stuff together: books with pictures and words, obstreperous children, and constant messes everywhere. Other details are available here

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A Mighty Book

We are thrilled (and a little bit shocked) to find The Real McCoys featured on the soaringly popular A Mighty Girl Blog on the occasion of National Siblings Day.

Not only was our book included in a list of “50 Mighty Girl Books about Sisters & Brothers,” but it was one of three books chosen to appear in the lineup of covers at the top of the post, along with books by the soaringly popular Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Raina Telgemeier.

The list also includes such timeless classics as Beezus and Ramona by Beverly Cleary, The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall, Sisters (also by Raina Telgemeier), and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg.

Which is to say, we feel like we got a surprise invitation to a really great party (and very much hope that we don’t spill guacamole on the front of our blazer).

Thank you, thank you, good people of A Mighty Girl, for making us feel great and for sharing our book with your Mighty readership.

Real McCoys Barn Edition Giveaway!

We’ve been told that today is National Siblings Day!

So… Happy National Siblings Day!
To celebrate, Macmillan is giving away ten free copies of The Real McCoys, which we have signed and stamped with our shiny schmantzy Barn Edition seal, comme ça.

Barn Edition Giveaway

Look how shiny that seal is! And how schmanzy!!! How could you possibly resist, especially when it’s free, and when it is celebrating those few people of your own generation who share your DNA?!

So go on and enter the giveaway and get yourself a little Moxie!

Bob Behr’s Bountiful B-Lated Birthday Dinner

We are slowly making our way through the alphabet, hosting letter-themed meals at which every item (and related activity) must begin with a given letter (selected via a random draw). Here is the menu for Bob Behr’s Bountiful B-Lated Birthday Dinner (prepared by Baba).

B Dinner Menu

Truth be told, the biggest hit of the evening was not baklava, as expected, but rather the Butt-Bumping Relay race, in which Baba, Kato and Augie prevailed over Matthew, Alden and I, 100% entirely due to my low-traction socks.

Achievement Unlocked!

WE DID IT!
No, YOU DID IT!!!

The fundraising goal has been reached! Every kid at Garnet Elementary, our beloved local Title 1 school, will be receiving a copy of either The Real McCoys or Everywhere, Wonder! We are so SO grateful to everyone who donated to make this a reality!

We were amazed at how generously all kinds of people gave to the campaign, and how quickly we were able to meet our goal. It really is the best of the best. Thank you.

We ordered the books and they have been sitting in our front room for a week, but tomorrow is the big day! We will be going to Garnet to give presentations on Everywhere, Wonder (pre-K through 2nd) and The Real McCoys (3rd through 5th) followed by visits to each classroom where we will hand out books to each kid. WE ARE SO EXCITED.

However, this morning we realized that we had not actually counted to make sure all of the books were present to deliver (and we needed to deliver them this morning so they can be divvied up by classroom). This seems to be the way we do things around here, alas.

And so we counted.

There’s nothing like giving away a towering tower of books to make you feel good on a Tuesday morning.
Donated books ready to go

Matthew loaded them all up in ye olde faithful minivan:
Loaded up

And delivered them to Principal Rose’s office:
Books in the Office

Where they patiently sit, awaiting the glory of tomorrow where they will find their way into the hands of kids who so deserve them. I’m pretty sure there will be rainbows and explosions of sparkles and glitter.

If you missed our Facebook Live feed documenting the difficulties of counting boxes of books while Jasper tries desperately to be on camera, here you go:

(If you’d prefer to keep up with us on Facebook, btw, HAVE AT IT.)

Thanks again to all of you who donated to this project. We are truly, truly grateful, and so pleased that these deserving kids will be walking home tomorrow with books of their own. We even exceeded our fundraising goal, so we’re putting the other two Title 1 elementary schools in our district in our sights – here we come, Rock Hall Elementary and Galena Elementary!

A Book for Every Kid at Garnet Elementary

Hello all! We have been busy, and remiss, and harried, and therefore not keeping you up-to-date on ye-olde-blogge. Apologies.

Since the beginning of the year, we’ve had maybe three consecutive days that haven’t been unravelled by bad weather, school closings, sickness, travel or our increasingly incontinent dog. More on that later. But I’ve been told more than once that my blog post entries tend to meander, so I’m going to get right to the point (two paragraphs in).

The BIG news is that we have started a fundraiser in the hopes of being able to buy a book for each of the students at our local Title 1 Elementary School, Garnet Elementary. We’d like to give a copy of Everywhere, Wonder to each of the 192 Pre-K through 2nd grade kids, and one of The Real McCoys to each of the 164 third through fifth grade kids.

If that’s all you need to know, CLICK HERE to go to the fundraising page!

If you are the more cautious sort, who likes a side of storytelling along with your plate of generosity, here’s the deal. Garnet Elementary is the local elementary school where I went as a kid. How strange and wonderful to be walking my kids to classrooms that once were mine, seeing the same bulletin boards with new, different works of art on them, getting to stride right into the teachers’ lounge to drop off paperwork to a crop of teachers who seem young instead of old, to remember old friends as first, second and third graders and then to see them dropping their kids off there too. It is a special sort of gift to be able to live where you grew up.

Garnet has a high population of students qualifying for free or reduced lunches (around 60%), which is what qualifies it as a Title 1 school. Along with poverty come complicated home situations and social and emotional difficulties. And yet these kids are great kids. I love walking the halls and seeing their smiles in the mornings, laughing, giggling, persisting.

Our current funding situation county-wide is dire; positions have been cut and teachers are stretched thin. Garnet has worked hard to maintain extra programming and to keep options available for extra-curricular events, but Matthew and I want to be able to put together something for everyone that won’t add any cost burden to the school.

We plan to spend the day at Garnet doing two assemblies to talk about writing, illustrating, books, collaboration and living a creative life, followed by classroom visits to give these kids nice, new, hardcover copies of our books. All of the $3,550 we hope to raise will pay for the books, and we will donate our time.

If you have $10 to spare, it would buy a book for one of our deserving Garnet kids. Even just $5 will help us reach our goal and would be so much appreciated.

And, thank you!

 

Alright, now that we’re done with that, here’s what else you’ve missed:

We received the Advanced Readers’ Editions of Book 2 of The Real McCoys!

Twos A Crowd

Jasper turned one!

Alden starred as the Little Prince in The Little Prince!

Iggy peed on her bed so many times we had to throw it away!

But that’s okay, we bought her a new pee-proof one!

Jasper, recognizing that it’s going to be his bed once he graduates from the pack-and-play in the living room, refuses to let Iggy lie on it! No pee on this bed, homeslice!

Kato and Augie make their own comics! Jasper hates comics!

And that, my friends, is the latest!

Thanks for reading all the way down to the bottom here. You deserve some sort of special treat.

Oh, well here’s a sneak peak at the characters that will be in Book 3! Yes, I forgot to tell you, we sold Book 3 of The Real McCoys! I know that’s not so much a treat for YOU as it is a treat for US, but we’ll take it.

Happy Ides!

We Now Have a YouTube Channel

We started doing One Quick Question and were having so much fun with it that we decided to add The Daily Minute, which is basically approximately 60 seconds (the “Minute” part of the The Daily Minute) and is recorded every day (the “Daily” part of The Daily Minute) and is also 100% nonsense (we opted against naming it “The Daily Minute of Nonsense”).

Here is our big debut, in which we applaud Robbi for being awesome and reveal that Matthew isn’t wearing any pants:

And this one, in which we confuse July and January, tell you about our big night on the town (of Alexandria), and share with you a binder that contains no actual women:

If you would like to keep up with The Daily Minute and One Quick Question, we now have a YouTube channel you can subscribe to!

Just CLICK HERE and click on the SUBSCRIBE button in the upper right corner.
(there’s other stuff on there too, in case you’ve missed out on all our video-related nonsense)