Friday, February 20, 2015

Where in the world is Growing Up Pedro?!

Crazy story about Growing Up Pedro... apparently several thousand copies were stuck on a ship off the coast of Los Angeles for over a month, unable to dock due to an ongoing labor dispute at the port. Candlewick is on top of the situation, and I've been told that the books finally did make it to shore, and are currently traveling by train to the warehouse in Indiana. Once they're there, they will be immediately (hopefully) shipped out to stores.

So for those of you who have been asking why you can't seem to find a copy anywhere even though the book came out last week, that's why. I had no idea about this until after the release date. It's frustrating, and it's a bummer that the books weren't here on time, but the good news is they will be here soon. 

Should be any day now...

Growing Up Pedro, behind the scenes in the Dominican Republic

Last year, when I was working on Growing Up Pedro, I traveled to the Dominican Republic to do some research (it was also a family vacation). It was amazing to be able to go out into the countryside and visit places that still look they way they did when Pedro Martinez was a kid. Here are some of the pictures I took during that trip.

We drove up into the mountains, and I snapped pictures of everything- houses, palm trees, mango trees, all the scenery.

We stopped a a little colmado (store) to get some water in the village of El Cupey, and saw some kids playing outside.
When this guy heard I was working on a book about Pedro Martinez, he immediately showed me his batting stance.

This family was so nice, and even invited us right into their home, where their mother was cooking dinner. That's my daughter walking in, exploring a different world. This house is a lot like the one Pedro Martinez lived in when he was growing up.
Mango trees play an important role in Growing Up Pedro, so I spent a lot of time searching for The Perfect Mango Tree. When I saw this one, I knew I had found it.

This is Dani, who did an amazing job posing for me as a young Pedro Martinez.

We enjoyed the trip so much, we decided to go back this year (just for vacation this time). A few days ago, on our last day there, I finally tracked down Dani, the kid who posed as a young Pedro Martinez. Here he is, seeing the book for the first time.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Growing Up Pedro comes out TODAY!

Growing Up Pedro, my picture book biography of newly elected Baseball Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez, is officially available today!

This is the seventh book I've written, and the sixteenth I've illustrated. And of all the books I've worked on, this one was my favorite. From re-watching some of Pedro's greatest games and reliving some of my favorite baseball memories, to traveling to the Dominican Republic to learn what life was like for Pedro as a kid, to spending countless hours reading and re-reading interviews and articles about Pedro's remarkable journey, I truly loved every minute of the process. I hope that shines through in the final product.

Here are a few links, if you'd like to order a copy (thanks in advance, if you do):

Barnes & Noble:

And here's the trailer:

I've got a few events coming up. More are in the works, but here's what's confirmed so far:

February 27, 7:00 pm, launch event at Porter Square Books in Cambridge, MA
March 8,  2:00 pm launch event at Book Ends in Winchester, MA
March 14, 1:00 pm, signing at Barnes and Noble in Newington, NH
April 14, 3:00-5:00 pm, "Authorfest" book signing at the town hall in Winchester, MA

And if you happen to be in New England, check out this awesome promotion Candlewick has put together. Good reason to head down to your local independent bookstore!

And one more bit of good news: pitchers and catchers report to spring training in ten days! Baseball season is just around the corner.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Win a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Fenway Park!

I recently stopped by the Candlewick office and signed a stack of these posters, which will soon be popping up at independent bookstores around New England.

My publisher, Candlewick Press, is teaming up with the some of my favorite independent bookstores around New England for an awesome promotion that I am really excited about. Starting February 10, (the day Growing Up Pedro comes out!) anyone who purchases any of my baseball books at a participating store can enter to win two tickets to a behind-the-scenes tour of Fenway Park, with me.

We'll go inside the dugouts, down onto the field, we'll make diving catches up against the green monster... aw man, I am so excitied for this.

Here's a list of participating stores (all in Massachusetts, unless noted):

Porter Square Books in Cambridge
Buttonwood Books in Cohasset
Eight Cousins in Falmouth
Book Ends in Winchester
Wellesley Books in Wellesley
Nonesuch Books in Portland, Maine and Biddeford, Maine
Brookline Booksmith in Brookline
Gibson's Bookstore in Concord, New Hampshire
Water Street Bookstore in Exeter, New Hampshire

One more reason to look forward to baseball season! The contest runs until Opening Day. See you at Fenway!

Growing Up Pedro, available February 10