Friday, June 2, 2023

I Still Have a Blog...?!

I'm not going to officially shut this blog down, since people still seem to find their way to old posts and hopefully some of it is still helpful and interesting. But I pretty much never post anything on here anymore. So for more up-to-date updates from me, please visit and follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thanks! 

Matt Tavares in his studio in Maine, 2022, photo by Phyllis Graber Jensen

Monday, March 16, 2020

Free Teachers Guides and Activity Kits

For teachers and parents looking for book-related activities while school is closed, here's a roundup of links to free teachers guides and activity kits for my books. I hope they come in handy.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Dasher is available TODAY!

Dasher is a brave little doe with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life — one in which her hooves tread in soft, cold snow under the glow of the North Star.

And one day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not too long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a big sleigh. And soon, with the help of a powerful wish, Christmas will never be the same.

Here's the trailer...

And for anyone who would like to buy a copy (please do!), here are some links:

Books A Million: 
Barnes & Noble:

I'll be heading out on tour soon. Here's where I'll be...

For more information about Dasher, visit Thanks!

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Dasher Tour!

Looking forward to hitting the road soon for the Dasher book tour! If you're going to be near any of these places, come say hi!

Thursday, February 14, 2019


I'm excited to share the cover of my next book, Dasher! I answered a few questions about it on the Mile High Reading blog.

Dasher comes out on September 10, but for now it's available from pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or an independent bookstore near you

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

20 years ago today...

Twenty years ago today, on February 13, 1998, I walked into the Candlewick Press office for the very first time. That was the day I found out that Candlewick wanted to publish my first book. That was the day my dream of being a children's book author-illustrator came true.

There were a few milestones in the months leading up to February 13, 1998. There was the day I met my agent, Rosemary Stimola, in June of 1997. And the day when Rosemary emailed me in early February saying that "something was happening" with Candlewick, but she "still had a bit to go".  But twenty years later, I think of that meeting at Candlewick on February 13, 1998, as the day my career as an author-illustrator began.

It's been a pretty amazing twenty years. Of course, there have been ups and downs. It hasn't always been perfect. Not every book is a hit. Not every review is a star. But for the most part, it has been a dream. I get to spend my days making books and sharing them with young readers. Even after twenty years, I still can't believe I get to do this.

So I just wanted to say a great big THANK YOU to all the great people at Candlewick who I've had the pleasure of working with during these past twenty years. The 42-year-old me is eternally grateful that you took a chance on the 22-year-old me.

Twenty years is a long time, but I still feel like I'm just getting started. So here's to the next twenty!

And hey, look at all these books we made together!

Zachary's Ball, 2000

'Twas the Night Before Christmas, 2002

Oliver's Game, 2004

Mudball, 2005

Jack and the Beanstalk, 2006

Iron Hans, 2007

Lady Liberty: A Biography, 2008

The Gingerbread Pirates, 2009

Henry Aaron's Dream, 2010

Over the River and Through the Wood, 2011

There Goes Ted Williams, 2012

Becoming Babe Ruth, 2013

Jubilee, 2014

Growing Up Pedro, 2015

Crossing Niagara, 2016

Lighter Than Air, 2017

Red & Lulu, 2017

I won't ramble on any longer, because I'm busy working on my next Candlewick book RIGHT NOW!