OK, so Kate and Kelly aren't in the pic, sorry!, but from left to right: librarian and Everyday Reading blogger Janssen; Jennifer Taber; author R.L. La Fevers, and Margaret Aldrich from Wellesley Booksmith). Here goes on the story: Kate O'Sullivan, Senior Editor, Houghton Mifflin: "When Robin first told me about her idea for the Nathaniel Fludd, Beastologist series, it was so genius, so irresistible and perfect for emerging readers who were hungry for fantasy but not quite ready for longer books, that I was surprised that no one had beaten her to the punch. I love how Nate’s far-flung adventures are easy to read and to follow, with pacing that makes the story zip right along.
That feeling only grew as Kelly worked on the project. When I saw her first sketches of Nate, I was completely bowled over. She had captured every bit of his uncertainty and vulnerability. It was as if she had reached inside my brain and snatched my own mental images of him right from my head. Her uncanny ability to do that continued with nearly every drawing she did.
I also remember early on, visiting her blog when she’d posted some of her initial sketches. When she talked about the books, she said, “I could not have written a story myself that includes all of the things I love: birds (dodos!), atlases, explorers, sketchbooks, compasses, dirigibles, Bedouin, post World War One era...” And I remember thinking how unbelievably lucky I was that we share such similar interests. If I hadn’t been convinced before, I was then: My editor to had found the single most perfect person to illustrate these books!"
Eventually, when it became time to move, these treasures were almost lost. Thank goodness I had the sense to grab them all (and they were heavy), protect them in a plastic storage box, and wait till one day I had an apartment with some bookshelves to use them. Literally, a month before receiving Robin's text from Kate... I finally dusted off National Geographic and displayed them on my own shelves. They have been such an amazing resource while making these illustrations. The way Robin describes the settings, I truly thought they were magical. I am astounded when I get to do my own research that they are all based on real places."
A Junior Library Guild Selection
“Straightforward sentences, chronological narrative, short chapters, and Murphy’s plentiful black-and-white illustrations make this appropriate for middle-grade readers looking for a series to grow with.” -Kirkus Reviews
FYI: all the review copies for this title have been sent; please check back on the "comments" link to read what your colleagues have to say.