"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Saturday, March 7, 2015

A visit with Matt Tavares

The timing could not be more perfect. As this extremely snowy, cold, and long Boston winter carries on, we are given hope that spring will arrive. That hope arrives in the form of a book: Growing Up Pedro by Matt Tavares.
Yesterday I read Growing Up Pedro with the fifth graders who visited via Skype with Matt last week (see below). Reading this book on a March day that carried twenty degree temperatures and involved sledding and playing on four-foot snow piles was a salve to our winter blues.

Matt Tavares has crafted another well-researched, readable biography. This one tugged at my heart more than the others though. To say that Matt's work gets better with every book would be a disservice to his previous work, which is amazing. Growing Up Pedro feels different though. It feels more personal. Matt's respect for and connection to the subject imbues the narrative and artwork.
It is a tribute to brotherly love that knows no bounds, and Pedro's adoration of and loyalty to his big brother shines through.

The art transports the reader to the times, places, and moments that made Pedro, Pedro. 
Matt Tavares' meticulous and beautifully-wrought illustrations beckon the reader to slow down and take in the details.
Here's a sample of what my students had to say about the book:

"The relationship between Pedro and Ramon is truly inspiring and the way it’s written is absolutely  wonderful." –Daniela

"I love the relationship between the two brothers, Pedro and Ramon. It’s find it very inspiring not just for me, but for other people too. This is probably my favorite picture book! And I’m not that much of a baseball fan. This is absolutely awesome!"


Last week, these students were lucky enough to connect via Skype with Matt. In the category of, "You never know where your Tweets will bring you," I tweeted out a picture of Matt Tavares, who was talking about the research trips to the Dominican Republic to learn about Pedro. Kathy Schmidt, a mutual friend (who knew!?),  made the connection and the idea of a Skype visit was born. To talk about baseball and hear about Matt's trips to Fenway Park infused a spring-like attitude into our Friday afternoon. Here's a snippet of our visit. 

Here's the book trailer for the book:

Thanks, Matt!

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