Yes! You Can Draw A Capybara!

“Don’t say you can’t draw me. Of course you can. Capy has faith in you. All you need is a little faith in yourself.”

The release date for Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles is about a month away and, well, I’m getting giddy!

Preorder it HERE!

I’m pleased to say that this giddiness is shared by the good folks at Page Street Kids, who have done many wonderful things to get the word out. They’ve sponsored a capybara through the World Wildlife Fund. They’ve set me up with book signings and school visits. They’ve created book plates and buttons and other bits of capybara swag. They’ve even sent me a capybara stuffed animal. (Gotta have my stuffy!)

They’ve also created an activity packet. Included in this packet is a capybara drawing guide by Illustrator Extraordinaire Jaimie Whitbread. And I don’t care how artistically challenged you might be, Whitbread’s simple, step-by-step instructions will get you drawing a Guinea Big of your very own!

So give it a try, my friends! And by all means, feel free to share your work in the comments! Or share whatever else you want to say in the comments. I like chatting with you.

Is there a Capybara Appreciation Day?

What a great question! And YES! There is a Capybara Appreciation Day! And it’s coming SOON!

Sunday, July 10 is the big day, and thank goodness, for no creature on this big rock we all live on is more worthy of appreciation.

Seriously, what a cutie.

For those of you who’ve never heard of these guys (and for shame!), capybaras are the world’s largest rodent. They are native to South America, semi-aquatic, can weigh more than 100 pounds, and are very, very cute.

Unofficially known as “coconut doggos” and “guinea bigs,” these fine, floofy, fellas are devoted herd animals. If a capybara doesn’t have a herd of other capybaras to mingle with, she’ll happily assemble a new herd consisting of other species. Don’t believe me? Well, the internet is jam-packed with photos of capys lazily snuggling with turtles, birds, monkeys, dogs, cats, goats, pigs, guinea pigs, and about a zillion other things—so stop being such a contrarian, it’s unseemly.

Look! This capybara is hanging with a freakin’ alligator! Or maybe it’s a caiman? All I know is that thing is big and scary and Mr. Capy is like, “No biggie.”

So how can one properly celebrate this holiday?

That’s another excellent question! I have three suggestions:

1. Peruse the internet for photos and stories about capybaras. The more you learn, the more you’ll love these guys.

For example, did you hear about the capybaras who invaded a wealthy gated community in Argentina?

Did you hear about the capy (named Cheesecake) who serves as a foster mom to litters of puppies?

This is Cheesecake. Image owned by Rocky Ridge Refuge.

And did you know that if you pet a capybara in just the right way, she will floof her fur and collapse into a state of sleepy bliss? ‘Tis true!

2. Go visit your local zoo or wildlife sanctuary and see these critters up close.

Note: They’ll probably just be lying around. Unlike most rodents, capybaras don’t do many things with much urgency. Remember, capybaras are not here to entertain you; they’re here to gently encourage you to adopt a more Zen-like lifestyle.

3. Last but not least, consider preordering a book about capybaras. Not just any book, of course; that would be foolish. You’ll want to find a book that got a really, really good review from Kirkus.

This might fit the bill. Click here to preorder.

So mark your calendars, my friends, and be sure to have a happy capy day! WOO!

You know your publisher likes you when you get this little guy in the mail. Thanks, Lizzy!

Sleepy Happy Capy Cover!

Once in a great while I write a picture book that I just love.

And once in an even greater while—a much greater while—a publisher loves the story, too.

So I am absolutely delighted to reveal the cover of my next picture book, Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles!

Yay!

It is the story of a capybara whose advanced cuddling skills calms the horrible hubbub of a rainforest rumpus.

And the story is sort of true to life! Capybaras, the worlds largest (and most chill) rodent, are often willing to cuddle most anything. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof!

Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles is published by Page Street Kids, a company just about as committed to capy awareness as I am. In fact, immediately after buying the manuscript, the publisher laid out a donation to sponsor a capybara through the World Wildlife Fund. Isn’t that awesome?

Sleepy Happy Capy Cuddles won’t be out until October—and, needless to say, I will have plenty more to say about the book before the release date—but, hey, if you wanna preorder it, I’m totally not gonna stop you.

So, until next time, viva la capybara!