100 Scope Notes
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Sara Varon Has Been Busy: An Exclusive First Look at Her New Projects

Sara Varon is the creator of the first book I ever reviewed on this blog – Robot Dreams. I’ve been enjoying her work ever since, including Chicken and Cat Clean Up in 2009 and Odd Duck last year.

Today I’m happy to announce that Sara has a batch of new projects in the works. Let’s hear about them, Sara.

I’m excited to be working on a bunch of new books for the great folks at First Second!!

Right now, I’m working on a project called Sweaterweather. It’s a reprint of a book of short stories that I made in 2003 – my very first book!! The new version will be redesigned and have about 50 pages of new material. I believe it’s due out in Fall 2015.

(click on images to enlarge)

Next I’ll be working on a 192-page as-of-yet-untitled book about a donkey shoemaker named Francis who lives in a tropical village. Through a confluence of events, he is forced to leave the comforts of his village in search of a missing friend. His journey takes him into the jungle, where ha has lots of adventures, meets strange animals, and learns a little about fruits and plants. Here are some thumbnails.

This will be followed by a 32 page wordless picture book about a dog and his bird friend who get caught in a rainstorm. 

My 4th project, Darwinia will be another graphic novel/picture book hybrid, around 120 pages. The story follows an eponymous sea-faring monkey who sets sail on an around-the-world expedition with her companion (not by choice,) a spoiled poodle whom she discovers has stowed away on her ship. Written by TR Simon.

All coming (relatively) soon!!

Sara was also kind enough to take part in a quick illustrated interview…

I shoulda known! Thanks Sara.

And many thanks to Gina Gagliano at First Second for making this post happen.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. The kids LOVE Sara Varon’s stuff! It fits a need in between the Lunch Lady and Smile/Sisters age group and has been perfect for us! Awesome art! Glad she’s got so much coming out soon!

  2. Great post! We’re big Sara Varon fans in our house. All of the new projects sounds great! Looking forward to them.

  3. My daughter, who is 9, will be so excited! She loves Odd Duck, Robot Dreams, and Bake Sale!