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Letter Town

Here's a sneaky peek at my newest book, Letter Town, out 6.26 from Scholastic!

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Stop Following Me, Moon!

What happens when a hungry grizzly with a slightly guilty conscience makes the fantastic childhood discovery
that the moon is following him? Stop Following Me, Moon! is the endearing, giggle-out-loud story of
one small bear, one large moon, friendship, picnics and a valuable lesson in sharing.

"When the moon seems to follow you, it can be a perfect introduction to the wonders of the universe.
Or it can be, as in this larky book from Farrell (“Thank You, Octopus”), a great opportunity to goof
on someone’s naïveté. After a midnight thieving spree, a bear sees the moon trailing him. Is it on to his crimes?
He rants crankily. He issues threats, to no avail. Then the moon ducks behind a cloud, and he’s terrified.
He welcomes it back with a wittily drawn moonlit feast for everyone he’s ripped off.

Maria Russo, New York Times

 

"The profound silliness continues in Darren Farrell’s new book, “Stop Following Me, Moon!” This time
the absurdity is pegged to the idea behind a popular children’s question, Why is the moon following me?"

"It’s a glorious end to a fable-like story without a heavy-handed lesson. Sure there’s a moon that
stands in for a guilty conscience and a gentle reminder about the joys of sharing. But Farrell’s
warm, modern illustrations, absurd chase scenes and mischievous characters,
guarantee rowdy fun every time you turn the pages."

Nicole Lamy, Boston Globe

 

"[O]ur hero is all bear as he cavorts through a wilderness populated by hip forest creatures and sweetly
stodgy humans, swiping honey from bees, berries from bushes and chip bags from campgrounds. “Jackpot!”
our snack happy hero declares when he lands a tasty treat from a beehive. “Come to Papa!” he tells a fish
as he pulls it right off a fisherman’s pole. This deliriously loopy tale resolves with a fine feast, but not before
Bear learns a charming, if not entirely unexpected, lesson in moon appreciation.
Great fun from start to finish.

—  Nara Schoenberg, Chicago Tribune

 

“Generosity wins out over greed in this goofy moonlit morality tale.”

Meghan Cox Gurdon Wall Street Journal

 

"Farrell uses the pencil and digital art to create a hilarious and original wild world, a cross between the
round yet airy toy-ness of Tao Nyeu (Bunny Days, BCCB 2/10) and the detailed landscapes of Mitsumasa Anno,
which is slightly tamed by the cool teal and brown palette but remains divertingly, quietly weird. It’s well worth
poring over the illustrations
to find amusing details (Bigfoot hanging out amid the trees several spreads before
Bear outs him; the foxes collecting a boom box and having a dance party), even if some – the recurring motif
of animals possessing one huge and one small eye, for instance – remain unexplained. Whether as an
offbeat bedtime story or simply an entertaining tale about a goofy bear,
there’s great imagination-seizing potential here."

— Deborah Stevenson, BCCB Starred Review

 

Farrell’s conservative use of color in his pencil-and-digital artwork allows Bear’s brown fur and comical actions
to pop in each scene. Each page deserves careful study so as not to miss the wacky reactions from animals and
humans alike; as the only text is Bear’s increasingly paranoid exclamations, there is much to interpret.
Young readers who grasp the concept that the moon does not actually follow them will be entertained
by Bear’s antics. Not only will Bear make readers laugh out loud, but he illustrates how sharing
can build a community. Bear’s hilarious adventure begs for multiple readings.

Kirkus

 

Full of quirky details that reward close study, Farrell’s story has personality to spare, culminating
in a midnight dance party—his break-dancing foxes are particularly delightful.

Publishers Weekly

 

"Stylized illustrations offer amusing details of their own—Bear is clearly not the only animal
with sticky paws—and the minimal text helps keep readers’ focus on the story’s action. Farrell
 builds the situational comedy well, ensuring laughs at Bear’s over-the-top responses to the moon."

Julia Smith, Booklist

 

“The great expressions and action sequences are perfect. And while Bear is the star of the show,
eagle-eyed readers will see some hilarious background scenes… An amusing read
about taking and giving back that is sure to give kids the giggles.”

Scary Mommy Blog

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Thank You, Octopus

Thank You, Octopus was a 2014 NPR Best Book of the Year, a Huffington Post honorable mention for Funniest Picture Book of the Year and has inspired countless, uncontrollable giggle attacks, both at home – "I don't know if I've ever heard my son giggle as much as he did over this picture book by Darren Farrell" (Barnes & Noble blog); "Toby laughed out loud at this book, more than any other we've read" (A Cup of Jo) – and at my many school visits. Also, the New York Times claims that parents might forgo an evening out in order to stay home and read it with their child.

"A wonderfully wacky tale… [a] modern-day toddler classic, and it's funny enough
for adults to enjoy rereading again and again. The illustrations are insanely detailed and
I especially appreciated the New York Harbor setting. (For ages 3 to 5)." – recommended
by Anya Kamenetz, blogger, NPR Ed – NPR Best Books of 2014.


"Farrell’s playful illustrations, done in pencil and colored in a warm pastel palette, are appealing
and hip. A terrific read-aloud; each repeat visit will ensure gleeful participation, as readers
practice both tone and volume. A maritime—and bedtime—delight." Kirkus Starred Review


"On a tugboat in New York Harbor, a boy lives with Octopus, his eight-tentacled au pair. 
On Octopus’s watch, bedtime doesn’t go quite as expected. A bath in egg salad? Tooth-brushing
with paint? “Yuck! No thank you, Octopus!” says the boy, who is always polite. Farrell has a
sophisticated urban style that should appeal to any children who wish they had as silly a sitter.
Parents might decide to stay home after all to read aloud." The New York Times


"Prepare for escalating giggles as a well-meaning octopus takes on bedtime routines
with hilarious ineptness. Each page-turn extends the jokes, and the simple recurring refrain
adds opportunities for kids to join in. Familiar bedtime tasks, such as brushing teeth and reading
stories, all receive silly twists that are perfectly tuned to a young child’s delight in the absurd.
Exuberant fun that will quickly become a bedtime favorite." — Lynn Rutan, Booklist


"Toby laughed out loud at this book, more than any other we've read. 
I'd highly recommend it." A Cup of Jo


"… kids will be delighted by the idea that it's the caretaker who's the troublemaker and the
child who remembers his manners. Farrell crams the pictures with small visual gags (like the
many empty mayo jars in the bathroom), while the boy's idyllic tugboat childhood provides
a marvelous backdrop to the proudly silly action." Publishers Weekly


"… perfect for early-elementary sensibilities. Colorful double-page spreads are filled with details
that extend the text and support repeated readings." Laura Scott, School Library Journal


"This hilarious nautical comedy of errors will lure in unsuspecting listeners—right
up to the boy’s neat turnabout at the end." Kitty Flynn, The Horn Book

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My first picture book, Doug-Dennis and the Flyaway Fib won the 2011 Marion Vannett Ridgway Honor Book Award.

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 Also available in Gangnam Style. And Australian. Whatever language it is they speak.


 

 

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