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A Sara Varon Appreciation Post

[brief pic description][Editor’s Note: In honor of First Second Books‘ 10th anniversary, we’re pleased to present this post on the awesomeness that is Sara Varon. Although, do you really need an excuse to celebrate Sara Varon?]

I’ve only met Sara Varon once, and when I did, I think I was so overwhelmed by being in the same, actual, real-life space as SARA VARON that I probably squeaked out a “hi” and a “bye.” That’s too bad, because if I had had my act together, the script would’ve gone like this:

ME: Hey Sara! Word up! 

SARA: Um, hey?

ME: Your work is just, like, the most AWESOME STUFF EVER! The first time I read ROBOT DREAMS I practically wept with jealousy!

SARA: Jealousy’s not a cool feeling…

ME: I know, right!?! But then I decided that the feeling went way beyond jealousy and into something a lot more positive—kinda like I had found the Holy Grail of Comics and wasn’t I lucky to be able to take a sip of it and enjoy it and celebrate this most incredible accomplishment…and then OMG, you went and did BAKE SALE, and I thought—

SARA: —ahem, well, that’s right nice of you, but I really do need to get back to the line for the bathro

ME: —yeah, whatevs, so like I said, I saw BAKE SALE and I thought, OMG she’s done it AGAIN with this book, did I tell you it was called BAKE SALE? Yeah, BAKE SALE, and the positive feeling returned and then—

SARA: —this is all wonderful to hear but I really do need to—

ME: —and then I told my colorist for my book (which is drawn not nearly as good as your stuff, gracious no), just color it like Sara Varon’s stuff because I want it to look a lot like ROBOT DREAMS and BAKE SALE and oh that Sara Varon is the GREATEST! And now we’re BEST BUDS! Oh man, I forgot to talk to her about CHICKEN AND CAT! SARA!!! Where are yoooooooooooo….

Too bad it didn’t go down like that. Well, too bad for ME. It was a blessing for Sara. Seriously, though—Sara’s work is enchanting, beautiful, tinged with sweetness AND sorrow, and seriously ground-breaking. EVERYONE should be reading her work. It is powerful stuff.

 Cece Bell is an author and illustrator of books for children. Her graphic novel memoir, El Deafo,which chronicles her childhood experiences with hearing loss, received a Newbery Honor and an Eisner Award in 2015. Cece’s other books include the Geisel Honor book Rabbit & Robot: The Sleepover, I Yam a Donkey, Itty Bitty, Bee-Wigged,  and the Sock Monkey series.

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