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🎧 The Reader's Heart | Guest: The Pumphrey Brothers

This week's episode marks the first time that I recorded a conversation with TWO guests, which presented some unique challenges. While the conversation itself was joyful and easy, the audio levels in the resulting recording were a bit of a bear to edit. In the end, I loved the conversation I had with Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey so much, I decided to publish it anyway - imperfections and all. If there's one thing I've learned from #TheReadersHeart it's that, in the end, the quality of the conversation is more important than the quality of audio. That's not to say I don't still try to make sure each episode sounds as good as it feels, but I've also had to learn how to be more realistic about those expectations. All of that said, gosh... I adore Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey, y'all. They are are as charming and thoughtful as they are talented. Also, as someone who loved their very first book (The Old Truck) with my whole heart, it's been an absolute delight to watch the rest of the world discover just how extraordinary they are. As I mentioned in the episode, I cheered like they were my best friends when There Was A Party for Langston, written by Jason Reynolds, received a Caldecott and Coretta Scott King honor earlier this year. It's also no secret that I love their latest collaboration with Antwan Eady, The Last Stand. Anyway, I hope you love our conversation as much as I do.

PS: If you're missing a few of their books in your collection, be sure to checkout the discount code at the bottom of this post, so that you can correct that error. 😀 I


Jarrett Pumphrey

Jarrett is an award-winning author and illustrator. He makes books for kids with his brother, Jerome. Their books include the Caldecott Honor-winning There Was a Party for Langston written by Jason Reynolds; The Last Stand written by Antwan Eady; It’s a Sign!, an Elephant & Piggie Like Reading book; Somewhere in the Bayou, a Texas 2x2 List Selection; and their author-illustrator debut, The Old Truck, which received seven starred reviews, was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, and received the Ezra Jack Keats New Author Honor.

Jarrett spends his time making books in his home near Austin, TX, where he lives with his wife, their two boys, a dog named Whiskey, and another dog named Ford. When he’s not making books, you might find him fishing on a river somewhere or tinkering under the hood of his new old F100.

Jerome Pumphrey

Jerome is a designer, illustrator, and writer, originally from Houston, TX. He studied graphic design at the Art Institute of Austin and has worked as a technical writer, freelance graphic designer, and illustrator.

Since 2016 he has been a graphic designer at The Walt Disney Company where he uses design and illustration to visually tell stories in print, digital, and immersive experiences for Disney global business development. He works primarily from his home office in Georgetown, TX, where he lives with his wife and their three kids.

Jerome is a member of the SCBWI and shares a previous author credit with Jarrett for Creepy Things Are Scaring Me (HarperCollins, 2003), which they wrote as teenagers.



Please enjoy a special discount of 20% off the titles mentioned in this episode (or others of your choice) by visiting Bookelicious and using the code JENNIFERLAGARDE. Note: I do not make any money from the sales, but I am delighted that you get to save some!



Rooted in the belief that our world needs the magic of children’s literature now more than ever, the Reader’s Heart podcast captures conversations with authors and illustrators about children's literature as a vehicle for empathy and joy in a dark world. I'm so excited about this project and it's my wish that it brings you as much light and hope as it has brought me.

Special thanks to Corinna Luyken for creating the beautiful illustration that will serve as the show's logo. I've always found Corinna's art so moving and she perfectly captured the spirit of what I am trying to do, which is to put warmth and love into the world during a time when so many are working to limit kids' access to the warmth and love inherent in children's literature. (Also, don't forget, you can use the discount above to buy Corinna's books from Bookelicious, too!)

Weekly episodes will drop on Tuesdays. Once you've had a chance to listen, I hope you will consider leaving The Reader's Heart a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review! Podcast reviews are one of the best ways to support your favorite shows and help others find these conversations.



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