Matt Tavares Books
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Growing Up Pedro

Growing Up Pedro 
written and illustrated by Matt Tavares

2016 Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, Honor Book
2016 ALA Notable Book
2015 Junior Library Guild Selection

Americas Award, Honorable Mention
2016 Massachusetts Book Award, Honor Book
2015 Lupine Honor Award
2016 International Latino Book Awards:
    Best Children's Nonfiction Picture Book, 1st place
    Best Children's Picture Book Translation- English to Spanish, 2nd place
2016-2017 Maine Student Book Award list
2017 Rhode Island Children's Book Award list
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books 2015
2016 Massachusetts Great Read, National Book Festival
2015 Nerdy Book Award
Huffington Post Best Picture Books of 2015
Bank Street Best Children's Books of the Year, 2016
CCBC Choices, 2016
2016-2017 Virginia Readers' Choice Award list

2015-2016 Alabama Camellia Award list
2016 Skipping Stones Book Award
All the Wonders Best Nonfiction Picture Books of 2015
2015 Scholastic 50 Best Books for Summer
The Society of Illustrators, "The Original Art 2015" exhibit
Original artwork selected for "The Original Art 2015", traveling exhibition

Now available, from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or an independent bookstore near you.
Signed prints available in my online store.

Growing Up Pedro, interior spread

Pedro Martinez at Fenway Park

Online resources for Growing Up Pedro:
Download a free teachers guide.
Q and A with Chad Finn of, on the Touching All the Bases blog.
Here's an interview I did with the Smart Books for Smart Kids blog.
And this one I did with Sports Illustrated Kids.
I chatted with Rob Caldwell about Growing Up Pedro on 207.
The Yarn Podcast: Growing Up Pedro, Unravelled
Growing Up Pedro, Behind the Scenes in the Dominican Republic
Growing Up Pedro, Behind the Scenes: Illustrating Page One

A Junior
Library Guild SelectionOrbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonficiton for

Before Pedro Martinez was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, before he pitched the Red Sox to a World Series Championship, before he was named to the All-Star team eight times and won the Cy Young Award three times, he was a kid from a place called Manoguayabo in the Dominican Republic. Pedro loved baseball more than anything, and his older brother Ramon was the best pitcher he'd ever seen. He dreamed of the day he and his brother could play together in the major leagues.

This is the story of how that dream came true.

Matt Tavares has crafted a fitting homage to a modern-day baseball star that examines both his improbable rise to the top of his game and the power that comes from the deep bond between brothers.


"Tavares masterfully depicts, with quick verse and beautiful illustrations, the world in which the two siblings came of age.... A wonderful introduction to a truly special player."
*School Library Journal (starred review

"Tavares's luminous paintings pair with accessible prose arranged into verse-like passages to create a vivid portrait of two contemporary athletes."
-Publishers Weekly

"The gouache and watercolor paintings lovingly depict both players, from boyhood to adulthood. Tavares captures some of the iconic images of Pedro: pitching with intensity, goofing off in the bullpen, and even being taped to a pole by his teammates as a prank."
-The Horn Book

"A must own picture book biography"
-Colby Sharp, Sharpread blog

"Growing Up Pedro is excellent! Stunning artwork, layout, design and narrative."
-Librarian's Quest

"More than a book about baseball, it is a story about brotherhood, determination, overcoming obstacles, and dreams come true."
-Sports Illustrated Kids

"The paintings that illustrate the text- both precise and soft- capture the texture of life in the Dominican Republic, but also manage to evoke the iconic images of Pedro on the mound..."
-The Boston Globe

"Matt Tavares' meticulous and beautifully-wrought illustrations beckon the reader to slow down and take in the details."

"It's not just a story of baseball and brotherhood, but one of hard work, hometown pride, self-confidence and determination. Given that this book has done what I could not -- it helped my kids appreciate Pedro, and on a level beyond his accomplishments -- I cannot recommend it enough."
-Chad Finn,

"It's a sweet family story;... Matt Tavares has imbued it with a warmth and hopefulness and, by showing the early makings of a baseball legend, he makes it much more than just another profile of a Hall of Famer."
-The Daily Beast

"Matt Tavares's illustrations command attention. The soft colors of his landscapes suggest sunshine diffused by tropical humidity. Mountains draped in lush vegetation fill the backdrops of the Dominican scenes. In the second part of the story, Pedro's world switches to baseball stadiums packed with cheering fans, dressed in Red Sox team colors. One powerful illustration zooms in on Martinez's face as he stands at the pitcher's mound. His eyes contain supreme focus and reflect years of devotion to his sport."
-Latin@s in Kidlit

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GROWING UP PEDRO. Text and Illustrations copyright 2015 Matt Tavares. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Inc., Somerville, MA.