Books: Q&A with local author Jarrett Dapier

Evanston author Jarrett Dapier with some of his books. Credit: submitted

Evanston resident Jarrett Dapier is an author, librarian and lifelong drummer. his debut picture book, jazz for lunch!, illustrated by Eugenia Mello, published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, at kirkus review.

Dapier’s second picture book, Mr. Watson’s Chickendrawn by Andrea Tsurumi, at Publishers Weekly and was featured by NPR and page One of the best books of 2021. his third picture book, America’s Most Haunted Housea goofy, spooky, rhythmic romp based on his 2009 experience playing drums at the White House, illustrated by Lee Gatlin, now available from Abrams Kids.

wake up in the fire nowDapier’s debut young adult graphic novel about Chicago public school students’ resistance to book censorship, will be published by Chronicle Books in 2023.

please give us your cocktail party describe your book:

Mr. Watson’s Chicken is about two men who raise too many chickens and cause a lot of chaos and silly antics in their house. When it all becomes too much, they have to figure out what to do with them, but before the chickens escape, they have to find them all (with a little help from the readers).

jazz for lunch is the story of a boy whose aunt introduces him to cooking and jazz. Together they spend long afternoons inventing new dishes and desserts, named after famous jazz greats. The unexpected ending makes readers dance.

America’s Most Haunted House is the story of three skeletal drummers who beat the drums at First Lady Obama’s Halloween celebration in the White House. When they go in and take a wrong turn, they run afoul of a real ghost party and learn just how haunted the White House really is.

All three books are beautifully and comically illustrated by three up-and-coming stars in the children’s book illustration world, and emphasize the joys of music, community, and togetherness.

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