Flaco Flies Free!

For some time now, I’ve been writing children’s stories for a company called Chapter One. (I talked about it in a few previous blog posts. You can read one of them HERE.) And you can find my stories on the Chapter One website, in the Global Free Library section, which is an online collection of stories and materials that celebrate the world’s diversity.

In my latest Chapter One story, I paid tribute to a great New Yorker. Who is this icon of the Big Apple? Is it James Baldwin? Stephen Sondheim? Whoopi Goldberg? Martin Scorsese? Nope! None of the above. Give up? It’s Flaco the Owl. The story I wrote is called “Flaco Flies Free,” and it was illustrated by the incredible Arantza Valdivia. You can read it right HERE.

And if you scroll down on that page,  you can also see a few of the other Chapter One stories I’ve written.

Here’s the official description of “Flaco Flies Free,” from the Chapter One site:

“The story of Flaco the owl, who fled his enclosure in the Central Park Zoo and was determined to survive on his own. In doing so, Flaco has behaved like a classic New Yorker and attracted legions of fans.”

I’ve also made short videos for all of the Chapter One stories I’ve written. In these videos, I explain what inspired me to write the story in question. You can see the “Flaco Flies Free” video once you scroll down after reading the story of the same name. But you can also see the “Flaco” video right here:


And while you’re on the Chapter One site, feel free to also check out the landing page for the Global Free Library.


“Minecraft: Mobs in the Mansion” is out NOW!

Time is a construct. However, it’s OUR construct. (“Ours” as a society, I mean.) So as we use this imperfect system called a “calendar” to mark our time here on this tainted blue orb we call Earth, I wanted to wish all of you a Happy New Year!

And not to turn these totally warm and earnest new year wishes into a blatant narcissistic plug for a new project, BUT – how to say this non-narcissistically? – I have some news to share:

I wrote a Minecraft children’s book called Mobs in the Mansion, which was published today by Penguin Random House. It was illustrated by the amazing Alan Batson. Here’s the official publisher description of the book:

Journey into the world of Minecraft in this Step 3 Step into Reading, the only official leveled reader series based on Minecraft, one of the world’s best-selling video games!

Minecraft® is one of the best-selling video games of all time! And now learning to read has never been more fun for players of the game ages 4 to 7. They’ll get a great introduction to the game’s most mysterious biomes when two players, Emmy and Birch–and their tame wolf Byte–set out on an epic adventure to explore a dark Minecraft mansion!

And if you want to know more:

Check out the book’s page on the Penguin Random House site.

Check out the Amazon page for the book.

Last but definitely not least, feel free to check out some of the other books I’ve written for Penguin Random House.



“96 Facts” News – Holiday Edition

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been working on a series of middle grade celebrity biographies for about a year now. It’s called the “96 Facts” series, and the first two titles in that series, 96 Facts About Taylor Swift and 96 Facts About Timothée Chalamet, are out now from Penguin Random House. Both books are illustrated by the amazing Risa Rodil.

Here’s a TikTok from Penguin Random House’s Penguin Teen imprint about 96 Facts About Taylor Swift:


96 Facts About Taylor Swift – you mean my new favorite book! #taylorswift #swifttok #swifties #timotheechalamet

♬ original sound – Penguin Teen

Also, since it’s the holiday season, a few folks have been recommending 96 Facts About Taylor Swift as a potential gift item. For instance:

The book is #14 on a list of “30 Must-Have Gifts for Taylor Swift Fans” put together by Country Living.

Here’s a video from Christie at the One Blessed Mess YouTube channel. 96 Facts About Taylor Swift is among the “New Stocking Stuffers” she recommends (at the 3:30 mark):


Here’s a video from the Makenzie Cowan YouTube channel called “Let’s Go Christmas Shopping For My Internet BFF!” 96 Facts About Taylor Swift is mentioned (and shown) at the 5:25 mark:


And if you’d like to find out more about my other Penguin Random House projects, take a look at the “Arie Kaplan” page on the PRH site.



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