Marcelo Verdad

“As a teacher, I always tell my students that the two most important rules when it comes to art are: 1) have fun, and 2) be yourself. As long as what you’re creating makes sense to you, brings you happiness, and you’re not harming anyone, you’re on the right path. Because when it comes to art, there’s no right or wrong. But the biggest secret is that all of this also applies to life itself.”


Marcelo Verdad is a queer author and illustrator from México and the creator of The Worst Teddy Ever—which he also wrote in Spanish as El peor Teddy del mundo, and received a Blue Ribbon from The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, was a 2022 Indigo Best Book of the Year, and was shortlisted for the Barnes and Noble Book Awards. Marcelo likes to tell layered stories from unconventional perspectives. He describes his work as “consciousness disguised as design.” His visual practice involves a lot of play. It starts with multiple recognizable elements for kids—paper textures, cutouts, crayons, bright colors and basic shapes— to create an accessible visual language for them. Then he edits his compositions digitally until he feels a big smile take hold of his face. The smile is a crucial and serious part of the process. Very serious.

Marcelo graduated from ArtCenter College of Design, where he fell in love with kids’ books. He sees them as a great opportunity to share valuable tools to help tiny ones build a strong foundation from which to navigate this world with kindness, openness, and compassion. He lives in Los Angeles, California, where he dedicates his time to his young students at an art academy, and to his tiny furry life companion, Prana. Marcelo and Prana love to drink chocolate milk and nap together. His newest project, The Dream Catcher, will be published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers in spring 2024, and released simultaneously in Spanish as El atrapasueños.

You can find Marcelo traveling across space in his pink spaceship or at and @marceloverdad on IG.


Book Marcelo Verdad

If you’re interested in having Marcelo visit your school or attend your event, or if you have a general question about Marcelo, please fill out the following form: