Nerdycorn by Andrew Root and Erin Kraan

Hello, Andrew Root! Welcome back to Watch. Connect. Read. Thank you for stopping by to share Nerdycorn’s colorful cover. I love how Fern is standing in the middle of her laboratory. Please tell us about the items surrounding her.

Andrew Root: Hi Mr. Schu!

Thanks for having me back! I’m incredibly excited to share Nerdycorn and really appreciate the opportunity to give your readers a peek at Fern’s story!

Fern’s laboratory is pretty awesome, isn’t it? Whether she’s programming a computer, building robots, or working with her 3D printer, her lab has everything she needs. On the cover she is in the middle of working on her latest experiment, trying to figure out a way to make ice cream on the moon. Zero-gravity sure can make it difficult when trying to calculate the correct milk-to-sugar ratio! But rest assured, she’s got her acetylene torch, cone-contraption, and her robotic assistant to help her solve any problem she might run into.


What would you tell a group of 1st graders about Nerdycorn?

Andrew Root: First, I would tell them that unicorns are awesome (although they probably already know that). Then I would remind them that everyone feels different sometimes, because we are all a little different. We each have our strengths and areas to improve. But changing who you are just to fit in will never replace the importance of empathy, kindness, and respect for others.



Please finish the following sentence starters:

Erin Kraan’s illustrations blow me away! I can’t say enough amazing things about her! She took the words of Nerdycorn and translated them into such compelling illustrations that really bring Fern to life. I am forever impressed with illustrators in general and feel so incredibly fortunate that Erin signed up for this project. Now I need to write another book so that we can work together again! Go check out more of her stuff, she is awesome.

Unicorns are majestic, complex, and compelling creatures. Just like humans! Some of us like glitter and robots, and others prefer chemistry and rainbows.

School libraries are more important than ever. No one could have predicted the challenges to learning that have arisen this year due to the global pandemic. Through it all, the lengths that school librarians have gone to in order to make sure that readers have access to materials is nothing short of heroic. For some children, the librarians waiting outside with bags or delivering books to homes are the only connection to reading that they have right now. Thank you to every librarian and teacher who continues to support all of our kids in these particularly trying times. And a special shout out to the librarians and teachers at Grout Elementary and Hosford Middle School in Portland, Oregon!


Mr. Schu, you should have asked me if I ever get a stomachache from eating too much ice cream and then going to a Sparkle Dance Party. The answer is yes. Frequently.

Thank you for sharing Nerdycorn and for everything you do for the reading community, Mr. Schu! Let me know if you ever want to share a triple scoop of rocky-road on the moon!

Thank you for answering my questions and finishing my sentences. Yes! I look forward to eating ice cream together one day! :) 


Look for Nerdycorn on May 18, 2021. 

Simon and Schuster's Description: 

Fern isn’t your usual unicorn…she loves chemistry and math more than glitter or flowers—and she refuses to change who she is in this sweet and empowering picture book about being yourself—and standing up for yourself, too!

Meet Fern! She’s a smart, creative unicorn who prefers building robots and coding software to jumping through shimmering rainbows and splashing in majestic waterfalls. Even though Fern is a good friend and always willing to help others, the other unicorns tease her and call her a nerdycorn.

One day, Fern has had enough and decides to stop fixing her friends’ broken things. But then the confetti machine, the rainbow synthesizer, and the starlight bedazzler all go haywire during the biggest Sparkle Dance Party of the year! Fern can certainly fix them…but will she?



Andrew Root is a a trained therapist, active in community mental health and the public education system in Portland, Oregon. Andrew works as the clinical manager of a therapeutic school serving youth and adolescents with a variety of behavioral and mental health needs. His experiences working with children have led him to realize the importance a good book can have both socially and academically. Andrew enjoys playing soccer and chasing his wife, two kids, and dog around his backyard.

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