WANDS Books - Bee Careful, Marvin


Sadie and I wrote Bee Careful, Marvin in 2004 and 2005. I had wanted to write a children's book for some time and had worked out some possible ideas over the years. I met Sadie at the end of 2003 and she was also interested in writing a book.

We kicked around some ideas for a few months. Then on September 26, 2004 we grabbed some storyboard paper and a pen and headed over to sit on the banks of the Charles River over by Harvard Square. We fleshed out the story, the dialog, and a storyboard for the book.

We illustrated the book over the next few weekends using pen and ink and a beginner's watercolor set. We scanned in the images and composed the layout for the book using Scribus. The book was laid out to be printed, cut out, and placed in a small photo album book. That worked out pretty well, but it took a while to assemble a single book.

In 2005, we redid the layout for a 9x7 target and self-published the book on Lulu.

In 2007, Will updated the license, made some minor changes to the book, placed the "source code" for the book online and released a new version.

On June 20, 2008, Will moved the source from bazaar to git and redid the web-site so it didn't use Trac anymore.


Originally, Bee Careful, Marvin was released under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.

In 2007, we published a new version of the book under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0 license.

The "source code" for the book is maintained on this web-site. It is licensed under a disjunctive dual-license giving you the choice of one of the two following sets of licensing terms:

Licensing information is in the LICENSE and LICENSE.gpl file in the source code repository.

Acquiring a copy of the book


You can purchase a copy from Lulu. We do not collect royalties on the book--the cost of the book is composed solely of publishing and shipping costs from Lulu.

Downloading a PDF

You can download a PDF form of the book in 9x7 format from Lulu or here. It costs nothing to download the PDF.


If someone you know has a copy of the book, or have a copy yourself, feel free to make free copies for your friends, family and others.

Getting the source

The "source code" for the book is a Scribus layout document and a bunch of JPG images.

The source is available in a git repository. If you have git installed on your computer, you can do:

  git clone https://bluesock.org/~willkg/marvin/marvin.git

The .sla file is a Scribus file. Scribus is an Open Source desktop publishing application.

Contacting us

We'd love to hear how much you enjoyed the book and stories of children you've shared it with. We'd love to know if you've downloaded the source code and done anything with it.

Send an email to willg at bluesock dot org.