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Episode 23 Interview with Author, illustrator Jonathan Roth and Colorist Paulina Suarez

Updated: May 21, 2023

In this episode we chat with Jonathan Roth, author and illustrator of the graphic novel Rover and Speck, this Planet Rocks and his colorist Paulina Suarez. We talk about his inspiration and process for this book and what it was like working with a colorist. Thanks for listening.

In this one-of-a-kind graphic novel, two mismatched rovers meet on a distant planet and discover that space exploration is not what they expected! A perfect space adventure for aspiring (and armchair) astronauts everywhere!

When Rover crash-lands on a rocky planet and finds Speck stranded and in need of a battery charge, the two rovers hardly seem destined to make great teammates. Rover is organized, careful and on a mission to discover all the amazing things in the galaxy. Speck is impulsive, excitable and … not totally sure what his mission is. Their differences are forgotten, however, when they make their first big discovery: they’re not alone on the planet! And, suddenly, their only mission is to escape from the rock creatures that are chasing them!

Jonathan Roth’s hugely appealing graphic novel with classic comic-style art features a fast-moving and suspenseful plot, loads of silly laugh-out-loud moments and two endearing characters that young readers will instantly fall in love with. It’s also a great introduction to real rovers and robots, and the entertaining sidebars sprinkled throughout the story containing facts about earth science topics like rocks and minerals, planets, and space systems add a light STEM touch to the fun. A draw-your-own-rover activity and an overview of some real-life rovers enhance the science and technology links. The series offers a unique and winning combination of a high-interest topic, spot-on humor and accessible science. This book also strongly features the character education topics of adaptability, cooperation and teamwork.


Jonathan Roth is the author-illustrator of the graphic novel ROVER AND SPECK: THIS PLANET ROCKS!, published by Kids Can Press. He’s also the BEEP AND BOB chapter book series, and an upcoming non-fiction picture book about Ingenuity, the Mars helicopter. He aims his books at young readers who like humorous, out-of-this-world adventures. He lives in Rockville, MD with his wife and feline friends, where he also teaches elementary art to the creative minds of tomorrow.

Jonathan's Website:

Paulina Suarez was born and raised in México, she studied a BFA in Illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. Currently she lives in México as a freelance illustrator, arts teacher and Yoga instructor.

She is the illustrator for several picture books and comics: Toto y el secreto, La Ropa, Ni un pelo de tonto, David Bowie, Trasncomic, La familia Mexicana. She is the colorist for the kids graphic novel: Rover and Speck: This planet rocks!.

She has taught art workshops for kids and adults in cities such as Medellin, Buenos Aires, Queretaro, San Francisco and Mexico City.

Paulina's website:


Cover art by Olga Herrera

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