Actor, director and bestselling author-illustrator Matthew Gray Gubler will give the closing keynote presentation at the U.S. Book Show children’s book program on May 24. Hosted in-person and livestreaming from NYU's Kimmel Center, the event will highlight fall 2023 books, including Guber's second book, The Little Kid with the Big Green Hand (Amulet, Sept. 26). Gubler established his signature hand-written style with his first release, Rumple Buttercup: A Story of Bananas, Belonging and Being Yourself.

“I want to make books that hug readers’ hearts and eyeballs,” said Gubler, who is best known as an actor for his role as Dr. Spencer Reid in the CBS drama Criminal Minds (2005–2020). Directing and appearing in dozens of films and TV shows, he began his career as an intern for Wes Anderson, who cast him in his first role as a fictionalized intern in The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004).

About his new publishing venture, Gubler said it "just made sense" as someone who adores every part of the publishing process.

“I would be personally hand-binding each copy of my books in my basement if I thought I could pull it off, but I probably wouldn’t get enough made for my hometown before accidentally cutting off a thumb, and I need my thumb to write more books," he said. "Luckily, I’ve joined forces with Abrams to help with that part. To me, they don’t make books; they make paintings you can read. We both share a deep love and appreciation for meticulous details and we both want to spoil readers with the most beautifully crafted books imaginable—the kind of things you want to pass on to future generations, or at least use as a colorful coaster.”

To the delight of fans around the world, Gubler announced The Little Kid with the Big Green Hand in an Instagram post, revealing the book’s cover along with a description of his new work. The story follows two unlikely friends, Chuck and Lenore, as they embark on a dreamlike adventure and uncover the magic of seeing the world through each other’s eyes.

The children’s book program at the U.S. Book Show begins with an opening keynote by the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Meg Medina, interviewed by New York Times for Kids editor Amber Williams. National Book Award winner and 2023 Guggenheim Fellow Jacqueline Woodson will give the lunchtime keynote.

Registration, with early-bird rates, is open for the U.S. Book Show. See the full schedule here.