Who is Puck?

According to wikipedia, Puck is a character in William Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream that was based on the ancient figure in English mythology, also called Puck. Puck is a clever and mischievous elf and personifies the trickster or the wise knave.

It’s also the pseudonym of Charm City area author and owner of duopress, Mauricio Velázquez de León.

Why does Mauricio publish his creative, modern board books for young kiddos under the name of Puck? Velázquez de León is just too darn long.

Not to mention the Mt. Washington dad is a bit of a wise knave. He has created a series of hip children’s books that will charm the most discerning artistic palate. And six-month-old.

Mauricio’s innovative board books embody all that is cool. The 123 series mixes together regional icons and counting sequences with a splash of modern art, funky typeset and crazy colors. So even the youngest of cuties can begin learning about their city or state (or their parents’/grandparents’ home city or state).

“As parents, we want to give our kids a little bit of the things we love,” says Mauricio. “We feel very proud of the city where we live, where we were born, where we went to school.” The 123 series lets you share just that with your kiddos in an oh-so-hip way.

After all, our kids are mini-hipsters, right?

Enter the 123 Baltimore book. Your next baby gift dilemma is now solved. Your tot can learn their numbers counting crabs, flamingos, Baltimore Ravens, and painted ladies.

Mauricio, who honed his writing skills in the editorial departments of children’s book publishers, brings a sense of contemporary whimsy to all of the works duopress puts on the market. Their latest sensation? A book for mini gourmets called My Foodie ABC. You can buy it in it’s original board book format or {{wait for the genius idea… wait for it…}} as a set of bound, tear-them-out-as-you-need-them disposable placemats (aptly called My Foodie ABC Placemats). Perfect for enticing picky eaters or providing your own clean surface at your favorite local restaurant.

Just be prepared to explain concepts like locavore… brought to you by the letter L.

Mauricio and his family have become true Charm City lovers after relocating here from New York City two years ago. His twin boys love spending their weekends riding the Charm City Circulator and hitting up cultural locales like the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Aquarium. A favorite food spot for this urban fam? Golden West Cafe in Hampden or Stone Mill Bakery at Green Spring Station. Apparently, his two five-year-olds can’t get enough of Stone Mill’s ginormous hot dogs…

You can meet Mauricio and pick up a copy of 123 Baltimore at aMuse Toy’s Quarry Lake location on Sunday! Starting at 11:00 AM, our favorite local toy store will host Mauricio (aka Puck) for a reading, book signing and coloring workshop.

Claudia Towles, owner of aMuse Toys, knows a good thing when she sees it.

“We love supporting Baltimore based independents,” said Claudia. “And we embrace opportunites to highlight beautiful, purposeful playthings.”

Guess what? TWO (cool) progeny readers are going to be sharing duopress products for FREE with their pint sizers. We’re giving away a copy of 123 Baltimore and the pack of My Foodie ABC Placemats. Want to win one of them? All you need to do is fill out this form. Want a second entry? Leave a comment on this post telling us your favorite Baltimore City icon. **fine print: this giveaway is only open to residents of the US and Canada… And you have until 5:00 PM on Monday, February 28th to enter.

Purposeful. Playful. Hip. Clever. That about says it all.

(cool) fact: Out of all of the pseudonyms in the world, how did Mauricio settle on Puck? His grandfather was a journalist (in Spain and later in Mexico) and he wrote a column for years using the name Puck. It’s all in the family.