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Blog of author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Author of Punk Farm.
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1. Spring Book Tour Schedule







Hi, all! I'll be coming to a bookstore near you very soon! Time to gear up for summer reading!
:)
JJK


April 8, 4 PM- Portland, ME- Nonesuch Books- Nonesuch Books

April 10, Peanut Butter and Jellyfish Virtual Storytime!

April 13, 1:55 PM- LA Times Festival of Books- LA Times Festival of Books, Children's Stage, Signing with Once Upon a Story immediately following and 3:15-4:15 pm Signing with Mrs Nelson's, Booth #720

April 15, 7 PM- San Diego, CA- Yellow Book Road Bookstore- Yellow Book Road

April 26, 2 PM- Amherst, MA- Eric Carle Museum of Picture Books- Eric Carle Museum

April 28, 4 PM - Madison, CT- RJ Julia Booksellers

May 2, School Lunch Hero Day 2014!

May 6- Platypus Police Squad: The Ostrich Conspiracy publishes!

May 9, 4 PM- Dedham, MA- Blue Bunny Bookshop

May 12, Platypus Police Squad 2 Virtual Book Talk!

May 28, 5 PM- New York, NY- BookExpo, American Booksellers Foundation of Free Expression Auction

May 30,  9:30 AM - BookExpo signing for Platypus Police Squad 2

June 4, 4 PM Cambridge, MA- Platypus Police Squad 2 Launch Event- Cambridge Public Library

June 5, 10 AM- Washington, D.C.- Library of Congress - "A Library of Congress Books and Beyond for Young People Program on Reluctant Readers"

July 15, Boston, MA- School Nutrition Association Annual National Conference- SNA ANC

July 16, Findlay, OH- Mazza Museum Summer Conference- Conference Information

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2. Peanut Butter & Jellyfish Book and Giclée Print Giveaway!




I am giving away three sets of prizes to three lucky folks who share the Peanut Butter and Jellyfish book trailer on Twitter, Facebook and/or Pinterest. You can enter the raffle below. You will earn raffle points for each share and you can enter every day through the book's publication on April 8th!

The three winners will each receive an autographed copy of the finished book and a giclée print of the book jacket. The giclée print is autographed and the main characters are drawn in the bottom border. The print was produced by R. Michelson Galleries of Northampton, MA!

Here is the direct link to the Peanut Butter and Jellyfish book trailer: http://youtu.be/9gZLKNcFzKk


a Rafflecopter giveaway





Peanut Butter and Jellyfish will be here on April 8th!

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3. Listen up! Radio interviews with Meltdown Author/Artists!



MELTDOWN is happening THIS Saturday at Smith Vocational High School, 80 Locust St in Northampton, MA! All week long, Monte Belmonte of WRSI The River has been airing interviews he conducted with this year's authors. Listen to the conversations below and check the times that each author will be taking the stage!



10:40 a.m. - Tanya Lee Stone!


(And learn how Tanya dodges telemarketers!) 


11:40 a.m. - Bob Shea!


(And learn about the kind of telemarketers that hit up Bob!) 



12:40 p.m. - Jarrett's Drawing Party!



Featuring Kelly Light and David Hyde Costello!


 


1:40 p.m. - Dave Roman!


2:40 p.m. - Raina Telgemier!



(And learn about how Raina and Dave fell in love. Awwwww!) 




The book sales are put on by the fabulous Hannah at the Odyssey Bookshop. If you wanted to score some autographed books, but aren't able to make it, why not give the store a call at 1-800-540-7307!

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4. I'm incredibly honored to be nominated for the Indie Champion Award!

Color me honored and completely blown away. I've been nominated for the Indie Champion Award alongside James Patterson, Richard Russo, Brandon Sanderson, David Sedaris and Jesmyn Ward.

I am just stunned. Thank you, American Booksellers Association! And thank you for all that you do for our communities every single day!

In a perfect world, this will end in a six-way tie.
http://www.bookweb.org/news/voting-opens-2014-indies-choiceeb-white-read-aloud-awards



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5. The Power That Comes in Connecting a Local Bookstore to Your SchoolVisits


Many folks who read this blog most likely either host authors at their school or are themselves authors who visit schools. I wanted to point you to an article on the Publishers Weekly blog that was written about a recent school visit I had in Vermont. I'm pointing it out because I want everyone to remember how valuable a local bookstore can be to your school visits. Everyone wins when a local bookstore runs the book sales. As you'll see, they do a ton of work that the hosting school won't need to undertake—ordering stock, organizing orders, etc. For the author, it's a wonderful opportunity to get to know the booksellers in the communities they visit. (If you're lucky enough, you may even be asked to sign stock for the store.) And for the bookstores—it's a way to keep their cash registers ringing. And THAT is something that the entire community benefits from.


You can read that PW article here: http://blogs.publishersweekly.com/blogs/shelftalker/?p=12496.


In the article you'll be introduced to the folks at Flying Pig, a fantastic indie with fantastic people. Every town should have a great indie. Perhaps you have one closer than you think. Check out this search tool to find your closest bookstore:

http://www.indiebound.org/indie-store-finder


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6. Voting for the Children's Book Choice Awards opens next week!

Get ready to vote for your favorite books at www.bookweekonline.com! Voting in the Children's Choice Book Awards opens on March 25th! I'm proud to serve as a champion of the awards and hope to help get out the vote! I'll also be serving as a presenter at the awards gala in May!


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7. Meltdown 2014 takes place on Saturday, March 29th!



Gina and I are incredibly excited about the authors that we have lined up for Meltdown 2014! Bill Childs has an equally exciting musical lineup, which you can learn more about at http://wrsi.com/meltdown. But for those of you that come for the kid lit, you might want to get straight to the authors. Well, here you go!

It all goes down at Smith Vocational High School, 80 Locust St in Northampton, MA!



10:40 a.m. - Tanya Lee Stone!




11:40 a.m. - Bob Shea!



12:40 p.m. - Jarrett's Drawing Party!


Featuring Kelly Light and David Hyde Costello!


 


1:40 p.m. - Dave Roman!




2:40 p.m. - Raina Telgemier!








The book sales are put on by the fabulous Hannah at the Odyssey Bookshop. If you wanted to score some autographed books, but aren't able to make it, why not give the store a call at 1-800-540-7307!




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8. Kindergartners react to Peanut Butter and Jellyfish!

I recently read Peanut Butter and Jellyfish to a group of Kindergartners. Afterwards, their teacher asked them to draw pictures and describe their favorite part.

Their reactions are what this is all about! It's so gratifying when kids react so positively to your work!



A BIG thank you to Mrs. Clancy and her students!!

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9. I'll be at the Tucson Festival of Books THIS Sunday, March 16th.




Here is my schedule for this weekend's Tucson Festival of Books. Hope to see you there!


Dare to Dream: Our Life-Changing Journeys
Three authors will share their journeys of becoming an author and how their dreams of creating books transformed their lives.

Education Room 353
Sun, Mar 16, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Children/Teens
Signing area: Signing Area #3 - Children's (following presentation)

Panelists: Jarrett KrosoczkaLenore LookJames Ransome
Moderator: Marney Welmers
Story Blanket
The Story Blanket offers young children and families an opportunity to listen to a great story—read by the author or illustrator of that picture book.

Story Blanket Tent
Sun, Mar 16, 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Writing with Pictures: The Graphic Novel
The creator of Lunch Lady will share sketches, notes, manuscripts, and artwork to demonstrate the hard work of creating a graphic novel. Writing a graphic novel takes patience and hard work as well as many, many revisions.

Education Room 353
Sun, Mar 16, 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Children/Teens
Signing area: Signing Area #3 - Children's (following presentation)

Panelist: Jarrett Krosoczka
Moderator: Paul Ottley
College Knowledge
It's never to early to begin thinking about college! Navigating the college selection and admissions processes can be daunting, but not if you have the correct tools. Author/Illustrator Jarrett Krosoczka will talk about his experience overcoming obstacles to education.

Student Union Santa Rita
Sun, Mar 16, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Children/Teens
Signing area: Sales & Signing Area #1 - UA BookStore Tent (following presentation)

Panelist: Jarrett Krosoczka
Moderator: Rudy McCormick

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10. Changes are afoot for The Book Report with JJK

The Book Report with JJK is about to undergo a transformation. Instead of a once-a-week 5-8 minute show, the interviews will now be broken down to 1 minute segments that will air throughout programming! And I'll be calling in every Tuesday morning to recommend a new book and let folks know what's going on in the world of kidlit.

As always, Kids Place Live airs on channel 78 on SiriusXM!

(The full interviews will still be archived on my website: http://www.studiojjk.com/thebookreport.html)



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11. Peanut Butter and Jellyfish book giveaway via pragmaticmom.com!

Pragmatic Mom is giving away copies of Peanut Butter and Jellyfish! Check out her blog post, that covers author Skype visits from the parent's perspective, to learn more!

Check it out!
http://bit.ly/1kCkFX9


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12. Peanut Butter and Jellyfish is on the Spring 2014 Kids' Indie Next List!




Peanut Butter and Jellyfish has made it to the  Spring 2014 Kids' Indie Next List! Thank you everyone at the ABA and indie booksellers everywhere for putting together this list. As an author, I am humbled. As a father, it's so helpful to know what you think of the new books out there! Thank you!

http://www.bookweb.org/news/spring-2014-kids’-indie-next-list

I can't wait for everyone to read the book on April 8th!

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13. Baker and Taylor Summer Reading Sweepstakes!



Attention librarians: Win an original Lunch Lady watercolor, a Skype visit & BOOKS! Check out the Baker and Taylor Summer Reading Sweepstakes in the March issue of Growing Minds! Info is on page 16: http://t.co/02VlcY9527

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14. Signed books available 24/7 via Odyssey Bookshop


I stopped by local indie Odyssey Bookshop just before close to sign stock. All of these books are autographed and drawn in and will now be available anytime of the day via the Odyssey's dedicated Jarrett page:



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15. Peanut Butter and Jellyfish book trailer!

Check out the book trailer for Peanut Butter and Jellyfish!

I am ridiculously excited about how this turned out!




Props to Jesse Schmal for his animation work and to Recess Monkey for lending me the instrumental off of their song "The Deep End!" Also, thanks to my daughter for her cute little voice!

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16. Hey, Pacific Northwest! I'll see you this week!


Seattle, WA is an incredibly welcoming city! I arrive on Wednesday and they're planning a parade! Wow! Talk about going above and beyond!

I will be at the Seattle Public Library, located at 1000 4th Avenue, on Wednesday (February 5th) at 7 pm. I'll be talking about Lunch Lady, sharing slides of my process, drawing and yucking it up in general. I'll also be scribbling and doodling in copies of any book with my last name on the spine.

If you can't make it to the library, I will be working with these bookstores: University Bookstore, Queen Anne Book Co., Secret Garden Bookstore and ParkPlace Books. While I won't have a public event with each, I am sure that if you live near one of those bookstores, they would be happy to take orders for personalized books that will be sufficiently scribbled and doodled in.



On Friday (February 7th) at 3:30 pm, I will be at Alameda Free Library, located at 1550 Oak Street in Alameda, CA. No word yet on whether or not the City of Alameda will have a parade that day, but either way, I will once again be talking Lunch Lady, sharing slides of my process, drawing and yucking it up. If you live nearby, but can't make it, sales will be provided by Books, Inc. They will also have the hook up for personalized books that are scribbled and doodled in.

See you soon, Pacific Northwest!

:)
JJK



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17. archived webcast!

For those that had no school today because of weather, I archived one of today's webcasts on my YouTube page for you:


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18. Personalized, autographed copies of LL10



To celebrate the release of Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle, I will be signing and personalizing copies of the book ordered through my local bookshop. Visit Broadside Bookshop online and plug in your personalizations under the customer comments section when you order. I'll stop by the store at the end of the week and then the book(s) will get shipped to you!


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19. Tour Schedule Winter / Spring 2014

I have some exciting events lined up to support of Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle. I'll be hitting some cities that I haven't toured in since 2005's Punk Farm and I'll also be getting to some exciting festivals and conferences! It's always a good idea to double check with the venue ahead of the event. And definitely check back, because dates may be added. I hope to see you at one of the events listed below! (But not all the events, that would be a little stalkerish. I mean awkward, right?) 


<!--[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE <![endif]-->
January 28, 4 pm- Shelburne, VT- Flying Pig Bookstore

January 29, 10 am, 12 pm & 2 pm EST- Everywhere in the world- Tune in to the free virtual webcasts!

January 29, 5 pm EST - Everywhere in the world! Tune in to The Absolutely Mindy Show on SiriusXM's Kids Place Live and call in to ask me questions live on the air! 1-866-328-2345

February 5, 7pm- Seattle, WA- Seattle Public Library

February 7, 3:30pm- Alameda, CA- Alameda Free Library

March 10, 8 am- Hyannis, MA- (MSLA) Massachusetts SchoolLibrary Association

March 16, 11:30 am-Tucson, AZ- Tucson Festival of Books

March 17, Phoenix, AZ (More info to come)

March 25, 11:40 am, WI Dells, WI- WEMTA (Wisconsin Educational Media and Technology
Association)

March 29, Northampton, MA- MELTDOWN!

April 8, Peanut Butter and Jellyfish publishes!

April 8, Portland, ME (More info to come)

April 13, Los Angeles, CA- LA Times Festival of Books

April 26, Amherst, MA- Eric Carle Museum of Picture Books

May 3, Celebrate School Lunch Hero Day!

May 6, Platypus Police Squad: The Ostrich Conspiracy publishes!

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20. Young readers can call in to Kids Place Live to ask me questions live on the air THIS Wednesday!

Wednesday, January 29th, will be an exciting day. Aside from running live webcasts from my studio throughout the day, I'll also be live on the satellite radio and taking calls. Starting at 5 pm, I'll be live on The Absolutely Mindy Show, and if your young reader is a Lunch Lady fan, they could call in to chat with me live on air!


Here's the number:


Talk to you then! 

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21. Ten Random Facts About the Lunch Lady Series



Cover sketch for Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute!

With the impending release of Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle, I offer you ten little known facts about the Lunch Lady series!


1. GREY APRON
Lunch Lady's apron was almost grey! I finished shading and coloring the entirety of Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute and wasn't happy with how drab it looked. It had looked fine in the few samples I had made, but repeated over and over again, it just didn't work. I went back and edited each page to make her apron yellow.



2. ROOM 208B
My first big gig as a cartoonist was with my high school newspaper. We met outside of classroom 208B. I was also commissioned to paint a mural on the newspaper's bulletin board across the hall from 208B. My mural remains in the halls of Holy Name C. C. H. S. to this day!




3. THE HOLE IN THE WALL GANG CAMP
By now, many know that the Lunch Lady series was inspired by my real, live lunch ladies from childhood. But did you know that the character of Milmoe was based on a friend? I met Chris Milmoe in the summer of 2001 when we both worked at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Chris always went by "Milmoe," and is anything but a bully. He is a loud and gregarious fellow, though. Always the athlete, Milmoe went on to teach at boarding schools and coached many a varsity team. (Milmoe's sidekick, McKenna, was also named for another camp friend, Brian McKenna.)

My favorite summers with Milmoe were in cabin Green 15, where incidentally the idea for Punk Farm came to me.



An old photo from camp from the early 00's. That is Milmoe, Hilary (who is the namesake for a counselor in LL & the Summer Camp Shakedown) and John McNeil (in order to needle my friend, I gave Orson the last name of 'McNeil'!)

Coach Birkby is also named after an old camp pal, Erich Birkby. We met back in 1996 and were housemates in Boston for seven years. One summer session at camp, we ran the Sports & Rec department. So we dressed as old gym teachers and barked "hustle" to everyone playing kickball.



4. REAL LIVE LUNCH LADIES
I did my research and talked to actual lunch ladies when writing the first book. As I visited schools, I would introduce myself to the cafeteria staff. Once they learned I was writing a book about a superhero lunch lady, I got a VIP pass to their kitchens, and was allowed to photograph their equipment.      
                    
                  




5. TERRENCE, DEE AND VICTOR?
Hector was originally named Victor, but I felt that name sounded too much like "victorious," which didn't fit with the underdog status I wanted to give the Breakfast Bunch kids. (Incidentally, Victor was another friend from camp, but alas, his name didn't make it into the books. Sorry, Victor!)





6. MRS. KROSOCZKA
By the time the Lunch Lady books were picked up and I was working on writing the first book, I had proposed to my girlfriend, Gina. Amongst the early notes for Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute, you can spot Gina practicing her signature for her new name.  




7. BOOK COVERS
In the 2nd Lunch Lady book, Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians, I hid our pug one one of the book covers. Also in the Book Fair scene, Gina drew a flower on one of the book covers—without telling me! I spotted them after the book was published! Can you see it?








8. A BOOK AND A BABY ON THE WAY
Gina was expecting our first child as I was finishing up the art for Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians. Every day, I contemplated pulling an all-nighter to get the art done,but I just knew that if I did, she would go into labor. One night, I did just that--plugging away on all of the art until four in the morning. Shortly after I went to bed, Gina went into labor. She let me sleep for a few hours before waking me and informing me it was time to get to the hospital!


9. PICTURE PERFECT
Steve DePino is an old friend from art school, and now a hot-shot photographer. He's taken my author photos in the past and even photographed my wedding. When writing Lunch Lady and the Picture Day Peril, I named the evil school photographer Stefan DePino. But then I realized I had too many male villains in the series and there was a gender switch. So Stefan DePino became Stafani DePino!





10. LIFE CHANGES
I first had the idea for the Lunch Lady series in the fall of 2001. It's amazing what has happened to my life in the past twelve and a half years. The Lunch Lady series will be the last new book idea that both of my grandparents knew about. (They thought it was hysterical.) The first book was dedicated to my fiancé, the tenth book is dedicated to our two daughters. Here I am on the day that the first book was published. Gina always gifts me with a little something to commemorate a book's publication. 



Thank you to all of my readers!!!



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22. Flying Pig Bookstore in VT this Tuesday!

I am terribly excited to drive up to Vermont on Tuesday, January 28th, to celebrate the release of Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle! I will be signing books at the Flying Pig Bookstore in Shelburne!

The actual event will happen at Shelburne Town Hall, 5420 Shelburne Road, which is an easy two minute walk from the bookstore.

I hope to see you there, Vermonters! Is it true that all visitors to Vermont get complimentary maple syrup and free samples of every Ben & Jerry's flavor? Or is that just a rumor?

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23. Beaming from my studio to your classroom - this Wednesday!




To celebrate the release of Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle, I'll be live from my studio on Wednesday, January 29th at 10 am, 12 pm and 2 pm! This is a free event for all! Just log onto www.studiojjk.com/freevirtualbooktalks.html for all of the information that you will need to participate!

As with all of my webcasts, signed and personalized books are available for pre-order via Broadside Bookshop. Click here to order. Please input names for inscription in the order under the "Order Comments" field.

See you on the Interwebs! Ralph will be ready for you!







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24. Y'all—I'll see you in Texas this weekend!

Visiting Texas schools in 2003.


I am kicking off my 2014 in he Lone Star State this weekend with two exciting events!

On Friday, January 10th, I will be at the Midland Public Library in Midland, TX at 4 pm. I'll be talking about how I came up with many of my characters, reading, and signing books as well!

Then, on Saturday, January 11th, I will be in Abilene, TX to speak at the National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature at 10 am. This is a part of that great exhibit they mounted on kids' comics called "Bam! It's a Picture Book: The Art Behind Graphic Novels." I can't wait to see the exhibit myself!

I'll see you there!

And if I haven't mentioned it yet on the ol' blog, I have been incredibly honored to have had Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked make it to the Bluebonnet Award nominee. It's an especially big thrill, as I've been visiting schools down in Texas for some time. (Check out the caption on that photo above!)




My spring tour information is getting all squared away. There will be more dates added, but in the meantime, be sure to check out the calendar on my homepage at StudioJJK.com. If you live in California, Washington, Vermont, Arizona or Wisconsin it will be of special interest to you...

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25. Thank you for a SPECTACULAR year!


Thank you all for helping make 2013 such a remarkable one for me. I had many plans on writing an end-of-year review, but I thought it more prudent to making my art deadlines for the 2nd Platypus Police Squad book. As it turns out, Facebook already collected some highlights for me. How rewarding it was to take a look back on all the year brought me via Facebook's Year in Review feature.

I am constantly drafting updates via social media and sometimes this blog gets ignored. I would be remiss if I didn't mention two items that weren't listed in that Facebook Year in Review. Both happened this fall. One was an interaction I had with a student in the New Orleans area. He started telling me about how he wrote a story about he and his cat. I listened, as I always did. The boy then went on to tell me about how he didn't know his father and was currently not living with his mother. I certainly related with the boy, and it made me so very happy that I not only was open with my TED Talk, but that it had gone viral, and in a way, was able to give this kid some comfort that his future would be OK. Another event happened in North Carolina, where I was set to speak at UNC on a Saturday. This group of teachers drove around from neighborhood to neighborhood picking up students from their classrooms. Together with volunteers, these teachers reassembled their classrooms to hear me speak. What heroes.

I am so eternally grateful to meet so many heroes, and to be in touch with them on a regular basis—in classrooms and through social media.

Happy Everything to you all! I wish you the best of the best this holiday season.

I'm unplugging now to be with my own family, and I look forward to spending 2014 with all of you!

:)
JJK

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