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Blog of author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Author of Punk Farm.
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1. Massachusetts library events in September! I'll see you in Western and Eastern Mass!

Hey, Massachusetts friends! I'll be at two public libraries next week. 

This Tuesday at 3 PM I'll be at Newton Free Library to talk about comics and creativity. Book sales via Wellesley Books! 
http://posters.newtonfreelibrary.net/Meet%20the%20Author%20JK.jpg

And on Thursday of next week, find me at Hubbard Library in Ludlow, MA at 6 PM! 
http://t.co/hsGgVp8uh1

See ya along the Mass Pike! 

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2. A great morning at the Library of Congress!



Bravo to the staff of the Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress! They bring DC-area students to that magnificent space & connect them with authors!

I had such a wonderful time. And with all events at the LOC, it was recorded and  will eventually be on their YouTube page. I'll give a shout when that happens!


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3. A shout out to Rachael Walker, champion of literacy initiatives everywhere!

A shout out to Rachael Walker—a hero to literacy programs and general awesomeness. Rachael helped found Read Across America (and continues to consult with the program), she gave me key advice when School Lunch Hero Day was starting up and she works with publishers on creating educational materials for their books. If you're not using her Reading Rockets videos in your libraries and classrooms, you're really missing out. Rachael isn't one to want attention, but I am happy to give her plaudits, because she so deserves them. If you're ever looking for someone to consult on a reading initiative, create downloadable activities for an author website or a generous person in your life, look no further! 

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4. A visit to NEA headquarters!



I had the great pleasure of visiting the headquarters of the National Education Association today in DC. I recorded PSAs for Read Across America and Education Support Professionals. I also had the honor of meeting the new president, Lily Ekelson García. There are a number of things I love about her. Among them:
1) She got her start in the school cafeteria. 
2) She opposes standardized testing. 
3) In her office, she displays photos of every single classroom that she ever taught. 

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5. United Through Reading



What an honor it was to help United Through Reading with their mission today. United Through Reading videotapes service men and women reading books to their children, and that DVD is then delivered to the child at home. United Through Reading has 200 stations worldwide—on ships deployed, in forward operating locations in places like Afghanistan. at military hospitals... I recorded PSAs about how important it is to read to your child—it creates such an important bond between parent and child. I'm lucky enough to read to my kids every night, and United Through Reading helps bridge the gap of separation for those who serve in our military.   Learn more at unitedthroughreading.org

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6. Lunch Lady lecture at the Library of Congress on Sept 17!

Hey, D.C.-area friends—on Wednesday, September 17 at 10:30 AM, I will be at the Young Readers Center at the Library of Congress. It will be a field trip for a local school, but the presentation is also open to the public. Book signing to follow at 11:30 AM.



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7. Kids' Comics Exhibit in Las Vegas

“BAM! It’s a Picture Book: The Art Behind Graphic Novels,” is an exhibit curated by the NICCL that  features original art from graphic novels for young readers. It's traveling the country and is currently in Las Vegas! Look for art by Matthew Holm, Lincoln Peirce, Mark Crilley, Raina Telgemeier and me! The show will be up through Nov. 25 in the Historic Fifth Street School Mayor’s Gallery, 401 S. Fourth St. 
For more information, visit artslasvegas.org.




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8. My latest TED Talk! "Why Lunch Ladies are Heroes"




I am delighted to announce that the talk that I gave at TED@NYC has been curated to the main page of TED.com! I'm pinching myself to have made it to the main page of TED again. Please take a moment to watch, and learn about how School Lunch Hero Day was formed and the heroes that it celebrates!

Happy Back-to-School Season!

All of my very best,
Jarrett

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9. A painting of your pug!

 I like all dogs, but I'm really only interested in painting your pug. I've opened an Etsy shop called "Pugs by JJK" for the summer.  https://www.etsy.com/shop/pugsbyjjk


  

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10. TED@NYC recap

Earlier this week I had the great privilege of speaking at TED@NYC. All of the speakers were so incredibly inspiring, and I feel so fortunate to have met them. Some of the talks may go on to TED.com, other talks will land the speakers an invite to the big TED conference. It would be amazing if my talk on School Lunch Hero Day made it to TED.com so more people could hear my talk on gratitude. For the time being, I have no idea what the future will hold! But for now, you can read a recap of the evening on the TED blog here: http://blog.ted.com/2014/07/09/ted_at_nyc_2014/ . And check out some photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/tedconference/sets/72157645630440234/!



Photo from TED@NYC Talent Search, July 8, 2014, Joe's Pub, New York, NY. Photo: Ryan Lash/TED https://www.flickr.com/photos/tedconference/14649792763/in/set-72157645630440234/
Photo from TED@NYC Talent Search, July 8, 2014, Joe's Pub, New York, NY. Photo: Ryan Lash/TED https://www.flickr.com/photos/tedconference/14443260818/in/set-72157645630440234/

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11. Great summer reading list by educator Mike Lewis!





Check out this fantastic summer reading list for middle grade by educator Mike Lewis  

Click here to download the PDF.

Nicely designed, too! I am honored to be included!

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12. The winners of the Kids' Comics Revolution Awards have been announced!

Looking for a great list of kids' comics, approved by kids themselves? Check out who won the Kids' Comics Revolution Awards! I'm honored that Lunch Lady made the cut! http://comicsaregreat.com/kcrawards_winners


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13. An interview on WICN in which I discuss all of my recent projects



I've known Mark Lynch since I was 14, when he was my teacher at the Worcester Art Museum. He's also had me on his radio show every year since 2001. Not many people know me as well as this guy. He had me by the WICN studios to record an episode of Inquiry. And you can listen to it here:

http://www.wicn.org/podcasts/audio/jarrett-j-krosoczka-peanut-butter-and-jellyfish-and-more

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14. Where I'll be at ALA! #alaac14




Hello, librarians of the world! I look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas next weekend for the annual ALA conference!

This is where you'll find me on Saturday, June 28th:

  • 7:00—9:00AM, HarperCollins Breakfast
  • 10:00—11:00AM, Random House Signing
  • 11:30AM—12:00PM, HarperCollins Signing
  • 4:00—5:00PM, Random House, Comic Squad Signing


I'll also be at the Newbery/Caldecott banquet, so I'll look forward to seeing you at those festivities on Sunday as well! 

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15. Weston Woods will release an animated Peanut Butter and Jellyfish inthe spring of 2015!




I had a ridiculously awesome time recording the voice tracks for the animated Peanut Butter and Jellyfish today at Weston Woods! We spent time dissecting the psychologies of seahorses and jellyfish, and really went for it with Crabby's insults. Can't wait for you to see this in spring of 2015!

I also recorded some improvised lines for Crabby to be animated over the end credits. Check out an excerpt of the shenanigan's in Weston Woods' Facebook post!








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16. Library of Congress symposium on the reluctant reader this Thursday!



I'm so thrilled to be traveling to Washington, D.C. on Thursday for a special symposium at the Library of Congress. 

Here is the info from the LOC website:
A Symposium on the Reluctant Reader with authors Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Stephan Pastis, and pediatrician Trude Haecker and school psychologist Claire Agar
Thursday, June 5, 10 a.m. – noon
Mumford Room, sixth floor, Madison Building
Library of Congress
Open to the public but reservations required at yrc@loc.gov

See you there!

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17. PPS 2 launch event at the Cambridge Public Library—Wednesday at 4pm!

I hope to see Boston-area folks at the launch event for Platypus Police Squad: The Ostrich Conspiracy this Wednesday! https://t.co/nRQxJi0SNN


4 PM at the Cambridge Public Library in the Curious George Room! 




I should mention that book sales will be by Porter Square Books. If you can't make it, but wanted a book signed, please do give them a call. Or order online here:

http://www.portersquarebooks.com/event/jarrett-j-krosoczka-platypus-police-squad-2-cambridge-public-library

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18. Want to buy our house?

It has come to that time for our family to move into a bigger house as our family grows. (No, no third kid just yet...) So...looking to move to Northampton, MA? Want to buy our house?


It won't be on the market until June 10th, but if you want to make a jump on it, our realtor is Craig Della Penna and he is at 413-575-2277

We did everything to update this turn-of-the-century house to make it our home. We maintained all of the integrity of the original hard-wood detailing and floors, and updated electricity, plumbing, renovated the bathroom and kitchen to bring them to modern tastes and standards. Tile floors, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances—all top-notch. Also, we brought electricity, cable, telephone and the gas line to a one-car garage and transformed it into a working artist's studio/home office. 

3 bedrooms, 1 & 1/2 baths. We fenced in the large yard, added a storage shed. We are a 1/3 mile walk to downtown Florence (Miss Florence Diner!) and a 1/3 mile walk to Look Park. We're around the corner from the bike path. We're going to miss this place!

(And to our local pals, we are looking to love locally, you aren't getting rid of us!)

Also—two lavishly painted murals by yours truly in two of the bedrooms! 

There will be more photos of the interior soon, but in the meantime, this is the exterior. 

(This photo is for potential buyers, not potential stalkers. So potential stalkers, please look away...)




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19. Thank you for making School Lunch Hero Day such a smashing success!


Thank you, everyone, for making School Lunch Hero Day such a spectacular success! In just about every state, kids celebrated their lunch staff and feted them with flowers, balloons and cards. Even governors, senators and the USDA got involved! A special thank you to the AASL, IRA, NEA, The Book It program and Family Fun magazine for all of the shout-outs. And a huge thank you to The School Nutrition Association and Random House Children's Books for being such great partners in the day, and to First Book for the book distribution to PG County Elementary in Maryland!

Check out a sampling of what happened by viewing the Twitter feed for #SchoolLunchHeroDay: http://twitter.com/search?q=%23SchoolLunchHeroDay&s=tyah

(I also retweeted many of the posts to my own Twitter feed — twitter.com/studiojjk)

Also, my trusty studio assistant, Austin, catalogued some photos on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/studiojjk/school-lunch-hero-day 

If you have more photos to add to the SLHD Pinterest board, please send them to me at props@studiojjk.com. Thanks!!

School Lunch Hero Day will always happen the first Friday of May. We'll do it up again on May 1, 2015!

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20. Platypus Police Squad: The Ostrich Conspiracy is on bookshelves!



Hope to see you at a book reading!


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 29,  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 (Book sales by Porter Square Books.)

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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21. Info on my visits for the 2014-2015 School Year


Hi, everyone!

For many years, my wonderful wife, Gina, has very graciously handled all of the correspondence and logistics for my school visits. After much consideration, we decided that her time would be best spent focusing on our two daughters, because let me tell you—they sure keep her busy! Plus, the requests for my speaking engagements have been pouring in at a very high volume these past few years. Gina has loved working with all of you, and I appreciate all of the positive feedback that you've given her over the years. Moving forward, we've hired a great School Visit Coordinator in Sylvia Peterson. We found her through the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book, as she was working with their development team, and we couldn't be happier that we found her. She's top-notch! Sylvia can be reached at schoolvisits@studiojjk.com.

Photo by Strinni Studio Photography


Another reason why I am writing today is to tell you about how we are reconfiguring how we schedule my visits. In the past, I have accepted all invitations and went whenever a school needed me. While I have loved visiting every single school that has had me, but as you can imagine that has led to a very frantic schedule—for my writing, but more importantly for my family. Going forward, I will now be selecting one week per month that I can be away from home, with other slots left open for local visits. Below, you will find where I have a few visits locked down. If you are near one of these towns and would like to have me speak at your school, please do get in touch with Sylvia and she can help coordinate efforts for you to add on to these trips. For local visits, please contact Sylvia and she will be more than happy to find a time that may work. (I consider anything within a 2 hour driving distance from Northampton, MA as local.)






Please know that by the time that you write, Sylvia may already be working on some events that would fill in the below dates.

September
I will be in Little Rock, AR on September 11 & 12.
This would open my schedule for schools in that area on September 8-10.

October
I will be at the Tennessee School Library conference on October 24.
This would open my schedule for schools in that area on October 22 and 23.

November
I will be in Sacramento, CA on November 14.
This would open my schedule for schools in that area on November 10-14.

December
December 1-5 is wide open. 

January
I will be in Baltimore, MD on January 23.
This would open my schedule for schools in that area on January 19-22.

February
I will be in West Houston, TX on February 26-27.
This would open my schedule for schools in that area on February 24 & 25.

March
March 9-13 is open as of right now, but I do believe Sylvia may have an area lined up for this stretch.

May
I will be in Pittsburgh, PA on May 21.
This would open my schedule for schools in that area on May 20 & 22.

June
June 8-12 is wide open.


Thank you so much! I look forward to visiting with you and your students next school year!



Photo by Strinni Studio Photography




For more info on the programs that I offer, please visit www.studiojjk.com /schoolvisits.html

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22. My favorite thing about Zita the Spacegirl is...

…that she is a girl who kicks alien-butt! We simply will never have enough female heroes in comics. It's something that our girls—and our boys—need to see. And bonus points that she has a realistic body and is modestly dressed.

Congratulations to Ben Hatke on The Return of Zita the Spacegirl, the final space-adventure comic for our heroine.

Here is a piece of fan art that I made of Zita. Go Ben!


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23. Vote in the Kids' Comics Revolution Awards!




I'm honored to have Lunch Lady and the Video Game Villain up for a KCR Award in the Favorite Graphic Novel (Humor) category!

Last year, Lunch Lady was lucky enough to take home a few trophies, including Best Hair!

Kids! You can cast your votes right here: http://comicsaregreat.com/category/kidscomicsrevolution



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24. Check out the book trailer for Comics Squad: Recess!

Here is the book trailer for the new comics anthology that I edited with Jenni Holm and Matt Holm. We couldn't be prouder of this line up!


On bookshelves July 8th!



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25. People We Meet: Unforgettable Conversations

Honored doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about being included in this compilation. "People We Meet: Unforgettable Conversations" is a double-CD compilation curated by NPR's correspondents. It's on sale now, also available as download, and sales benefit National Public Radio.



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