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Blog of author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Author of Punk Farm.
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1. "I read all them books!"—five words that will stay with me




Last week I spoke at an after-school program, and it just seemed to be one of those talks that wasn't hitting. The students hadn't seen my books ahead of time, they were restless (it was Friday), we were in a huge gymnasium with no microphone. Even one of the counselors was texting during my talk. I had the younger kids' attention, they were sitting in the front. But the teenagers, who made up the majority of the audience, sat at the back of the bleachers. I powered through my slides and got to the cover of Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute. A teen at the very back who had been slouching the entire time sat straight up and his eyes widened. "You wrote that book?!" he called out, his enthusiasm broke through the tough facade. 

"I did," I called back. 

"I read all them books!" he said, almost in disbelief that the guy who wrote those books was right there. 

Those are five words that I'll carry with me for some time. It is so validating to know that my books brought that kid joy, and it's encouraging to know that even when I think that kids aren't listening, they may be hanging on every word. 

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2. Meltdown is this Saturday!

It's that time of year again! This Saturday will be the 7th annual Meltdown Music and Book Bash at Northampton's Smith Voke HS. 


Gina and I have an exciting lineup of authors for you. Learn more in my radio interview with the ubiquitous Monte Belmonte here: http://wrsi.com/monte/meltdown-2015-jjk/

And check out the author line up! Bill Childs has once again lined up a superlative list of bands to take the stage before and after all of these author slots!


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3. For my friends in the Philly area - Monday at 4:30 pm

I'll be signing books at Children's Book World in Haverford at 4:30 pm on Monday! 

Hope to see you there! 


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4. The National Education Association's digibook about Education Support Professionals


The National Education Association just published a digibook about Education Support Professionals. Learn about what everyone does for the whole child, and read some great stories of magic happening in all corners of our schools. I am proud to have contributed an article on what I see happening in the schools that I visit.

Find the link to the free book here!

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5. This Friday-an event with the Chesterfield County Public Library (Just outside RIchmond, VA)




There is no doubt that I will have a BLAST on Friday with the librarians of Chesterfield County Library. Look at that cool flyer they made! And look at all of the super-fun tweets that they have been sending! If you live nearby, I hope to see you on Friday at 7 p.m.!

Here is the event page on their website:
http://ccpl-catalog.chesterfield.gov/record=g1003046&searchscope=0&SORT2=R













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6. An interview in Library Sparks magazine

Check out this excerpt from the April 2015 issue of Library Sparks magazine. In this interview I discuss growing up as an artist, growing up with my grandparents and my various projects--including the art that I produced for the 2015 Collaborative Summer Library Program.

Read all about it here:

http://librarysparks.com/pdf/librarysparks/2015/lsp_mta_jarrettkrosoczka_apr15.pdf

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7. Books for School Lunch Hero Day



School Lunch Hero Day is coming up on May 1st! There have been a lot of requests for signed books as gifts. Best bet would be to order via my local bookshop. (And always best bet to order early to give them time to process all the orders.)

Thanks!

http://www.broadsidebooks.com/search/apachesolr_search/Krosoczka

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8. Happy Valentine's Day!

I would have mailed you a Valentine's Day card....but all the snow....

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9.


Hope to see you at a book reading!

January 31, Huntsville, AL- Learning Expo

February 5, 5:00 pm -Denver, CO- Denver Public Library

March 6, -New Orleans, LA- Read Across America

March 13, 7:00 pm -Richmond, VA- Chesterfield County Public Library

March 21,  -Newport, RI- March Into Reading

March 28, 10:00 am -Northampton, MA- Meltdown!

April 25, -Newburyport, MA- Newburyport Book Festival

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10. find magic.



With so much chaos in this world and in our backyard, I hope that you find serenity and peace this season. The merriest of merries to you during these final days of 2014! I appreciate all of the support that you give my books, and I look forward to connecting with you in the new year!


The best of my best,
Jarrett
 

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11. The 5th annual auction for the Joe and Shirl Art Scholarships is now live! BID!



Please help me connect kids to an education in the arts by bidding!



Art was a transformative force in my life. It was a life-line during a time that I needed it most. When life at home was hectic, my sketchbook acted as a portal to any world, any reality of my making. I happened to make art my vocation, but not every kid does, and that's OK. Regardless of where one decides to take their talents, a strong education in the arts is integral to their development-as individuals and as learners. Having access to quality arts education not only helped me through difficult times, it also helped me become a creative problem solver. The jobs that our children will someday hold haven't even been invented yet, and that is just one of many reasons why we must provide our youth with adequate access to the arts.
When public funding eliminated the arts education in public schools in the 1980's, I was lucky enough to get sent to classes at the Worcester Art Museum. I was lucky because my grandparents, who raised me, could afford the tuition. At the Worcester Art Museum my world was opened up to classes in life drawing, cartooning and animation, amongst many others. And I gained camaraderie with peers who shared a similar passion for creativity-I was not alone!

I realize that some kids in my hometown may have a unique familial setup as I did, but whose caretakers may not have the resources to afford that tuition. I'm proud to continue to connect those kids with an arts education at the Worcester Art Museum with the 5th annual auction in support of the Joseph and Shirley Krosoczka Memorial Youth Scholarships at the Worcester Art Museum.
Here are the items up for bid in the 2014 auction, which will run until the evening of Sunday, December 7. You won't find items like this anywhere else. Every year I strive to offer something that is unique, and I never repeat items in consecutive years. So please, bid early and bid often--and thank you for helping me support art education!

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12. Photos from last weekend's events in NYC—Chris Van Allsburg & E.B. White

Last weekend was just a stellar one! I'm still wrapping my mind around it.

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Van Allsburg at the 92nd St Y. When the invite came in, I was already scheduled to be in California on that Friday to speak at the California School Nutrition Association's Conference. There was no way I was going to miss the opportunity to moderate a conversation with one of my literary heroes—and at such an iconic location, too! I flew a red-eye and made it to NYC on time. After only five hours of sleep on the plane, I managed to lead and nagging conversation on Mr. Van Allsburg's life and work. Here is a photo taken by the very talented Mike Curato:



The conversation was recorded and it will be published on the 92nd St Y podcast. More info as soon as I have it! (Spoiler alert: it got a little emotional at the end for everyone.)


On Sunday, I was at another iconic NYC venue—Symphony Space on Broadway. I hosted a fundraiser for First Book—Manhattan. It's an organization that is near and dear to my heart. Celebrated actors read the works of E.B. White, and it was...terrific! Not only did I host, but I also read the part of Wilbur. Was it intimidating to read alongside such giant talents? Well, when I first met everyone, it was during rehearsal. Imagine the shell shock of seeing Jane Curtin, David Hyde Pierce, Michael Potts, Naomi Watts and Live Schrieber walk onto stage with you? But they quickly put me at ease. David Hyde Pierce hit me on the shoulder, chuckled and said, "That was great!" after I read my first line. By the time the performance came along, all in trepidation had vanished, and I had a blast. The audio was recorded, and hopefully you will get to hear the inspired performances!





Check out more photos on Symphony Space's Facebook page here!

Here are a few of my favorite moments form the show:


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13. I will handsell you books on the Saturday after Thabksgiving

Gina and I are ecstatic to help Odyssey Bookshop on Small Business Saturday! Come in for our book recommendations for holiday gift-giving. I'll be happy to sign any book that has my name on the spine. If you don't live nearby, you can even order autographed books online by following this link:  http://www.odysseybks.com/jarrett-krosoczka


Check out our fellow honorary booksellers!


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14. Essentials 2014 holiday window—from start to finish!

See below to learn how this window display came together!







More after the jump! Click on...


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A photo posted by Jarrett Krosoczka (@studiojjk) on












A photo posted by Jarrett Krosoczka (@studiojjk) on



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A photo posted by Jarrett Krosoczka (@studiojjk) on









A photo posted by Jarrett Krosoczka (@studiojjk) on



A photo posted by Jarrett Krosoczka (@studiojjk) on



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A photo posted by Jarrett Krosoczka (@studiojjk) on



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15. Boston-area event this Sunday!


An Interactive Afternoon with Jarrett Krosoczka & Jef Czekaj

Wondermore (formerly The Foundation for Children's Books)

Sunday, November 23, 2014 from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM (EST)

Newtonville, MA


Join us at this special afternoon with authors Jarrett Krosoczka and Jef Czekaj.  Participate in two interactive workshops and have a chance to meet the authors and get your books signed.  Limited space available.

Each child needs their own ticket and accompanying adults are free.  There is a max of 3 children per multi-child ticket. This event is best suited for children in grades 2-6.

Please bring paper, pencils and your imagination!

Authors are donating their time to lead this event and all proceeds directly benefit Wondermore.  


An Interactive Afternoon with Jarrett Krosoczka & Jef...



https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-interactive-afternoon-with-jarrett-krosoczka-jef-czekaj-tickets-14093151997

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16. Graphic-novel exhibit in Omaha, NE!



Attention Omahanians! "BAM! It's a Picture Book", the traveling graphic-novel exhibit featuring original Lunch Lady artwork and pieces by Raina Telgemeier, Lincoln Peirce, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Matthew Holm and Mark Crilley, has now opened at the Joslyn Art Museum. It will run through March 29, 2015.

I hope that you will be able to visit the exhibit!

More info here!

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17. First Book-Manhattan's E.B. White celebration is coming up!

I'll be reading the part of Wilbur at the E.B. White celebration at Symphony Space. Which cast members do you think will be reading for the other barnyard animals? Get your tickets for this First Book Manhattan fund-raiser and find out next Sunday!  I'm honored to be returning as host to this terrific event! 





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18. The big annual children's book art exhibit at R. Michelson Galleries opens this Sunday!




The big annual children's book art exhibit at  R. Michelson Galleries opens this Sunday! Mo Willems, Tony DiTerlizzi, Jane Dyer, Jerry Pinkney, Marc Brown & many more artists, plus all of the neighborhood authors like Jane Yolen, Heidi Stemple, Jeanne Birdsall and Norton Juster. See you there! 4-6 in Northampton, MA!

I'll be exhibiting work from Platypus Police Squad at this year's show!


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19. Lunch Lady exhibit in Worcester, MA!



"All Hail the Lunch Lady," an exhibit of original works from the Lunch Lady books opens at the Worcester Historical Museum this Friday!  A book signing is happening on October 28th from 3-5 PM. 

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20. A celebration of E.B. White, a fundraiser for First Book—Manhattan



I'm heading back to Broadway! I hope that you'll join me in supporting First Book—Manhattan as celebrated actors read from the works of E.B. White!

Last year's event was magical, and this year will prove to be no different.

Tickets are available at: http://www.symphonyspace.org/event/8497/Family-Literature/thalia-kids-book-club-terrific-tails-a-celebration-of-eb-white

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21. A conversation with Chris Van Allsburg at the 92nd St Y on Nov 15



Save the date!

On November 15th, I will be moderating a conversation with Chris Van Allsburg at the 92nd St Y in New York City! As many of you know, it was his book, The Garden of Abdul Gasazi, that landed in my hands when I was seventeen that made me want to get into children's books in the first place. I am thrilled beyond measure!  

You can pick up tickets here:


I am excited to check out his newest book, The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie.

 

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22. Graphic novelist Pictionary in NYC on Thursday evening!




Hey New Yorkers—I'll be at McNally Jackson on Thursday at 7 PM playing Pictionary with Raina Telgemeier, Kazu Kibuishi, Sara Varon & Frank Cammuso!

http://mcnallyjackson.com/event/pictionary-graphic-novelists-jarrett-j-krosoczka-raina-telgemeier-sara-varon-frank-cammuso

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23. Krosoczka family pumpkins

Every Halloween I post dozens of photos of our pumpkins. This year, this is all I will post. Why? Because this year our pumpkins are being professionally photographed for the October 2015 issue of FamilyFun! I'll be writing a feature article on how we paint and decorate our pumpkins. I'm proud to share some Krosoczka family traditions with this most excellent magazine!



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24. From the Library of Congress: Symposium on the Reluctant Reader



If you have a reluctant reader at home or in your classroom, I hope that you will spend some time watching this video from the Library of Congress.

Here's the official description:

The Young Readers Center produced a symposium on reluctant readers, children who struggle with reading skills that can impede their ability to learn and their interest in books. The panel, moderated by Center for the Book director John Cole included pediatrician Trude Haecker, psychologist Claire Agard and author/illustrators Stephan Pastis and Jarrett J. Krosoczka. 

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25. Halloween!

I received an embarrassment of riches this Halloween. And none of them will give me cavities! It's such an honor to have a place in the imaginations of young readers and their grown-ups. Here's a round-up of some of the awesomeness sent my way this Halloween.

Did you dress up as one of my characters?  I'd love to see photos if you are willing to share them, and if I'd love to post them to this blog if you are willing. Please email props@studiojjk.com. Thanks so much!
 



At the top of the list is this trick-or-treater that came to my house! He didn't dress up as one of my characters, but as one of my BOOKS! Yes, the actual book! Cover, spine, title page, back cover, bar code and all! (He got extra candy and autographed books...) Check it out! So incredibly creative!

Here's another special one. This is librarian Mary Lasley from Texas. If you watched the Symposium on the Reluctant Reader, you would have heard me referencing this amazing line that she gave in defense of graphic novels and comics. Do you remember the analogy of comics and the playground? That was her. Brilliant!


As you know, pumpkins are a HUGE deal in the Krosoczka house. Look at these fantastic creations that were sent in:

Detective Rick Zengo of the Platypus Police Squad! Sent in by
Purefoy Elementary in Frisco, Tx!


Punk Farm! Created by Fisher Elementary in CT!
Shannon in Texas made this great Peanut Butter and Jellyfish pumpkin!

Not to be outdone, a lot of school librarians dressed up as Lunch Lady—even some school administrators! And I LOVE that the librarians are holding Lunch Lady and the League of Librarians in their photos. Check out this Lunch Lady love sent over via Twitter. (And how cute is that Babymouse?!
 















 




Ralph and I also enjoyed our annual Halloween office party...




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