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Viewing Blog: the JJK blog, Most Recent at Top
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Blog of author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka. Author of Punk Farm.
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1. Platypus Police Squad Movie!

Variety just broke the news on the Platypus Police Squad movie!
That's right, MOVIE! I'm pinching myself!
I am BEYOND thrilled to be working with Walden Media, the studio behind the Narnia films and the upcoming adaptation of Roald Dahl's The B.F.G., to bring these monotreme detectives to the silver screen. And with the talented Jon Saunders and Ross Evans penning the script and Saunders directing, Zengo and O'Malley are in very capable hands! 

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2. We Need Diverse Books

Gina organizes the book fair at our daughters' school. Moved by the #WeNeedDiverseBooks movement, she curated a list of books & we'll plaster town with this art!

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3. The Hole in the Wall Gang and The Sister's Wish

Earlier this week, I had the chance to reconnect with my old friend Amy, who I know from The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. Amy is incredible, and not just because she got her entire family to dress as my characters and planned the school visit as head of the PTO. I know Amy because her younger brother, Craig, was one of my campers back in the day. Craig was just an incredible kid. When Paul Newman founded the camp, he stated that he wanted to create a space to "let kids kick back, relax and raise a little hell." Craig personified that mantra in the most beautiful way possible. He had a quick wit and a warrior's heart. Craig began his battle with cancer at age four and lived with it until he passed in his early twenties. 
Grief can weigh us down, and then there are people like Amy who use grief for a greater good. She, along with her sister, Beth, founded The Sister's Wish. The mission of this non-profit is so admirable—grant wishes for young adults aged 18-30 who are living with terminal and chronic illnesses. They do this on their own and throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. 
I know Craig would be so proud of his sisters. It was magical to see his mischievous spirit living on in his nephew and nieces.

Learn more about The Sister's Wish via their Facebook page or on their website here: http://www.thesisterswish.org/

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4. Platypus Police Squad

In 1997 I gave this fourteen-year-old kid advice about RISD and art school, and now he's set to direct and cowrite a movie based on my book series for a major Hollywood studio. 
As many of you may know, I spent many years working at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp starting in my late teens. One of my nearest and dearest friends that I worked with there was Ali Baghai. When camp wasn't in session, I often found myself at his house, just outside of Boston. The Baghai house was just one of those households where everyone collected. Ali's mother, Jane, just reveled in having her sons and all of their friends under one roof at the same time. She was a remarkable woman who always made you feel so loved—Wendy to our Lost Boys. It was at one of these get-togethers that I met this red-headed kid named Jon Saunders. Jon was Ali's younger-brother Jeff's friend. Jon and Jeff were (and are) both artists, and in-between games of Goldeneye on N64, I'd share my experiences at Rhode Island School of Design. I was a sophomore at the time.
(Another friend that I made at the Baghai house in those days was Chris Zengo, who grew up to be a Massachusetts State Trooper, and the namesake for a certain platypus detective.)
Jon would later attend RISD, along with Jeff, and during their time there, I was a frequent guest lecturer for my former professors. We'd catch up whenever I was in Providence. I even won an alumni award the year that Jon graduated in 2005. So I got to see him grab his diploma from the stage. 
Jon moved to L.A. after graduation, and I found myself there often. Punk Farm had just been picked up for development and I was hitting the streets, meeting with just about every development executive in town that would make time for me. I crashed on Jon's couch in those days and shared folders filled with samples of this Lunch Lady project I had brewing. 
Jon moved forward with some amazing animation projects over the ensuing years, and I kept plugging along with my books. We kept in touch, but as it goes when you start having kids—I got insanely busy. I named the corrupt mayor in Platypus Police Squad after Jon to thank him for those weeks of couch surfing. 
Jon called me up last winter. His career was picking up steam, and was I doing anything with Platypus Police Squad? I was, in fact, readying something. We put our heads together, along with his brilliant writing partner, Ross Evans. Walden Media was quickly on board, and we now have a movie in development! Jon and Ross really get what I have been doing in the Platypus Police Squad books, and I could not have found a better pair to shepherd this project along from page to screen. 
Jane Baghai is no longer with us, but I can only begin to imagine how tickled she'd be by all of this. If she was here, I know she'd instantly produce a photograph of a gang of kids sitting on her couch playing Nintendo in 1997. I miss Jane terribly, she was a very special woman—and I will forever be grateful to her for opening her doors to me. 
The photo on the left is of Jane and Ali Baghai and I at the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in 1997. On the right, that's Jon Saunders, Ross Evans and I on our first creative meeting for the film adaptation of Platypus Police Squad back in February.

Check out the animation that Jon Saunders directed for Nike. It currently has more than 88 million views!! 

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5. Congratulations Lisa Yee!

I'm so excited for my pal Lisa Yee! She is a superhero herself, but she has been given the keys to all of the female superheroes of the DC universe! Check out her news!

The Super Hero Girls are in high school, as if that's not stress and confusion unto itself! Here's more info on what else is going on with this . . . http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/…/dc-mattel-unveil-super-h…

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6. A Great Visit

Last week I was lucky enough to meet this young author. I couldn't help but notice during my presentation that he was clutching a copy of Platypus Police Squad. And he was inquisitive, just beyond insightful. What was the motivation of this character? What about this plot point? And what kind of percentage does your agent take? 20%? (He agreed that the industry standard of 15% seemed more reasonable.)
And on top of all that? He dressed like Detective Zengo. 
I look forward to working for this young man someday...

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7. Pumpkins

When playing host to your kid's sleepover, it's always a good idea to have pumpkins and paints on hand for those early-morning wake-ups. ‪#‎KrosoFamilyPumpkins

The guy on the right has not had his daily pumpkin latte....

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8. Newtonville Books

Newtonville Books in Newton, MA has the raddest counter of any bookstore I've ever seen! At their old location they sold used books—so these volumes are a part of the store's history! 
Newtonville Books now also has a large collection of signed Lunch Lady and Platypus Police Squad books!

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9. Tough Choices

From a coffee shop here in Northampton. Where would your tip money go?
This would be a cruel popularity game for living authors. But then again, Seuss and Silverstein never had to cope with online reviews...

I tipped in the Seuss jar because I have fond memories of my grandfather reading Sneetches to me at bedtime. But I do visit this coffee shop often and will throw in for Shel next time. I remember A Light in the Attic sitting on my 5th grade teacher's desk. Now the jars may very well be pumpkins vs squash or monkeys vs hippos next time I visit....this is a CLEVER way to elicit tip money!

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10. Best Coworker!

Another day at the office... (Two seconds after this photo was taken, two children jumped in her lap.) She's a Super Mom, Super Woman and Super Author Wrangler.

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11. Peanutized

Everybody is uploading pictures of themselves as Peanuts characters, so I had to try too. Man, this Peanutized app is spot-on!

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12. October Issue of Family Fun

Check out the banner photo on FamilyFun magazine's Facebook page. I had so much fun designing those guys—look for my article on painting pumpkins in their October issue!

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13. Community School in St. Louis

And the award for Best Use of a Salad Bar at a Book Fair goes to....*drum roll*....Community School in St. Louis! Thank you so much for having me and for all of the creativity!

 I suggested we play a big game of Jenga, but they insisted I sign the books...

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14. Sirius XM Kids Place Live

You know what has been really neat? Wherever I go in the country, I meet kids who listen to me every Tuesday morning on SiriusXM Kids Place Live
Thank you to the families for listening and for reading both my books and the books that I recommend! And of course for taking time out of your schedules to attend my book readings! 
And yes, Mindy really is that nutty in person! 
See you on the radios next Tuesday morning! (Channel 78, 8 and 10 AM)

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15. Princeton Children's Book Festival

Every year, librarian Allison Santos transforms the area just outside of the Princeton Public Library into a madhouse of literacy with a hundred or so authors. There were thousands of readers there just devouring books. Perhaps Santos means "saint"? Either way, if you live within driving distance of the Princeton, NJ, make sure that you get to the Princeton Children's Book Festival. I was honored to be there—and beyond honored to have created the artwork for this year's poster. Thank you to the staff and volunteers for making it all happen! And thank you to all of the readers who made me feel so loved!

I had the best assistant, but it was difficult to spot her with how high the books were stacked up! My kiddo was a champion today, sitting patiently and helping during the five-hour long festivities.

My daughter was also asked to sign books that other authors had dedicated to her.

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16. Let's Get Busy Podcast

In this podcast interview I have a snoring pug on my lap, and the audio was picked up as clearly as my voice. 
I now realize what happened. I plugged a microphone into my phone to record via a Skype call. The microphone on my phone remained on, and that phone was on my lap...next to a snoozing Frankie.

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17. Family Fun and Pumpkins!

Look for my tutorial on painting pumpkins in the October issue of FamilyFun magazine! And yes, this is the debut of the Krosoczka family Pugkin™!

Pick up the issue for the photos of Ralph alone...(This is why I couldn't share any of my pumpkins with you last year...)

FamilyFun even stopped by the studio to film this video—a lesson on drawing emotions on a character...or a pumpkin!

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18. Pumpkins!

And so it begins.... 

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19. Krosoczka!

Quick! Say "Krosoczka" thirty times fast! 
(Bonus points if you know the book based on what you can see of the book spines...)

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20. Charlie

This is Charlie. This is Charlie's first year at a new school. One of his biggest concerns coming into a new school? Will there be author visits? Seriously, it's the first thing he asked the headmaster about—it was a big concern for him. In Charlie's first month of the first year at his new school there was an author visit. I was lucky enough to be that author. And lucky too that Charlie has grown up reading every single one of my books. Charlie was selected to present me with a gift at the end of the presentation, and he was fanatical. He also came to my book signing this evening to get some books signed. I'm so happy to have met this guy, and I know that nothing but big things await him. (He has already been elected to school council.) I feel very grateful for Charlie and readers like him.

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21. The Blue Bunny

Always a warm welcome at The Blue Bunny, Books and Toys! Thank you so much for having me!
And Happy Book Birthday to Peter H. Reynolds! I Am Yoga is also out today. Perhaps one could meditate after losing a balloon?

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22. Early Morning Interview

This is what I sound like at 5 a.m. without coffee. Thankfully I was coherent—that was the only time that worked with Monte's and my conflicting schedules to record this radio interview!

I hope to see you at The Eric Carle Museum on Saturday—and please bring books to donate to Reader to Reader!

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23. Let's Get Busy Podcast

It's always a good time when sitting down to chat with librarian/podcaster Matthew Winner. Listen to us talk about lost balloons, Comics Squad and fatherhood—all while a pug puppy snores audibly in my lap. 
(This podcast was recorded a few weeks back, before Frankie's stint at the vet ER.)

Let's Get Busy (Ep. 188). Jarrett J. Krosoczka (@StudioJJK), author illustrator most recently of It's Tough To Lose Your Balloon, which is published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers (@AAKnopf @MacKidsBooks), stops by to talk about writing a self-help book for young readers, giving a positive twist to awful things, and how a beloved Peanuts character made his way into the new Comics Squad collection.

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24. Miracle Pup

Frankie is a miracle pup. After a forty-eight-hour stint in the veterinary ER, our little pug is home! On Saturday night, after the kids were asleep, I walked downstairs to find Frank in a state too horrific to describe here. I rushed him up to South Deerfield for treatment while Gina searched the house for clues. The staff there was amazing—and quick. We deduced that he had somehow, someway gotten a hold of a dietary supplement that contained Xylitol. And he had twice the lethal dosage for a dog his size. The prognosis wasn't great, and I feared the worst. Sunday morning brought promising news. Sunday afternoon brought better news. Tonight brought the best news—a clean bill of health and a new leash on life for Frank. (See what I did there? Leash on life...) We've only had this guy for three months and we want to have him around for many years ahead!

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25. Mo's Show

These are the people in my neighborhood.

From L to R: Richard Michelson, Lisa Yee, Mo Willems, Grace Lin, John Lind, Norton Juster

If you find yourself in Northampton, go see Mo's show up at R. Michelson Galleries. Take in the art, and then run around town to spot the buildings that he drew. Great show!

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