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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. Reassuring art for kids

Over the last week, I've created a few images that I hoped would help lift spirits of the young ones at your school.

If you would like to hang these in your classroom, please feel free to print and hang.

This one is a quote from my daughter's classroom. They state this before class discussions.






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2. Halloween Compilation!

It is an incredible honor when someone dresses up as one of my characters. This Halloween there were lots of great renditions (and some great pumpkins too)!


When a kid dresses up as a Star Wars character... And it's a Star Wars character YOU invented!
Thanks Lillian, you make for an awesome Artemis Aphooine!



My friend Dana in Texas served up justice this Halloween!



Thank you to third-grader Izzy for making this awesome Platypus Police Squad pumpkin! Detective Zengo looks great!



The lunch ladies at Eiic Knowlton School in Berwick, Maine served up more justice!



Detective Rick Zengo never looked so good!
Photo via @WordNerd80 on Twitter.



Lunch Lady at Willard School looks grate! (See what I did there?)
Photo via @willard_lib on Twitter.



Detective Rick Zengo of the Platypus Police Squad looks gourd-geous.
Photo via @booksandbytes on Twitter.



Sorry, but the pirate is no match for Lunch Lady's wits and fish stick nunchucks.
Photo via @twilibrarian on Twitter.


And finally, one from home...

You squirrels couldn't have waited until November 1st?! And you monsters...you only had one job!

Hope everyone had a wonderful & spooky Halloween!


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3. Forbes Library Mural and Collaboration with Kids!

Earlier this fall, I transformed the stairwell leading to the children's department in Forbes Library. Here's a look! I wanted to design a space that would inspire young readers and celebrate the city of Northampton. I celebrated with the community this past Saturday, complete with comically oversized scissors for the ribbon cutting!



Each window in the mural offers a glimpse of a book by an author who has lived in Western Mass.



Kids who came to the ribbon cutting ceremony got to help me finish the mural by drawing flowers on the Library Lawn! With the addition of flowers drawn by the youngest patrons of Forbes Library, the mural is complete!







P.S. Here's a before picture, to remind you what the stairwell used to look like...


And voila!




To see the full photo album on facebook, click here!

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4. Let All the Children Boogie!

I'm proud to have illustrated the album cover for LET ALL THE CHILDREN BOOGIE: A TRIBUTE TO DAVID BOWIE. Not only is this a fantastic collection of reinterpretations of Bowie's songs by some of the top indie musicians for kids and grown-ups, but the proceeds benefit the It Gets Better Project.

Album drops on November 18. It's been getting some great buzz, even appeared in The New York Times!

And huge thanks to my friends at Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child for inviting me on!


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5. The Day I Spoke at the White House

Why I visited The White House on October 19, 2016.

It was an immense privilege and honor to travel to Washington D.C. to be a part of the launch of Changing Minds, a new campaign that empowers adults to support children who have trauma and violence in their homes. The science behind this program is fascinating—the toxic stress released in the developing brain can create permanent adverse affects. But teachers, librarians, couches, counselors, lunch ladies—anyone working with children can help change that course with five daily gestures.

∙ Celebrate
∙ Comfort
∙ Collaborate
∙ Listen
∙ Inspire

You can literally change their minds.

I shared stories of my childhood and told tales of the teachers who made an immense difference in my life.

Changing Minds is a partnership between The United States Department of Justice, Ad Council and Futures Without Violence. I am so humbled that they invited me.

If you'd like to learn more, please check out their website: http://changingmindsnow.org

And former Attorney General Eric Holder was every bit as kind as you would imagine.










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6. Creative Galaxy Art Consultant

It's not every day that you get to appear on your kids' favorite TV show!
Season 2 of Creative Galaxy has been released, and I am in it! I make an on-camera appearance in two episodes, but I also served as Art Consultant for the entire season. I'm excited to share some art concepts with such a large audience.
My kids LOVED season 1. After every episode, they wanted to turn off the television and make whichever art project that was introduced in that story. 
Creative Galaxy is created by the amazingly talented folks behind Blue's Clues and Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood. It was an honor to work with this talented crew!
Creative Galaxy is streaming now on Amazon Prime. I'm in episodes 7 and 8, but check out the entire season with your young artists. 
Also—Jason Priestly voices a talking pencil. What more could you ask for?


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7. Forbes Library Mural


This is a composite of photos of the stairwell leading to the children's department at the Forbes Library, the main branch here in the city of Northampton. I'm so honored that Jude, the head librarian, asked me if I'd be interested in transforming this space. 
Imagine that? Coming up with something that could inspire generations of young readers as they enter the library.



I posted a slew of work-in-progress photos over on the Instagrams. 

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8. Grace Lin and the National Book Awards Longlist

I'm excited for all of the nominees, but I am especially excited to see Grace Lin on the National Book Awards Longlist!
When the Sea Turned to Silver is a beautiful book and while it won't hit bookshelves until next month, I can tell you it will be worth the wait! 


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9. Anna Dewdney

The children's book world lost a beloved member this weekend. Anna Dewdney was as kind and gentle as the llama she wrote about. I really am without words here. 
Anna's final request sums up the heart of the woman behind Llama Llama Red Pajama...
"She requested that in lieu of a funeral service that people read to a child instead."


6/29/14.ALA. Judy Schachner, Anna Dewdney & I sneaked out the back door of the convention center & ate baked potatoes. We talked about writing, illustrating and the book business in general. It's a great memory.



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10. Observational sketches by the shore and family draw time.

When I was a kid, my grandfather had me convinced that there were two seagulls named Stanley and Leroy. We'd visit them every time we went to the beach. And we spotted good ol' Stanley and Leroy this afternoon!






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11. Weekly Sketch Roundup

Every day I post a sketch to social media, this is my favorite this week!

Saturday night #DadLife

To see more visit http://www.studiojjk.com/dailysketch.html

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12. Weekly Sketch Roundup

Every day I post a sketch to social media, this is my favorite this week!



The dude at the airport who is sporting a hat that reads "old fart" is setting new life goals for me.

To see more visit http://www.studiojjk.com/dailysketch.html

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13. NAPTASTROPHE!

I can't wait for you to meet Lucy in NAPTASTROPHE!, my next picture book. On bookshelves May 2, 2017.


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14. Weekly Sketch Roundup

Every day I post a sketch to social media, this is my favorite this week!


When your friends visit, you hand their kid a book, and this happens...

To see more visit http://www.studiojjk.com/dailysketch.html

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15. A New Class

What a thrill to chat with James Floyd on the official Star Wars site! Check out our discussion on A New Class here: 


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16. Giveaway! Copy of Jedi Academy: A New Class with endpapers filled with doodles.




I'll be giving away five copies of Jedi Academy: A New Class with endpapers filled with original drawings!

This is a contest where you will literally get bonus points for supporting your local bookshop. Please see the details below.

Contest is for ages 18 plus. Entries will be accepted through the end of the day on Monday, August 2nd.

Thanks so much and may the Force be with you!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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17. A NEW CLASS

Imagine my surprise when, two years back, I received a message from an editor at Scholastic. Jeffrey Brown, a graphic novelist who I admire immensely, was stepping away from Jedi Academy, and would I like to write new books for the series? It was actually rather intimidating. It’s Star Wars, a world that is so rich with history that is so very iconic. It’s Jedi Academy, a hugely popular book series. But it was the very daunting nature of the proposition that motivated me to step up and grab hold of the lightsaber. I was being invited for what I do, so I knew early on that the only way this would work would be for me to create something that was very much me. 
I hope that you enjoy A NEW CLASS as much as I enjoyed writing and illustrating the book. I listened to the John Williams Star Wars score to pump me up throughout the entire creative process. I got to write lines for and draw Yoda! It’s like being handed the keys of a vintage, mint-condition swamp-green sports car. I also got to create my own droid, P-10! And of course, I created an entire cast of young characters for that galaxy far, far away. What an honor and a privilege.
May the Force be with you and please look for A NEW CLASS at your local bookshop.


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18. XJK

Our little man is here! XJK arrived safely last Tuesday. Both baby and Mom are both doing great! As are the big sisters. We are all just floating. 
I'll largely be off social media, but will likely keep posting daily sketches over at Instagram.com/StudioJJK.


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19. Three Weeks!

Three weeks to go until Jedi Academy: A New Class publishes. My pugs are waiting with bated dog breath.


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20. Weekly Sketch Roundup

Every day I post a sketch to social media, this is my favorite this week!



I hope that everyone is having a happy and safe 4th of July weekend!

To see more visit http://www.studiojjk.com/dailysketch.html

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21. ILA 16 and Jedi Academy

I was supposed to be at ‪#‎ILA16‬ this weekend, but need to stay closer to home for want might be the sooner-than-expected birth of our third child. So I sent in a few hundred signed bookplates. I drew a lot of Yodas. But if you pick up a copy of Jedi Academy: A New Class and you find a drawing of Victor or Christina Starspeeder in your book—I'll Skype into your classroom! Look for copies via Scholastic and Anderson's Bookshop. NO PEEKING!!!


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22. Rich on Tour

I recently got to see my brother play music. He's about to embark on a cross-country trip on his motorcycle. He'll start in Provincetown this week, then he'll play his banjo from town to town until he hits the Pacific Ocean. If you see a busker that looks like a younger, shaggier version of me please throw a few bills into his hat. His name is Rich, tell him I sent you.


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23. Ghostbusters

Last summer, I had the great pleasure of getting a tour of Lucasfilm. Because they also house Industrial Light & Magic, I saw many pop-culture artifacts from my childhood up close and personal. Here are two of my favorites. 
We are hoping to make it to the movies this weekend, barring any trips to the delivery room...


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24. Dedication

Imagine being a kid who loves to read and make comics, and you're a big Star Wars fan. Then imagine your family is having dinner at your friend's house and you're handed a Star Wars graphic novel—that has your name in the dedication!
I handed these guys an ARC of Jedi Academy: A New Class, and their faces lit up when I pointed to their names! Two more weeks until the finished version of the book is here!


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25. We are ready for this baby boy.




Color palette, art direction and 9 months of pregnancy misery by Gina.

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