Tuesday, March 24, 2015

"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. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

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!


Sunday, March 15, 2015

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! 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

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!

Monday, March 09, 2015

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:

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:


Friday, February 20, 2015

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.)



Saturday, February 14, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Upcoming book signings!


Hope to see you at a book reading!

January 31, 10am-3pm - Huntsville, AL- Learning Expo

January 31, 5pm-6pm - Birmingham, AL- Birmingham Public Library

February 5, 4:30pm -Denver, CO- Denver Police Activities League

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

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

March 16, 4:30pm -Haverford, PA- Children's Book World 

March 21,  -Newport, RI- March Into Reading

March 28, 10am - 3pm - Northampton, MA- Meltdown!

April 25, -Newburyport, MA- Newburyport Book Festival

** pug not included

Thursday, December 18, 2014

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,

Sunday, November 30, 2014

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!