Thursday, September 29, 2011

SLJ Leadership Summit = Awe-some

The School Leadership Summit was outstanding! It's always nice to be at a conference where attendees don't need to decide which session to attend—every event happened in the same room with the same audience. Librarians came in from all over the country and it was wonderful to meet many educators I've only known through social networks.

As the title of the conference suggests, it was a bit like the Justice League of educators.

I was there to talk about graphic novels with two very talented colleagues, George O'Connor (Olympians) and Eric Wight (Frankie Pickle).

Here we are in a top-secret conference room devising a plan ahead of our slotted stage time.

OK, really we were just posing for pictures sent out via Twitter. But don't we look busy?

We had a blast! I've worked with both Eric and George, but they had never met.  

It went off without a hitch. You can see for yourself below. Perhaps we should take our show on the road?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sirius XM Kids Place Live today at 4PM

I'll be on with Absolutely Mindy this afternoon at 4 p.m. talking Ollie, Lunch Lady and all things National Book Festival!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

National Book Festival this Saturday at 2 p.m.

I am so honored to be reading on the National Mall this Saturday at the the National Book Festival. Look for me at 2 p.m. at Target Family Storytelling Stage.

What an amazing weekend the Library of Congress has put together! Check out the full list of authors here.

See you there!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Radio time!

I visited the WICN studios last week and chatted with friend and mentor Mark Lynch. Mark has been covering my work since day one! He's had me on his show multiple times throughout my career. And Mark also used to be my teacher at the Worcester Art Museum. So we go way back! (Look for the introduction he penned in my sketchbook, Monkey Boy to Lunch Lady, which will soon be available.)

Listen to us psychoanalyze pachyderms, discuss the creative process and my upcoming exhibit at the Worcester Art Museum.

Click here to give it all a listen!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Guys Read: Thriller - now available!

I am so thrilled to announce that Guys Read: Thriller is now available. It was fun to dive into a non-Lunch Lady comic and push the style and tone in a different direction. Pudding is a reboot of sorts of a comic that I drew for my college newspaper during my freshman year. I recast the characters in junior high and removed the cafeteria setting.

I hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed creating it!

There are a few ways that you can enjoy my piece. You can read it in the anthology here. Or you can download Pudding as a stand-alone eBook here. OR you can even download it as an audio book here. (The audio version comes with a PDF of the comic.)

Many thanks to Jon Scieszka for including me and to the fabulous editor Jordan Brown for helping shape this story. And to Brett Helquist who illustrated a stellar rendition of my character.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Houston Art Exhibit on 9/30

Imago Dei cordially invites you to a showing of:

The Art of Story: A decade of original works by J.J.K.

Opening Reception and Book Signing
Friday, September 30, 2011 | 5-9pm
Children’s Story Time 6-7pm

Please contact with any questions

2525 Robinhood St.
Houston, Texas 77005

Blue Willow Bookshop will be on hand to sell books. While Ollie the Purple Elephant won't be published yet, advanced copies will be raffled off throughout the evening!

It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Think of me when you wash your hands at Puddn'head Books

If you make it to St. Louis, stop by Puddn'head Books' new location. Authors are tagging up their bathroom walls.

Thank you to the awesome staff! And for this awesomely delicious cake:

And great big thanks to school librarian Melissa Biehl for getting me out there! She went above and beyond the call of duty. Aside from getting me to the airport for my 6 a.m. flight, she arranged for former students from her from comic book club, who had since graduated to junior high, to return to school to meet me. Amazing, right?!

Here are some of the great projects her students made.

Sketchbook Saturday on Sunday / Chicago visit

I arrived early to the 57th St Book Fair in Chicago and ate a great sandwich at nearby Z&H Cafe. I broke out the ol' sketchpad.

And as I watched folks pass by the cafe, I saw Chris "Elio" Eliopoulos of OKIE DOKIE DONUTS fame.

I recognized him from the prerequisite black-rim glasses and grey sweater that allow one to be a cartoonist. It was nice to sit and chat about drawing and the book biz.

Then we made it to the fair where Lunch Lady was waiting!

That is actually the fabulous Angela Sherrill who made my visit to this awesome book Fest possible!

Thanks to all who came by!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Chicago, Sunday 2:30-4

I'm bringing the Lunch Lady party to the 57th Street Children's Book Fair! And thanks to the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club, Lunch Lady books are FREE while supplies last.

See you there! And perhaps a certain purple elephant will accompany me...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ollie Virtual Storytime

On October 11th, you are invited to zoom into the studio in celebration of Ollie the Purple Elephant's publication.

Every hour on the hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., I will be hosting live storytimes and Q & A sessions via UStream.TV.

I'm looking forward to sharing my new picture book with classrooms, libraries, home-schoolers, book aficionados, and readers everywhere!

Check out the Ollie Virtual Storytime page on my website for more information.

And don't forget, you can order your signed copy of Ollie from the Odyssey Bookshop!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

LL6 contest winners!

Lunch ladies and gentlemen, it is time to announce the winners of the Lunch Lady Field Trip Photo Contest!

Our celebrity judges this year include. . .

Dan "Sidekicks" Santat
Jenni "Babymouse" Holm
and Chad "Wimpy Kid Art Director" Beckerman

Without further adieu, the judges have weighed in and the winners are. . .

In the category of Grand Prize Winner, Kid Edition, we have:

Ethan and Zayden, who traveled to New Brunswick!

This is what our judges had to say:
"True Lunch Ladies only use the freshest ingredients for their fish sticks."—Dan Santat
"Would you like tartar sauce or cocktail sauce with your lobster tail?"—Jenni Holm

In the category of Grand Prize Winner, Grown-up Edition, we have:

Sher, who time traveled and visited the Tribe Woden Thor Medieval Feast And Tourney!


This is what our judges had to say:
"Serving lunch ... on trenchers!"—Jenni Holm
"Today's special is mutton" —Dan Santat
And here's a bonus shot of Lunch Lady tied up in the stocks!

The grand-prize winners will be receiving some Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco art!

But there were a few other stand-outs that deserved some shout-outs.

"Lunch Lady" Kathy visited CNN headquarters!
"Lunch Lady" Donna is prepping for a very busy lunch!

These ladies in yellow will be receiving a special Lunch Lady sketch in the mail!

Thank you all for playing along! I hope that you enjoy the latest installment in the Lunch Lady series, available today!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall 2011 schedule—I may be coming to a town near you

Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco publishes tomorrow! I kick off my fall events at Puddn'head Books. Check out my full fall 2011 schedule at

Friday, September 09, 2011

The all-new—built with educators and iPads in mind

There are a lot of educational resources at the new! Here are a few highlights:
• Free eBooks of my literary efforts from elementary school.
• Videos galore—book talks, interviews and fan videos, too.

• Activities, activities, activities! Beyond simple coloring pages, there are free PDFs that will enhance your students' reading experiences.

• Book trailers on every book page.
• All of my radio and print interviews have been organized for your perusal.
• Hosting a Lunch Lady or Punk Farm party? There are links to family-friendly playlists on iTunes.
• Learn how to pronounce my last name!

And best of all, you can use my website while you're on the go! It is now compatible with iPads and iDevices!

For those of you who have followed me over the years, here's a quick trip down memory lane with a look at some of's previous incarnations:




Thursday, September 08, 2011

Puddn'head Books and LL6 TUESDAY!

On Tuesday, I will be stopping by Puddn'head Books to celebrate the release of Lunch Lady and the Field Trip Fiasco! What's that you say? You don't live near St. Louis and you can't make it? But you really, really, really wanted to get an autographed copy of the newest Lunch Lady title?

Have no fear, the Internet is here! Puddn'head Books has set up a webpage where you can order your books and I'll sign them on Tuesday. Check it out here!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Sketchbook Saturday - Faces by Zoe

I love drawing with my daughter as much as I love reading with her—which is a tremendous amount! This week, she really took me by surprise by drawing these faces. Seriously, my hand did not touch the paper once.

Then she drew a picture of me.

So I drew a picture of her, which she embellished.