Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day, JDK

Here is a photo of my grandfather, Joseph D. Krosoczka, who at 18 years of age served with the Navy during World War II. Thank you to all of the service members out there, past and present, who serve and have served our country. You have my family's deepest gratitude.

Monday, May 21, 2012

This week's Book Report will be on THURSDAY with the one and only Jeanne Birdsall!

Tune into Sirius XM's The Absolutely Mindy Show on THURSDAY at 5:30 p.m. EST for another episode of The Book Report with JJK! National Book Award winner Jeanne Birdsall chats about the future of the Penderwick sisters and I attempt to distract her, so I can read Penderwicks 4 which is on the laptop sitting on her kitchen table. She also confesses a secret crush on a certain Jonas Brother.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Darrin Johnson, parent volunteer, raises the bar

Sure, some of us make cupcakes. Some of us might collect book fair orders. Darrin Johnson takes out his table saw and makes wooden cutouts of picture book characters to inspire reading at Haggerty School in Cambridge, MA. He made an incredible display for Punk Farm. In fact, he made sure that each character was in proper scale to the others by studying the books.

I salute you, Mr. Johnson. I'm totally honored that you spent the time making these of my characters. I'm also hoping my daughter's school doesn't see this, because I will need to step up my game if they do...

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The loss of an icon

Maurice Sendak has influenced my peers and I beyond measure. It's difficult to fully express the feeling of loss on his passing this past week. We live in a better world because of his imagination and his courage. There are countless works of literature for young readers that would never have existed without his pioneering spirit.
I never had the opportunity to meet Mr. Sendak in person. While I'm sorry that the opportunity never arose, I will be eternally thankful to have his work. As a boy who read his work, as an artist who admires it and now as a dad who is sharing it with his young kids--I am grateful for The Wild Rumpus and all it represents.
Here is a tribute piece I made a few years back.

There are many tributes floating around the media, but none are as poignant as this collection of interviews from Fresh Air. Thanks to Terry Gross's interviews, we can all feel as if we spent some time with the man.

An awesome comic from a young cartoonist

With the demands of deadlines and fatherhood upon me, I've been pretty terrible about keeping up with the letters and art that have come in from kids. But I'm catching up and I'm getting back on track to share some of the amazing work that comes in.
Today I wanted to share with you this incredible comic created by Riley in Texas!

This book does deserve two thumbs up, Riley! Keep up the great work!
If you have any drawings, I would love to see them. They can be
emailed to me via or mailed to:
Jarrett J. Krosoczka
PO Box 60155
Florence, MA 01062

Friday, May 11, 2012

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hop, Hop, Jump!

This week, a book that I illustrated was published. Hop, Hop, Jump! is a companion to last year's Chew, Chew, Gulp!. Both are written by the talented Lauren Thompson.

They are fun, jazzy little picture books and I hope that you enjoy sharing them with your little ones.

People often stop short of asking me to illustrate books that I didn't write because of my own busy authorial schedule. But when it's a fun manuscript that is so different from my own writing, I'm totally game! And especially when it's by an author whom I admire so greatly!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Children's Book World in Haverford, PA and the Loudon, VA Public Library System

Last night's Children's Choice Book Awards Gala was spectacular, but Children's Book Week marches on!
On Thursday, May, 10 I'll be at Children's Book World, in Haverford, PA, for a reading at 4 pm.
I'll be visiting the Loudon, VA Public Library System on Saturday, May, 12:
10:30 AM - Rust Library
1 PM - Cascades Library
3 PM - Ashburn Library
See you around!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Jeff Kinney to be debut guest on The Book Report with JJK

Mega Best-selling author/illustrator Jeff Kinney will be my debut guest! I stopped by Jeff's studio and disrupted his impending Wimpy-Kid deadline to chat about his books.

Want to know what Jeff would name his rock band, if he had one? Tune into channel 78 on your Sirius XM dials! During The Absolutely Mindy Show at 5:30 pm EST, The Book Report with JJK will hit the airwaves!

And check out the awesome theme song put together by my pals in Recess Monkey! (In fact, they made loads of different versions of the song with different gags!)

Sunday, May 06, 2012

New school visit programs and Gina is back to coordinating my visits

I'm excited to have designed a program on chapter books and programs specifically for educators and parents. Platypus Police Squad: The Frog who Croaked won't be published until summer 2013, but I am already putting something together on the creative process behind writing for this format. (Note, this presentation won't be ready until the fall.) And for grown-ups, I now have "Reaching the Reluctant Reader" and "Fostering the Young, Creative Mind". I'm very excited to formally offer something for educators, as I love speaking to the people who make such a difference in the lives of young readers. These programs can be offered for professional development after school, in the evening or at conferences.

I'm also very excited to formally announce that my incredible wife, Gina, is back to coordinating my visits. Now that our littlest one is settled into the world, she's back to providing the top-notch customer service we pride ourselves on. Gina has a long history of working in the business world and she loves that she can use this part of her skill set while being a full-time mom. Before we had children, Gina managed customer relations offices for Liberty Mutual and before that, managed retail. Plus, she has her masters in psychology, so that helps her deal with me.

You can view my new programs by visiting the school visits page of my website or by downloading the nifty PDF brochure we have here.

Also, when you sign up for a visit now, you get a welcome packet that will help make the entire visit an easy, smooth experience. A checklist of tech needed, sample schedules, information on book ordering and helpful tips are all included. We want my visit to your school to be an awesome experience from the first email you send to the applause for the last presentation of the day.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

New Recess Monkey CD!

Check out the latest offering from the Seattle trio! In Tents ups the awesome-factor that Recess Monkey brings with every album. I happily provided the artwork for the cover and hand-lettering for the interior. Super cool photographs in this one.

Pick up their latest and check out their newest video:

And like 'em on Facebook!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Announcing The Book Report with JJK on Sirius XM's Kids Place Live!

I am thrilled to report that you will soon be able to hear me on a regular basis on your satellite airwaves. I'm launching my own book segment within The Absolutely Mindy Show! You'll be able to hear me interview my author pals every-other Wednesday at 5:30 pm EST.

My debut episode will be this next Wednesday during Children's Book Week!

Read all about it in our press release here!

You can also check into the dedicated page on my website for news of upcoming guests!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

reliving the 1980's

Tropes of my childhood have crept back into my life.

I recently dominated a game of Pac-Man. High score = totally gnarly and rad.

Unlike my childhood, I played while wearing my four-month-old daughter in a baby carrier.

I also recently met Mr. T at Boston Comic Con. Well, I should be clear--a Mr. T impersonator. I posted this pic on Facebook and folks got a bit confused.

A fitting pair of events, as I once began every day by eating my Mr. T cereal and loading up on Pac-Man vitamins.