Thursday, November 29, 2012

a few December events

I rarely have book signings in December, but a few local pals asked me to participate in some great area events. So if you are looking for an autographed book for Christmas, here's your chance! If you can't make it, you can always call the stores listed. I know that the Odyssey will be happy to ship books if you can't pick them up in store.

December 1st - 1 pm - 2:30 pm - Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA
It's the store's annual Holiday event and I'll be joined by Jane Dyer, Mordicai Gerstein, Natasha Lowe and Leslea Newman.

December 15th - 5:30 pm - Barnes and Noble in Holyoke, MA
This group event with Kevin Markey, Diane deGroat and Shelly Rotner is a fundraiser for the Northeast Center for Youth and Families.

I also have a virtual event and will be joining fellow kids' comics creators Matt and Jenni Holm on the Scharp/Schu Book Club. This will be Twitter chat on December 12th at 8 pm. Click on over to Mr. Schu's website to learn more!

And on December 17th, Gina and will be helping out Santa at Look Park's nightly train display. I'll be playing the part of the conductor, while G will be the elf who calls to Santa to see if he's ready to receive you at the North Pole. If you haven't been to the trains at Look Park in Florence, MA and you live within driving distance, this is a must-see holiday spectacle. (This isn't a book-related event, but if you are panicked for last minute gift giving and you bring a book, I'm sure the conductor could forge a JJK signature...)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

from the staff of the Worcester Art Museum: stories of kids who have benefitted from the Joe & Shirl Scholarships

BID NOW on auction items to support these scholarships!

When the folks at The Atlantic asked me about kids who benefitted from The Joe and Shirl Scholarships, I asked the folks at the Worcester Art Museum if they could share some stories with me. I was aware of some kids who were getting connected to courses via the scholarship, but I didn't know specifics. I've enjoyed just knowing that there were kids out there who were enjoying the same arts education that I did as a kid. I didn't need details.

I hope that these stories will move you as much as they have me.

One energetic 8 year old boy from Vietnam has started to take classes here at WAM thanks to your scholarship.He is always so excited every Saturday and has begun recruiting his cousins and friends to come take classes.He is the only person in his family that speaks English so he has to translate for us but it has been a great experience for him.

 Another recipient – 12 years old - has had a history of bad experiences in the traditional school system.She has some special needs and has always struggled with both academics and social skills.Her mother has told us how important the classes have been for her and she considers WAM to be her “safe spot”.

Another person affected by the scholarships is a mother of three (6, 8 and 13 year old children).Her husband left her and she is raising the three kids on her own.This mother cried when we told her we could give her kids scholarships.She was so excited, saying “We had no other options…”. 

BID NOW on auction items to support these scholarships!

Mo Willems on The Book Report with JJK -- today at 5:40!

My pal and neighbor, Mr. Mo Willems, is today's guest on The Book Report with JJK. I stopped by his studio and we talked Pigeon, creativity and what we avoid drawing. Plus, the original artwork from the Elephant and Piggie books makes a special appearance.

Tune in today, Wednesday November 28th, at 5:40 pm est / 2:40 pm pst. SiriusXM Kids Place Live, channel 78!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Thanksgiving Day feature in THE ATLANTIC!

I am thankful that I was home on a Friday afternoon when the phone rang. I'm thankful that there was a last minute cancellation for a TEDx talk and I was invited to step in. I'm thankful for the 100 people that were in the room and the 5,000 people who have viewed the video online in the past week. And I am very, very thankful for this Thanksgiving Day feature in THE ATLANTIC! Especially because I get to champion all of the folks that I am so very thankful for!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Tony DiTerlizzi is on The Book Report with JJK on Wednesday at 5:40 pm EST / 2:40 pm PST

My old buddy and neighbor, Tony DiTerlizzi, is next up on The Book Report! I visited his Amherst studio and talked goblins, spacecrafts and pinball machines. Be sure to tune in to SiriusXM's Kids Place Live, channel 78. If you're traveling for Thanksgiving, this will make for one entertaining trek to grandma's house!

Monday, November 19, 2012

The third annual auction to benefit the Joe and Shirl Scholarshipsstarts one week from today!

I wanted to first say a heartfelt thank you to all who have been sending me messages about my TEDx talk. Your kind words have meant the world. Also, a big thank you to those who have been sharing the video. Thanks to you, the video has amassed more than 4,000 views in just a few short days!

As you know, I remain committed to helping kids in my hometown obtain a quality education in the arts. The 3rd annual auction to benefit the Joseph and Shirley Krosoczka Memorial Youth Scholarships at the Worcester Art Museum begins one week from today!

Bidding will happen here:

Here is what will be up for grabs:

- original art from my impending chapter book debut, Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked, along with an autographed advanced copy

- a one-on-one phone conversation with me on breaking into children's publishing

- your kid's likeness drawn into the 10th and final Lunch Lady graphic novel

- I will design YOUR holiday card as a four page mini-comic and you get to keep the original art

- a tour of the SiriusXM's Kids Place Live Studios as well as an on-air experience with Mindy from The Absolutely Mindy Show

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My TEDx talk: Imagining Beyond Your Circumstances

Hi folks,

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you may already know this story. Last month I had the great opportunity to give a TEDx talk. And it was completely unexpected. Gina and I were planning the rest of the Friday workday and then the evening when around 2 pm the phone rang.  It was a friend who worked at Hampshire College. She ran the TEDx talks at the school and would I like to give a talk? Of course, I would. In a few months? Somebody had cancelled and they were hoping I could fill in . . . for a TEDx talk that started in FOUR HOURS! 

Fortunately, I had a slideshow filled with childhood artwork at the ready. The talk, however, was unlike any I had given before. I talked very candidly and openly about growing up as I did.

I really love how TEDx summarived my talk: "Jarrett J. Krosoczka tells us how imagination and the encouragement to pursue artistic expression transformed his life."

I hope that you all enjoy the video.

Most sincerely,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Eric Carle on The Book Report with JJK - Wednesday at 5:40 pm!

On 11/14/12, Eric Carle will be on The Book Report with JJK. My mind is boggled that I'm even typing that, let alone that it is actually happening! I sat down with Eric at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art and man, what a conversation we had. Tune in to SiriusXM's Kids Place Live on Wednesday at 5:40 pm EST / 3:40 PST to listen in!

(OK, so I don't really wear suits for these interviews, but check out the photo below!)

Friday, November 09, 2012

Jenny DeVivo, School Lunch Superhero

I recently met Jenny DeVivo on a school visit. As often is the case, I get to meet the folks who run our schools' cafeterias in a very meaningful way. But this time it was different. Ms. DeVivo started at the school as an employee in the cafeteria, but quickly saw that the corporation running the program wasn't offering a nutritional diet for the kids. So what did she do? She organized and worked with local officials to change the way things operated. She quite literally kicked the company out of town. And what really affected me personally, was that she told me that she drew upon my books for inspiration. If Lunch Lady could kick some tail, so could she! And man, did she ever. Here is Jenny with her copy of Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute. Notice the "J" on Lunch Lady's apron? I absolutely love it!

I salute this School Lunch Superhero!

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

The Carle Museum's 10 year anniversary party and the annual illustration show at R. Michelson Galleries - both this weekend!

It's a busy weekend for the kid lit literati this weekend in Western Massachusetts. If you can get to the area this weekend, you may want to bring your paparazzi camera!

First, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is celebrating its 10th anniversary. I made a star for their special constellation exhibit. Here's a glimpse of my contribution. It will hang in the Great Hall along with stars by Scott Fischer, Jeff Mack and Eric Carle himself!

Check out the full list of weekend activities at The Carle here.

On Sunday, from 4-6, head on over to the R. Michelson Galleries' annual Illustration Show. I am in awe of the artists that will be represented and am proud and honored to be included. When I received the invite to the opening reception, I had to let Ralph down easy -- dogs aren't allowed. He had already planned his outfit...

Hope to see you around the Happy Valley this weekend!

Peter Brown on The Book Report with JJK today at 5:40 pm EST

Tune in to SiriusXM channel 78 and listen for a new episode of The Book Report with JJK on Kids Place Live! My old buddy, Peter Brown, will be the guest! Pete is the very talented author/illustrator of picture books like The Curious Garden, You Will Be My Friend and so many more!

Monday, November 05, 2012

Text a donation to the Red Cross and you could win a free virtual author visit for your classroom

Like everyone who was unaffected by Superstorm Sandy, my heart has broken for the folks who have lost so much. Donating to the Red Cross is incredibly easy. I just donated $10 to Red Cross Disaster Relief by texting "redcross" to number 90999.

I want to encourage everyone to do so. For those that do, tweet, Facebook, Instagram or email me a screen shot of your donation and I will enter you into a drawing for a free virtual author visit with me. Let others know just how easy it is to give a little bit. Together, we can make an incredible difference!

I'll take entries through Friday at 5 pm EST and announce a winner that evening.