Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Thank you for a SPECTACULAR year!

Thank you all for helping make 2013 such a remarkable one for me. I had many plans on writing an end-of-year review, but I thought it more prudent to making my art deadlines for the 2nd Platypus Police Squad book. As it turns out, Facebook already collected some highlights for me. How rewarding it was to take a look back on all the year brought me via Facebook's Year in Review feature.

I am constantly drafting updates via social media and sometimes this blog gets ignored. I would be remiss if I didn't mention two items that weren't listed in that Facebook Year in Review. Both happened this fall. One was an interaction I had with a student in the New Orleans area. He started telling me about how he wrote a story about he and his cat. I listened, as I always did. The boy then went on to tell me about how he didn't know his father and was currently not living with his mother. I certainly related with the boy, and it made me so very happy that I not only was open with my TED Talk, but that it had gone viral, and in a way, was able to give this kid some comfort that his future would be OK. Another event happened in North Carolina, where I was set to speak at UNC on a Saturday. This group of teachers drove around from neighborhood to neighborhood picking up students from their classrooms. Together with volunteers, these teachers reassembled their classrooms to hear me speak. What heroes.

I am so eternally grateful to meet so many heroes, and to be in touch with them on a regular basis—in classrooms and through social media.

Happy Everything to you all! I wish you the best of the best this holiday season.

I'm unplugging now to be with my own family, and I look forward to spending 2014 with all of you!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

10 Great Picture Books for Holiday Gift-Giving

I stopped by my local NBC affiliate and promoted some of my favorite new picture books on Mass Appeal. Have some kids that you still need to shop for? Get some book recommendations in the video above!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Dahl tribute pieces to benefit First Book - Manhattan!

With the blessing of the Roald Dahl Estate, I created these tribute pieces. They were displayed on stage at the First Book Manhattan benefit as the actors read from Dahl's works, and they're up for auction through Friday afternoon! Help First Book Manhattan get brand-new books into the hands of young readers! BID! http://firstbooknyc.wordpress.com/

I had a remarkable time hosting the event, and reading along with the grand finale performance of James and the Giant Peach! Check out more photos on Symphony Space's Facebook page here!

From left to right: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Luke Kelly, Jenny Powers, James Naughton, Cavenaugh, Mara Wilsom and me! Photo ©2013 Rahav Segev / Photopass.com

UPDATED: More photos on First Book NYC's Facebook page as well!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

The Annual Joe and Shirl Scholarships Auction is now LIVE!

"But how did you grow up to be so well-adjusted?"

This is a question, in various iterations, that I get asked often. Regardless of how the inquiry is posed, I have the same one-syllable, three-letter answer every time.


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 4th annual auction in support of the Joseph and Shirley Krosoczka Memorial Youth Scholarships at the Worcester Art Museum. 

Photos courtesy Worcester Art Museum.

Here are the items up for bid in the 2013 auction, which will run until the evening of Sunday, December 8. 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!






#IndiesFirst on Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday is tomorrow, but we can still be #IndiesFirst. Two great local bookshops have the ability to take orders online, and I'll sign books purchased through their websites. (Just specify personalization under the customer comments field.)

The Odyssey Bookshop: http://www.odysseybks.com/search/apachesolr_search/Krosoczka

Broadside Bookshop: http://www.broadsidebooks.com/search/apachesolr_search/Krosoczka

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Three exhibits currently on view

There are currently three ways to catch the original works from my books. You will be able to spot my work at. . .

Annual Illustration Exhibit at R. Michelson Galleries - Northampton, MA
This show will run through January 15th. The art on exhibit at this gallery is for sale. If you can't make it into Northampton to see the work in person, you can find a small sampling of what they have for sale here.

BAM! It's a Picture Book: The Art Behind Graphic Novels - Abilene, TX

11.14.13 - 02.28.14: National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature
(This show will later travel to the Joslyn Art Museum from 11.08.14 - 03.08.15.)

Featuring artists Raina Telgemeier, Mark Crilley, Matthew Holm,
Jarrett J. Krosoczka, & Lincoln Peirce

I will be on hand to discuss my comics and sign books on January 11, 2014 at 10:00 am.

The Art of Story - Boston, MA
A great exhibit/event is happening at Boston Children's Hospital on Saturday Dec. 7th from 1-4 pm. Check out their newly renovated space featuring an exhibit of some great children's book art! I'm sad that I won't be able to attend, but many artists will be on hand. Lots of great folks in this permanent exhibit!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

See you at #NCTE13!

I am insanely excited to address the crowd at the Elementary Section Get-Together on Thursday at the NCTE conference.

Here is the info:

4:30 – 6:00 PM

Elementary Get-Together
Hynes Convention Center, Room 306, Level Three

I will give a 45 minute talk about creativity and it's place in the classroom, and I will breakdown my creative process in crafting characters and stories.

Then, we'll all go over and hear Tony Danza. Because - c'mon! Tony Danza! (A name that has been in the running should we ever get a 2nd pug.)

Here's my signing schedule at NCTE:


12:00 – 1:00 PM HarperCollins Booth #1012

3:00 – 4:00 PM Random House Booth #907

UPDATE: Tony Danza had to cancel last minute. Judy Blume is now the opening speaker. So after all this time, it's neither Tony, Angela or Mona, but Judy who is the boss....

Saturday, November 16, 2013

How to Make It Once You've "Made It"

If you have an hour to kill and want to know more about a career in children's books, the lecture I gave at RISD's Entrepeneur MindShare is now online. In it, I retrace my steps from my first book submission in 1997 to where I am today.


And in case you're curious, that last quote that is made illegible by the reproduction:

"I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man." - Jay-Z

Thursday, November 14, 2013

"Always a Place for Picture Books"

I'm delighted to return to Engage, the blog of the International Reading Association, to share my insight on the reading lives of our young ones.

You can read my piece, "Always a Place for Picture Books," here: http://www.reading.org/general/Publications/blog/engage/engage-single-post/engage/2013/11/14/always-a-place-for-picture-books#.UoTzdBB5mSO

Friday, November 08, 2013

CT Children's Book Fair - THIS SUNDAY!

I'll be at the Connecticut Children's Book Fair on Sunday at UConn! http://bookfair.uconn.edu/

There will be a ton of authors on hand, including Tomie dePaola!

Here is my full schedule:

Presentation: 12:15pm
Autographings:10:00am-11:00am; 12:45pm-1:45pm

**Because this is a fundraiser, the organization asks that books be purchased at the fair.**

Thursday, November 07, 2013

A surprise visit from an old friend.

What an incredible surprise to see my high school art teacher today! Mr. Shilale, who has long been retired, continues to sub in the art classes in his hometown and heard I was visiting one of the schools. We got to spend the day together, reminisce and catch up - and I got to tell him in person that his reassuring words made a big difference in my life.

You can trace the origins of my book BAGHEAD back to an art assignment Mr. Shilale gave us in high school. I have shared this slide in thousands of lectures in the past twelve years.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

An embarrassment of riches this Halloween!

I received an embarrassment of riches this Halloween. Some wonderful photos of folks dressed as my characters came through over social media. It's just beyond anything I could have ever imagined. I am so honored that folks took the time to put together these fantastic costumes!

Check out the awesomeness below!

Not only does Kairi make a fierce Lunch Lady, but she also has the creativity of Betty -- when she couldn't find a yellow apron, she made one! Color me impressed!

Spotted on Martha's Vineyard -- a Punk Farm scarecrow! I love it!!!

Public librarian Laura Lintz donned a yellow apron for Halloween, but nothing could top Ulysses the Pug's performance as Betty. I can certify that this is the first canine interpretation of one of my characters! My pug is jealous that he didn't think of that! (He has no shame, and will do anything for extra treats.)

Detectives Corey O'Malley and Rick Zengo turned up at the HarperCollins Halloween party. And just in case things got out of hand, Sergeant Plazinski was on hand to ensure that the Platypus Police Squad stayed in line. (The attention to detail here is mind-boggling!)

School librarian Cyndi Shinn has been a big supporter of the Lunch Lady books out in Nebraska. And on Halloween, she took it to the next level!

Check out Stella and her sister, Rosie! They are just adorable! (And the littlest lunch ladies that I ever did see!) I also appreciate their parents' dedication to theme by painting their walls yellow...

Andrew kept his neighborhood streets safe by serving justice and serving lunch in the Sunshine State! I love this costume!

Check out these INCREDIBLE story pumpkins!

4th grader Liam made this incredibly creative Lunch Lady pumpkin. I love the use of a mop head for the hair!

This Platypus Police Squad pumpkin looks so much like Detective Rick Zengo! Made by a 2nd grader at Sterling Community School, it is a perfectly shaped pumpkin for this character!

This was sent in by Mattea in Arizona. Mattea did a fantastic job on her pumpkin book report! I love it! Thank you so much, Mattea!

If you dressed up as one of my characters, or themed a story pumpkin around one of my books, I'd love to see photos!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lancaster, MA on Tuesday at 7 p.m.!

If you live near Lancaster, MA you should stop by the Thayer Memorial Library tomorrow night at 7 p.m.! I will be giving a presentation on my books, and picking up the Chandler Reward of Merit. It's an honor to be recognized, especially giving the award's description. From the Thayer Memorial Library's website:

This reward recognizes Krosockzka  for his work as an author and illustrator of books that entertain and encourage young readers to follow their dreams and tackle problems with imagination and humor.

This award was put on a 21-year hiatus, but was recently reinstated in celebration of the library's 150th anniversary. I was in awe to learn of the past recipients, which include Ed Emberly, Jane Yolen and Maurice Sendak.

Read more about the event in this great article from The Item.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Lunch Lady has a READ poster!

I was incredibly honored to have been asked to design a READ poster for the American Library Association. This iconic series of posters has been adorning library walls for years, and I'm proud to be a part of that tradition.

If you would like to order a copy of this poster (or the matching bookmarks) for your library or classroom, please visit this website: http://www.alastore.ala.org/detail.aspx?ID=10803

Feed your imagination!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The RI Festival of Children's Books is THIS Saturday!

Hey Rhode Islanders—The RI Festival of Children's Books is THIS Saturday!

I'll join Avi, Sharon Creech, Adam Gidwitz, Daniel Handler, Laurie KellerKate MessnerDan Santat, Chris Van Allsburg and more for an epic day of epicness!

Learn more on the Fest's official website!

The last time I attended the RI Festival of Children's Books was 2006. Back then, I brought my girlfriend, Gina.

This year, I will bring my wife, Gina, and our two daughters. No word yet on Curious George...we've drifted apart in the ensuing years.

We hope to see you on Saturday!

A Splendiferous Afternoon of Roald Dahl

I am ecstatic to announce that I will be hosting "A Splendiferous Afternoon of Roald Dahl" on December 8th! The event will benefit First Book Manhattan and will take place at Symphony Space on Broadway in New York City. (It's my Broadway debut!) Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan and a cavalcade of celebrities will read from Dahl's works, the cast of Matilda on Broadway will perform and there will be a special appearance by Luke Kelly, Roald Dahl's grandson.

It's a 756-seat venue, but tickets are nearly sold out! If you would like to get your hand on a golden ticket*, check out the official webpage!

I'm so excited about this shindig, that I created my own little piece of James and the Giant Peach fan art. I have such fond memories of the book, and even have my childhood copy sitting on my bookshelf here in the studio!

*Tickets are not actually golden in color.

Attention schools in San Francisco, Phoenix and Los Angeles

If you are a school in San Francisco, Phoenix or Los Angeles, I may be able to get to your school in early 2014! My publisher will be sending me to a few west coast stores for my new books. Schools will not be responsible for air travel, hotel or any travel expenses, but would be responsible for my honorarium. I would only ask that you use the bookstores that my publisher is setting me up with.

Here are the dates when I'll be in town:

San Francisco, CA - February 8th

Phoenix or Scottsdale, AZ - March 17 or 18

Los Angeles, CA on April 14 and/or 15.

If you are interested, please email my School Visits Manager, Gina Krosoczka, at gina at studiojjk dot com. (If you're wondering about the relation, Gina is my wife!) :)

I hope everyone is having a great day!

Thank You, Jane!

Thank You, Jane Yolen!!!

All of us in the Krosoczka house are so honored by the dedication in the latest How Do Dinosaurs book. The girls are especially tickled!