Friday, February 22, 2013

You should totally go out and get a copy of Joey Weiser's graphic novel, Mermin Vol. 1: Out of Water

For the past few years, Joey Weiser has been crucial to my meeting my deadlines. A graphic novelist in his own right, Joey has been assisting in coloring and shading the Lunch Lady books starting with book 5, and also the first Platypus Police Squad book. His self-published Mermin books, which are beyond awesome, have now been bound up in full color by Oni Press! These books will be a huge hit with young comic readers.

I'm not plugging Joey's book because he's helped me out, I'm plugging it because it's a superlative kids' graphic novel.

Learn more about Mermin, the fish-boy who yearns to live on land, at Joey's website:!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Announcing School Lunch Superhero Day on May 3rd!

I am beyond ecstatic to announce an initiative that I've been cooking up with the School Nutrition Association and Random House Children's Books. School Lunch Superhero Day will take place on May 3rd! Let's show our appreciation for the folks who feed 32 million kids in our nation's public schools on a daily basis.

Learn more at!

Shannon Hale on today's episode of The Book Report with JJK!

Listen in to my conversation with magnificent author Shannon Hale on today's Book Report with JJK! Airs at 5:40ET/2:40PT on Kids Place Live, channel 78 on SiriusXM! Tune in to learn about Shannon's Rapunzel's Revenge and Princess Academy!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Awesome videos by the kids at Parkview Elementary!

On a recent visit to Parkview Elementary, I was greeted by these incredible videos ahead of my assemblies. I was just blown away by the love these kids gave my books!

Thank you to the awesome kids at Parkview and their awesome librarian, Laura Given!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sketchbook Saturday

It has been some time since I've posted a weekly sketch here on the ol' blog. Something about having two young kids and an intense deadline schedule...

Anyhow, here are some sketches from my early morning sketch session with my kids.


Friday, February 15, 2013

What happens when you gather 3,000 lunch ladies?

Well, this summer, I will find out! I'm thrilled that I'll be a keynote speaker at the School Nutrition Association's ANC conference this July!

I'll be speaking to a room filled with 3,000 school nutritionists form across the country! I cannot wait!

This is the invitation that is currently being delivered to just about every school cafeteria in America....


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New Eidtions

No, not New Edition, new editions. 2013 will see lots of new ways to enjoy books on my backlist. (AKA: books that came out a while ago.)

Good Night, Monkey Boy will find a whole new sort of audience on May 14th when it comes out as a board book edition. So feel free to give it to your youngest of readers to chew, throw and drool on without concern. I'm especially excited as I've learned first hand how essential board books are to raising a little reader. Monkey Boy will also be published as an eBook on that same day. 

Here's a photo of my youngest reader inspecting the Good Night, Monkey Boy board book cover proofs last summer!

And here she is this morning! The final board edition arrived for her approval.
Here is a size comparison next to the original hardcover

And speaking of eBooks, Baghead and Max for President have recently joined my growing list of digital editions. Look for those in your favorite eRetailer and take a whole stack of books along with you on your tablet computer!

Annie Was Warned is already available as a digital edition, but on August 6th you can pick up a paperback edition as well! The paperback edition posed a bit of a challenge. If you recall, there is a gatefold in the original hardcover edition. Gatefolds are expensive to print and therefore go against the whole point of having an affordable paperback. To translate Annie into paperback, the page layout changed a bit. That last page was no longer a single page, but a double-page spread. With that, I needed to revisit some art. A fun challenge -- recreate the exact same style and colors for something that you painted ten years ago so that it can fit in seamlessly with the original pages. I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish. Below, see the original printed page with the brand-new art! The paperback edition will publish just as the book celebrates its 10th year in print!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Kindergarten library card party -- your public library should take on this awesome program

Roseville Public Library in Minnesota holds a "graduation ceremony" for Kindergartners who are getting their first library cards. It's awesome! Impossibly cute and the kids are filled with so much pride. And of course it reinforces the privilege of having a card! I was honored to be invited out to speak at the event.  Here I am with the incredible group (minus Ann) who made it all happen!

You should totally bring such a program to your community! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

two podcasts in which I discuss the business side of kid lit

Recently, I sat down in front of my computer and Skyped with two great podcasts. If you're interested in the business side of children's books and have some time to spare (and aren't sick of hearing me yap away), give them a listen!

I chatted with fellow graphic novelists Dave Roman and Jerzy Drozd on their fantastic kids' comics podcast, Kids' Comics Revolution!. Here, I delve into the business of visiting schools and libraries. My wife Gina and I put a lot of care into this programming, so it was cool to be able to share some of our practices.

Give that a listen here:

And I talked about life in art school and breaking into the kid lit market with Jeffery Yan over at RISD Voice. You can hop on over to that podcast by following this link. It's a great podcast that covers a wide variety of artistic disciplines.

Friday, February 08, 2013

DJ Consonants - Czekaj and I guest host Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child

This crazy blizzard may have stopped Jef Czekaj and I from taking the stage at the Carle Museum this Saturday, but not from guest DJing Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child! Listen to our kid-lit/punk/rap set on your local radio stations, or online here:

We'll see you at the Carle at 1pm on March 9th!

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Matt Phelan on today's episode of The Book Report with JJK!

I sat down to chat with Matt Phelan about his beautiful and moving graphic novels. You can eavesdrop on my chat with my old pal today at 5:40 pm EST / 2:40 pm PST on SiriusXM's Kids Place Live, channel 78!

this weekend's event at The Carle is postponed, rescheduled for March 9th!

POSTPONED!!! Hi everyone, because of the impending Nor'easter, everyone thought it best that we reschedule the Czekaj/Krosoczka Show.

Jef and I will rock Punk Farm and Hip & Hop on Saturday, March 9th at 1 PM at the Carle Museum. (Please note this is an updated revised date!)

Stay safe and happy sledding!

If you are bummed about missing out on the fun this weekend, just sing "snow" instead of "rain."

Please note, Jef and I will rock harder than Milli Vanilli.