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Author Visits Ashley Elementary (February, 2008)

Jarrett Krosoczka

Jarrett Krosoczka reads from his award winning book, Punk Farm, at Ashley Elementary. Ashley Elementary and Anderson Elementary had the honor of hosting a visit with author and illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka, on February 6, 2008.  Jarrett Krosoczka is the author and illustrator of Punk Farm, a previous Texas 2 x 2 book, along with eight other pictures books.

Prior to the author visit, students enjoyed both listening to his stories and looking at the comical and sometimes outrageous illustrations.  Students explored Jarrett’s website to find out how he became a published author, looked at artwork from his childhood, listened to the pronunciation of his name, and even played video games based on a few of his books.  While reading his “Fake Bio” and the “Even Faker Bio” on his website, students began to see the quirky sense of humor and spunk not only apparent on his website, but also in his books.  These character traits helped make Jarrett Krosoczka one of the top 20 new artists under the age of 30 according to “Print,” the nation’s premiere magazine concerning the arts in print.

During his presentation, Jarrett Krosoczka discussed how he grew from a little boy who loved to draw into a published author and illustrator.  Perseverance and determination were a constant thread throughout his presentation, as he shared the trials and tribulations of getting his stories and art published.  Even after he was repeatedly turned down by over 25 publishers, Jarrett never gave up.  True to himself and believing in his art, he continued sending samples of his artwork to publishers until finally it crossed the desk of an editor from Random House, and she saw the potential in his art.

Jarrett Krosoczka had the opportunity to share with the Ashley third, fourth, and fifth grade students, the week long process of painting a two page spread in one of his books.  Students were amazed by everything required for one picture, as they watched the steps taken to turn the sketch approved by the publisher into the final picture for the book.

At the end of the presentation, Jarrett gave an interactive reading of Punk Farm, and students enjoyed watching Jarrett draw several different characters from his books.  He told them that he was able to draw them quickly because of practice.  Practice and hard work is an important part of our accomplishments, Krosoczka told the audience.  Students were eager to check out Krosoczka’s books from the library and are looking forward to his next book; a 90 page comic book featuring a superhero lunch lady!

For more information on the author and illustrator, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, or to read his “Even Faker Bio,” visit his website: www.studiojjk.com.