As many of you know, I have been a fan of Jarrett Krosoczka’s since the beginning of his career. It has been such a treat watching this talented young guy grow into the artist he is today. Jarrett has always been the nicest guy and, I’m happy to say, he is still the same in that regard. In addition to all his professional growth and success he is now married to the wonderful Gina and he has two of the cutest little girls, Zoe and Lucy.
I just read the latest of Jarrett’s enormously popular series, Lunch Lady. This is #11 and I just love it.
Complete with her amazing spy inventions (like a spatula with a rotor blade that takes her off into the sky), Lunch Lady is both hilarious and a darn good read. Kids love them in 2nd and 3rd grade but to only offer them to that age group is a mistake. I gave them to struggling and reluctant readers in middle school and they loved them. The graphic novel format pulls readers in and when they meet the Lunch Lady of all lunch ladies, they’re hooked. In this story, Lunch Lady and her sidekick, Betty, have been fired due to budget cuts. Or maybe it’s something else? Someone is up to no good and Lunch Lady is going to stop them, no matter what. Check out this series (and you know how kids like series!) and I guarantee your kids will love each and every one.
I would be missing the boat if I didn’t mention Jarrett’s newest project. Comics Squad Recess! Edited by Jarrett and his pals Jennifer L. Holm (3 time Newbery Honor winner) and her brother, Matthew Holm (together Jenni and Matt do the Babymouse series) this graphic novel is a series of stories told by 10 fabulous graphic novelists. All of the stories involve recess in some way and they are hilarious. Any kid who likes Lunch Lady and Babymouse will love this collection. This is the first in the series and I know there’s another one coming. The artist/storytellers are Jarrett, Jenni & Matt Holm, Dav Pilkey (Captain Underpants), Dan Santat (Sidekicks), Raina Telgemeier (Smile) & Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese), Eric Wight (Frankie Pickle series), and Ursula Vernon (Dragonbreath series). This is an astounding line up! Check it out for your kids. It’s awesome.
I also wanted to give a shout out to Jarrett’s latest picture book, Peanut Butter and Jellyfish. What kid won’t be attracted by that title! The story is about a curmudgeonly crab who treats his friends badly but when Crabby gets captured in a crab pot, his friends come to the rescue. They do the right thing and Crabby realizes that and apologizes for being such a crab. The art is pure Krosoczka – bright colorful palette that is perfect for the audience it was painted for. Children will love it and librarians should add to their collections as soon as they can.