Daddy Clay talks with Jarret J. Krosoczka, one of DadLabs favorite children's book authors. Jarrett is the author of the popular Lunch Lady series and also has several picture books. His latest picture book is titled "Ollie the Purple Elephant." Not only does create them, he loves to read them to his daughter. A few of their favorites are "Nursery Rhyme Comics," "I Want My Hat Back," "Bake Sale," "My Name is Elizabeth," and "Say What?"
Episode 836 is brought to you by BabyBjorn.
Daddy Clay: Today in the lab, an interview with one of our very favorite children's authors. Come right back and find out who. [music]Daddy Clay: Today's episode is brought to you by Baby Bjorn, you know creative, interesting people that we did their children, they like Baby Bjorn products a lot. That's why we're grateful to brought to you by Baby Bjorn. Every once in a while, we have the opportunity to interview authors here at DadLabs. I'm really excited when it's one whose books my kids love. Today we're talking with Jarrett Krosoczka, who is the author of "The Lunch Lady" series.In addition to that famous and very popular series, he also has a series of picture books. He's recently released a new one called "Ollie The Purple Elephant."Jarrett Krosoczka: Well, my new picture book is called "Ollie The Purple Elephant." It's about a dad who promised his kids, that should they ever find a purple elephant, they could keep him. One day, on a stroll through the park, they meet Ollie who is indeed, a purple elephant. So, the daddy has to keep his word to his kids and they invite Ollie to come back and live with them. They live in the city, so, they don't have a very big place. They live in a very cramped city apartment but they love Ollie, and Ollie's happy. He becomes a part of this family, but the family's cat, Ginger, really doesn't like Ollie, nor does the downstairs neighbor.Because the McGlocklan family have dance parties after dinner, so, as you can imagine with an elephant, that gets to be really loud. So, the cat and the downstairs neighbor conspire to get rid of Ollie.Fatherhood has certainly influenced my work. The stories, I would say, happier too. The colors are brighter and happier. I'm also married so, I have a wife who supports me and will give me an honest opinion about the story. It was my wife, actually, who suggest that I first draw an elephant.For my daughter though, she's just about to turn three. This book is brand new to the world, but to her it's always existed because I actually drew these characters in a mural in her baby room. So, I think for her, the story is old hat.In fact, I remember when the book first came out, I suggested that we read it at bedtime and she was like, "Eh. Let's read this book instead." It was hard not to take that personally. I'm like, "It's dedicated to you Zoe. It says your name on the title pages. I named the monkey after you." She said, "No. Let's read that book instead."One of the greatest parts of being a dad now is that, because I get to read picture books to my child, I get to read more picture books in general. We've been reading some comics too. There's this great comic's collection called "Nursery Rhyme Comics."We've been reading this graphic novel called "Bake Sale," which is about an eggplant and a cupcake that are best friends. "I Want My Hat Back" by Jon Klassen, is a really funny book. "My Name Is Elizabeth" is a great new picture book that was just published this past year."Say What?" by Angela DiTerilizzi, is a really funny book about wondering what baby animals are really saying to their moms and dads. One of the biggest challenges as an author/illustrator is you have to spend so much time worrying about the plot, worrying about the story, and the characters and the structure. When you come on as just the illustrator, a lot of that stuff has already been worked out.Not to say that there isn't a lot of work when you're just illustrating a book, because you have to decide what the characters are going to look like. You have to decide how you're going to break down the text. There are pros and cons to both. The stories that I've written, I feel a bit more of an attachment to the characters, because I've spent much more time with them, and they're a little closer to my heart because I created them.Host: Wow. You can see why Jarrett is one of our very favorite authors. Such a creative and articulate guy and a great dad to boot. Thanks Jarrett very much for being on the show. Thank you also to Baby Bjorn. Talking about a work of art, have you seen an original spirit, in one of those beautiful colors? Baby Bjorn.Host: We'll see you next time here in the lab.