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Jarrett J. Krosoczka (The Children's Book Podcast #469)

October 30, 2018



Jarrett J. Krosoczka (@StudioJJK) is the cartoonist of HEY, KIDDO: HOW I LOST MY MOTHER, FOUND MY FATHER, AND DEALT WITH FAMILY ADDITION. You may already know Jarrett from his best-selling LUNCH LADY graphic novel series, the PLATYPUS POLICE SQUAD books, or from the JEDI ACADEMY series titles that bear his name, not to mention his many wonderful picture books. But today we’re focusing on something a little different. HEY, KIDDO is Jarrett’s graphic memoir and it’s intended for an older audience. A warning to listeners with young children: there are curse words in this episode that we do not bleep. Actually, side note, these occur during the times when Jarrett and I are reading excerpts from the book and they’re some of my favorite moments in our conversation. Jarrett shares how HEY, KIDDO was a story he needed to write, yet he admits that it would have been easier not to make the book at all. There are many, many challenging moments in Jarrett's life, but there is always love, and there is always hope, and there is always someone there that Jarrett can look to for wisdom and guidance.




In kindergarten, Jarrett Krosoczka's teacher asks him to draw his family, with a mommy and a daddy. But Jarrett's family is much more complicated than that. His mom is an addict, in and out of rehab, and in and out of Jarrett's life. His father is a mystery -- Jarrett doesn't know where to find him, or even what his name is. Jarrett lives with his grandparents -- two very loud, very loving, very opinionated people who had thought they were through with raising children until Jarrett came along.


Jarrett goes through his childhood trying to make his non-normal life as normal as possible, finding a way to express himself through drawing even as so little is being said to him about what's going on. Only as a teenager can Jarrett begin to piece together the truth of his family, reckoning with his mother and tracking down his father.


Hey, Kiddo is a profoundly important memoir about growing up in a family grappling with addiction, and finding the art that helps you survive.









Jarrett J. Krosoczka is a New York Times bestselling author, a two-time winner of the Children’s Choice Book Award for the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year, an Eisner award nominee, and the author and/or illustrator of more than 30 books for young readers. His work includes several picture books, select volumes of Star Wars: Jedi Academy, the Lunch Lady graphic novels, and the Platypus Police Squad novel series. Jarrett has given two TED Talks, both of which have been curated to the main page of and have collectively accrued more than two million views online. He is also the host of The Book Report with JJK on SiriusXM’s Kids Place Live, a weekly segment celebrating books, authors, and reading. Jarrett lives in Western Massachusetts with his wife and children, and their pugs, Ralph and Frank.


Learn more about Jarrett at


And purchase any one of Jarrett J. Krosoczka's books for you, your readers, a friend, or a library HERE.







*This post contains affiliate links. Any purchases made through these links will support the costs of maintaining the podcast, webcomic, and other materials associated with this site. 





Thank you, JENNY SUE, AMY, KATE, DARSHANA, NOCOLE, JARRETT, MIKE, LINK, ANITRA, LYNN, CYNTHIA, DOUG, AMANDA, RUTH, LARA, JUDI, CORRINA, TERESA, ELAINE and the van load of others who are coming with me on this journey. You’re welcome to join us. Just visit and pick the support tier that’s right for you. All the hugs and high fives for all of the many, many ways all of out there listening support this show.


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