Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

May 23, 2013

'Lunch Lady' leading arts infusion

Book creator in spotlight as schools aim to rebuild

(Continued)

“The kids are thrilled,” said Patrowicz, who teaches at Shawsheen and Bancroft schools.

Co-grant writer Charlotte Wilson, who teaches at Bancroft, added, “We are building on Jarrett’s visit and the kids are really responding.”

Krosoczka’s bestselling “Lunch Lady” series features 10 books, while his picture books are also best sellers. This summer, he launches into the chapter book genre with the release of “Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked.”

In addition to inspiring students with his work, his personal story, which he openly shares on his website, is also inspiring. Krosoczka, who grew up in Worcester, describes a difficult childhood in which his mother was a heroin addict and his father was never in his life. He was raised by his loving maternal grandparents.

Krosoczka says rejection letters came often in the beginning of his book career, but he never gave up — a message he emphasizes when he meets with kids. Finally, Knopf Books for Young Readers published his book, “Good Night, Monkey Boy,” in 2001. And, Krosoczka was on his way.

His “Lunch Lady” series has twice won a Children’s Choice Book Award in the third- and fourth-grade category and there is now movie talk.

A full house is expected at Tuesday afternoon’s lecture as kids’ backpacks have been stuffed with fliers about Krosoczka’s visit.

“Even our own lunch ladies have a stack of those books.... Everyone is happy that he is coming,” Patrowicz said.

BOOK APPEAL

Three Andover educators share what they like about Jarrett Krosoczka’s works:

“His illustrations are so big and take over two pages. It’s great!”

— Art teacher Charlotte Wilson talking about “Punk Farm”

“It’s comic book graphics and a novel. That is so cool and interesting to kids.”

— Art teacher (and comic book collector) Robea Patrowicz on the “Lunch Lady” series

“There’s a plot ... and now I have my own little guy to read to and I have gotten the book already.”

— Meghan Michaud of the Fine Arts Department on “Bubble Bath Pirates.”

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