bride of the tornado cover dare to know cover order of oddfish cover

The Order of Oddfish


Joke Book, 90-Second Newbery Update, and Where Am I?

August 28, 2014

What is that cartoon above? A few months ago I was invited to contribute to a joke book for the 7- to 10-year-old crowd called Do You Smell Carrots?. The book is supposed to support California Bookstore Day, a celebration of brick and mortar indie bookstores stores as well as the physical beauty/fun/coolness of books. The book was only available at the indie bookstores participating, not at online booksellers or chain stores.

I was honored to be asked to contribute a joke-and-illustration in a book that also featured the likes of Lemony Snicket, John Scieszka, …. Here’s what I didn’t realize, though: almost every single other contributor—including bona fide artists—only used one page of the book, or a double-page spread max. For some reason I drew this excessively long meta-joke above (based on a conversation that my 5-year-old Lucy Momo and I had) and it took up 8 pages. Ay yi yi.

So, I’m back from my usual summer hiatus with several bits of news. First of all, good news on the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival front—the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival is now a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Please support the 90-Second Newbery by donating to us here! (Contributions for the charitable purposes of The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival must be made payable to Fractured Atlas only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law).

Upcoming events! Live in the Atlanta area? This weekend (August 30-31, 2014), I’ll be at the Decatur Book Festival in Decatur, GA speaking about The Order of Odd-Fish (with other writers Peter Lerangis and George Hagen) and doing a best-of screening of the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. Details in the events sidebar.

Also, for you hometown Chicago folk, I’m once again co-hosting the annual Adult Spelling Bee at the Book Cellar with Robbie Q. Telfer and Kelsey Huff. It’s on Thursday, September 4 at 7 pm. This is the kind of bookstore that has a wine bar, and the spelling bee always a sloppy happy hilarious mess, so do come! Words will be misspelled! Prizes will be flung wildly about! Elementary school humiliations will be revisited! Register to compete at or just show up and watch, it’s a good time. And heck, buy some books while you’re there at that worthy independent bookstore.

Ah! See how I brought it full circle, there? That’s true blogging mastery. I still got it!