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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Platypus Police Squad: Last Panda Standing by Jarrett Krosoczka {guest post and giveaway}

Welcome to Day 5 of the 4th Annual March MG Madness! Today we are celebrating the latest book in Jarret Krosockza's Platypus Police Squad series, Last Panda Standing...

Last Panda Standing
(Platypus Police Squad #3)
by Jarrett Krosoczka
Walden Pond Press
From Jarrett J. Krosoczka comes Last Panda Standing, the third installment in the hilarious, high-action illustrated middle grade series featuring two platypus detectives, perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and Jarrett's own Lunch Lady series.

The Kalamazoo City mayoral race is heating up, and Frank Pandini Jr. has been threatened by a mysterious assailant. He requests a special Platypus Police Squad protection detail: Detective Rick Zengo. This leaves O'Malley to be partnered up with Jo Cooper, the newest detective on the force. Can Zengo get to the bottom of the attacks—without O'Malley backing him up?

goodreads / amazon / b&n / indiebound

Other books in the Platypus Police Squad Series

Praise for this series

"Krosoczka’s considerable fan base will embrace his continuing evolution from picture books and the comics-style Lunch Lady series to his first chapter book, a police procedural that shares the same affable goofiness of his earlier work."
—  Publishers Weekly

"Followers of Krosoczka's "Lunch Lady" series (Knopf) will be delighted to discover the author's foray into the realm of chapter books."
—  School Library Journal

by Jarrett Krosoczka

In 2004, a spark of inspiration coupled with some doodling in my sketchbook lead to the birth of Platypus Police Squad. Around the same time, two dear friends of mine, Corey McGrath and Chris Zengo, were graduating the police academy. I named the duck-billed detectives after my pals and I would often seek out advice from them as I developed the book series. What was it like to be a police officer? I would ask them. What are some things that youve seen? While learning about radio dispatches and other protocol was interesting, what really informed the series was my friends' motivations behind why they dedicated their lives to protect and serve.

Fast forward to 2013 when the first Platypus Police Squad book,The Frog Who Croaked, was about to publish. I sent advanced copies to both officers. What happened in the meantime was unspeakable. The Boston Marathon bombings sent the city we love, our country, and our world into a tailspin. And with one friend a police officer at MIT and the other in the city of Watertown, MA, it was a tense week for everyone in their worlds. Justice prevailed and a few weeks later I was at Blue Bunny, a bookstore in nearby Dedham, MA. Officer Zengo was able to attend, and folks lined up to shake his hand. When we launched The Ostrich Conspiracy at the Cambridge Public Library in 2014, both Officer McGrath and, by then, Trooper Zengo were on hand. I invited both to read aloud with me to the assembled children. There was something really magical in that.

That read-aloud was so special for the community and I knew that we needed to replicate it. Reading aloud is such a gentle gesture and through the Platypus Police Academy read-aloud program, we are connecting communities with their police force. These events are being held at libraries and other community centers across the country. We piloted the program in Birmingham and Denver to stellar results. Even though we were dealing with monotreme cops, it was a moving experience for all. We were able to connect young readers to police detectives through platypus detectives. Just imagine it, kids holding books and reading along as police officers in uniform read and act out a reader's theater adapted from the first Platypus Police Squad book. The officers were able to shake hands and the young readers were able to ask questions of the officers.

While the Platypus Police Squad books are filled with silly puns and humorous antics, at their core theyre about community and selflessness. Thats why I am so excited about this program. When we come together around literature, we grow stronger as a community. When we can laugh together, we grow closer.

By pure serendipity, I was invited to illustrate the artwork for the 2015 Collaborative Summer Library Program. The theme is "Every Hero Has a Story," and I was asked to use the Platypus Police Squad in my artwork. For your summer reading programs and beyond I hope that you would consider using the resources we've provided at to host a similar event in your community.

Jarrett J. Krosoczka has been passionate about storytelling through words and pictures since he was a kid. He began his professional career by illustrating educational readers for a national publisher while still an undergraduate at Rhode Island School of Design. Then, just six months after graduation, Jarrett received his first contract for a trade book that he authored. Knopf Books for Young Readers published Good Night, Monkey Boy on June 12, 2001 and Jarrett hasn’t stopped or slowed down since. He currently has authored and illustrated eighteen published books—ten picture books and eight graphic novels. His Lunch Lady series has twice won a Children's Choice Book Award, in the Third to Fourth Grade Book of the Year category, and was nominated for a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award. In the summer of 2013, Jarrett will have his chapter book debut with the publication of Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked. His Punk Farm and Lunch Lady series are both currently in development as feature films. While Jarrett awaits seeing his work adapted for the silver screen, he can be heard on The Book Report with JJK, his new radio segment on Sirius XM's Kids Place Live. Jarrett is happily living out his childhood dream in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he resides with his wife and daughters and their pug, Ralph Macchio. 

Win a signed set of the three books in the Platypus Police Squad Series!
Thanks to Walden Pond Press, I have one signed set to giveaway.
-US only
-ends 3/31
-must be 13+
-winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
-Word Spelunking is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen prizes

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Yvonne said...

I got to meet Jarrett at a book signing in Richmond, VA a couple of years ago where I got copies of the first book for my myself and my grandson.

anne s. said...

i think my son would find this series hysterical. can't wait to share it with him!

Brenda said...

Platypus Police squad is a fun series and I enjoyed reading about the community outreach that you do with police officers.

Carl Scott said...

Just the idea of Platypus Police Squad makes me smile. I'm sure the books are very enjoyable, thanks for the chance to win them.

Lynnette said...

My library kids love Platypus Police Squad! They'll be thrilled to see the latest installment. And Jarrett is awesome - I've seen him at MSLA many times, and I love that he judges the bookmark awards!