Jarrett J. Krosoczka is the author and illustrator of numerous children's books, including Good Night, Monkey Boy and Baghead. He cites Charles Schulz and John Singer Sargent as his biggest artistic influences.
Book Tour is a Web feature and podcast. Each week, we present leading authors of fiction and nonfiction as they read from and discuss their work.
What happens when a punked-out quintet of farm animals amps up a familiar tune and hits the highways in their rock van? You wind up with Jarrett J. Krosoczka's Punk Farm on Tour, a vividly illustrated children's book following the adventures of a barnyard band.
Nine-time children's book author-illustrator Krosoczka says that "you never know when your ideas are going to come back to you." His 2004 story Baghead — about a boy with a bad haircut — grew out of a still life of a paper bag he drew in high school. Punk Farm, published in 2005, was hatched when Krosoczka combined two stories that weren't gelling on their own: one about a pig and the other about a kid rock star.
"So I started sketching out a cow on drums, a pig on guitar, a sheep on the microphone, a goat on bass ... and a chicken on keyboards," he says. "And once Chicken joined the group, Punk Farm was born."
You don't have to read volume one to catch onto the sequel, but Punk Farm on Tour is more than a recap: Krosoczka fleshes out each animal's quirks. Like with any good band, though, once the lights come up, it's all about the music. The result? Never have "Old MacDonald" and "The Wheels on the Bus" seemed so hip.
This reading of Punk Farm on Tour took place in November of 2007 at the Politics and Prose bookstore in Washington, D.C.