Monster Needs an Interview!


In honor of the release of Monster Needs to Go to School,Monster_School_h-cover_mkt the sixth book in the Monster&Me series published by Mighty Media Press, I wanted to do something special for this post. I didn’t want to do the typical interview by a blogger, not that I don’t appreciate them because I do! It’s more to do with the fact that I’ve done that already and I wanted to change it up. So instead I decided to be interviewed by the person who inspired the entire series, my daughter Abigail.  If my daughter had never said, “My monster needs a haircut”, I would have never gotten the idea to write about the different adventures Monster and Boy have while growing up together.

Now that my daughter is old enough, she wanted to put me in the hot seat and ask me questions about the book. A budding journalist perhaps? At least for the moment. Yesterday it was a Chef.

Anyway, without further ado I give you the journalistic writings of,



The Abigail Park Press
(she named it)


Thank you for having me Mr. Czajak.

Come on, It’s Dad.

Dad stop it! I’m trying to be professional!

Oh sorry, let’s start again. You’re doing great!

Anyway, how come you wanted to be an author?

That is an awesome question! Simple, when you were about three you started to give me a ton of story ideas from the things you said and the things you did. Eventually Mommy, excuse me, my wife, became tired of hearing about the stories and told me to write them down.

What did I do to make you want to write stories?

Well, at one point you went through a phase where I was not allowed to do anything. If you wanted food, Mommy had to feed you. If you needed to get dressed, Mommy had to dress you. When it was time for bed, Mommy had to put you to bed. Everything was Mommy, Mommy, Mommy. Of course that wasn’t going to happen so we started saying Daddies can do it too, and forced the issue. Eventually, and I mean a long time eventually, you started saying Daddies can do it too, as well. And that’s when I realized I was looking at a story in the making.

How come Monster didn’t want to go to School at first?Monster scared

Like most kids I think the first day of school can be a bit scary, even for a Monster. Just because Monster is big doesn’t mean he can’t be nervous. Let’s be honest Monster isn’t like the other kids so he has no idea if the other children would want to be friends with him. Plus, everything is new to Monster, so school can be confusing, and people and Monsters are fearful of things they don’t understand.

Is Adieu the only French word Monster knows?


That isn’t funny.

Je suis désolé.

There is a teacher’s name written on the black board. Who is Ms. Tamero?Monster Tamero


Ms. Tamero was my third grade teacher in Center School in Sherborn, MA before it was merged with Pine Hill Elementary. My family had just moved to Massachusetts from Iowa and it was the middle of third grade. I knew no one, so you might say I was I little nervous. Ms. Tamero was so cool that third grade became my favorite grade and she became my favorite teacher of all time. So when Wendy Grieb, the illustrator, asked if I had a name for the teacher, I only had one.

Ms. Tamero if you are reading this, thank you for everything!

How come Monster said something to the bullies even though they were his friends?

Just because someone is a friend doesn’t mean they can’t bully someone. When Monster saw this he didn’t care that he may lose his new friends, he just knew it needed to stop.

How old is Monster?

Monster is around 8 to 9 years old. He never went to school so he is a little behind on the whole learning thing. But he is doing his best and loves going to school!

Those are all the questions I have. Thanks for answering them! Can I go catch Poke’mon now?

Uhgg. . . yes.

How to Buy a Picture Book (without Buying a Picture Book)

Lady Pancake Cover_thumbnail

By Josh Funk

Pirasaurs! by Josh Funk & Michael Slack from ScholasticMy first book came out last September: Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast. I have two new books out this September: Pirasaurs! and Dear Dragon. You’re probably tired of hearing about it by now, so lucky for you, I don’t plan on talking about them in this post.

Today it’s how to support picture book authors and illustrators.

One of the best things you can do is buy their books.

But what if you’re not in the market for picture books at this time in your life, so the idea of buying one doesn’t really interest you? Maybe it doesn’t fit your budget. Or maybe you have an irrational fear of dinosaur-pirates, letter-writing-dragons, and anthropomorphic breakfast foods.


Here are ten other ways to support picture book authors and illustrators:

  1. Give the book as a gift. You probably know someone who might like it. Give it to her/him. Or donate it to your library. Or to your dentist for the waiting room. Or anyplace where small children look at books.
  2. Request that your local library purchase a copy. This can be done in person or often in an online form.
  3. Reserve and borrow it from the library. Increased circulation of books is noticed by librarians. They are smart people.
  4. Review the book. On goodreads. On Amazon. On Text reviews are even more valuable than just star-ratings.
  5. Talk about the book with librarians and booksellers. There are a lot of great books out there. Get this book on their radar.
  6. Talk about the book with friends. Or parents of your child’s friends. Or your child’s teacher. Or strangers on the street.
  7. Share the book on social media. Tweet about it. Blog about it. Post on Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, MySpace, etc. about it. Share the cover image. If you see it in the wild, snap a picture and share that. And tag the author or illustrator (or both). We love that!
  8. Share the author or illustrator’s posts on social media. Follow them on social media sites and share with your networks.
  9. Read the book in public. Like at the park. Or in a restaurant. Or the airport.
  10. Make your own fan book trailer. And post to YouTube. If that’s your thing.

Lady Pancake Cover Image (2)

Note: I’m not the first to write a post like this. Here are a few other posts which have similar and more detailed info. Please check them out:

Also Note: These ideas can apply to any type of book, not just picture books.

Thanks for reading. And thank you very much for supporting picture book authors and illustrators, however you choose to do so.

Do you have any other ideas of how to buy a picture book without actually buying a picture book? Share your thoughts in the comments.

[This post originally appeared (in slightly different form) on Josh Funk’s Blog, here.]