Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Here's an absurdly-cute little gouache painting that you can bid on on April 6th at the Agassiz Preschool Spring Art Show in Somerville. All proceeds will go to the school, plus you'll get an autographed copy of Cat Secrets!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


OK, we got SNOWED OUT on the original date of this thing, but we're back, so bring it on winter!!! (um, just kidding, please make it nice out).

Jarrett J. Krosoczka and I bring our names full of weird consonants and our love of RAP and PUNK to  the Eric Carle Museum or Picture Book Art, this SATURDAY, March 9, 1PM.

We'll be teaming up for a performance that combines punk music, drawing, and rapping into one epic book reading.

Free with admission to the museum!

Friday, February 8, 2013


photo by Monte Belmonte
Jef and fellow children's book author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka took over the awesome PRX kids-music radio program Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child like we were modern-day Weird Als. Get ready for some kid-friendly punk and rap music.

Listen live on your local radio station or hear it here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Jef Does Things

Lots of fun stuff coming up in Febuary, including:

Jammin' with Jarrett and Jef
Feb. 9 at the Eric Carle Museum
An epic book reading with Mr. Jarrett J. Krosoczka that combines music and rapping and drawing and reading and anything else we can think of doing.

Copy Cat Festival
Feb. 17 at Arts at the Armory
Jef emcees (and does a special reading of Cat Secrets) an all-cat film festival!!!! Meow.

KidsJam with Jef
Feb. 22 at Boston Children's Museum
Jef guest-DJs at this monthly off-the-chain kid dance party. Expect lots of kid-friendly rrrrrrapppp.

More events and details on Jef's calendar.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kid-friendly Christmas Rap Mix

To celebrate the end of 2012/the beginning of 2013, I present to you a kid-friendly, old-school rap mix. I left off CHRISTMAS IN HOLIS, cuz I think we've all heard that enough already.

Stream it via Soundcloud or download it from Soundcloud or Sendspace. Share it!

Things I learned from making this mix:
1. rappers want to cold chill with Santa
2. rappers like singing/sampling "Jingle Bells" over a hip-hop beat.

Christmas in Oldskool County (download via Soundcloud or Sendspace)
Christmas Rappin'- Kurtis Blow
He's Santa Claus- Disco 4
Let the Jingle Bells Rock- Sweet Tee
A Surf MCs New Year- Surf MC's
Christmas Time Megamix- Luke
What You Want For Christmas- Quad City DJs, 69 Boys & K- Nock
Chillin' with Santa- Derek B.
Christmas Rap- Cutmaster D.C.
Funky Fresh Christmas- Busy Boys
Cold Chillin' Christmas- Cold Chillin' Juice Crew
Winter Wonderland - D Boy
Dana Dane is Coming to Town- Dana Dane
Christmas Rappin' - Dizzy Heights
Christmas in the City- King Sun-D Moet
(I'm Spending) Hanukkah In Santa Monica- Tom Lehrer

Happy Holidays from Jef, Hip, and Hop!

Tickey the Turkey

Okay, on Nov. 15, 2012, I met with some awesome kids at the Somerville Public Library and together we invented a character named Tickey the Turkey.

Then we drew some collaborative comics starring Tickey!

And, voila, here they are (you can click on individual images to zoom in).
These are the characteristics we came up with:

Monday, December 10, 2012

This Saturday (12/15) at the Somerville Public Library!

Join children's book author, illustrator, and long-time Somerville resident, Jef Czekaj, for an afternoon of fun and art. Using a combination of music, videos, and collaborative drawing activities, Jef will talk and rap about, um, what he does all day.

Jef will show his progression as an artist, from a young kid on Long Island who liked to draw funny superhero comics, to an award-winning "professional" author and illustrator. He'll also share how he goes about writing and illustrating a book and talk about the tools he uses.

Plus, we'll do some fun collaborative comic writing!

Date:  Saturday Dec 15, 2012 

Time:  2:00 PM  -  3:00 PM 

Contact:  Cathy    x2950    cpiantigini@minlib.net 

Location:  Central Library, 79 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Boston Book Festival!!!

This SATURDAY, October 27th, is the Boston Book Festival!
I'll be introducing Mr. Lemony Snicket at 11:00 (at Old South Sanctuary)
and then at 2:45 I'll be reading YES, YES, YAUL! (at the Boston Public Library's Popular Reading Room)

There's lots of other great non-Jef-related events too. Read about them here.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

2012-13 School/Library Visits

I love visiting schools and libraries! Sure, drawing and writing books is fun, but I love the energy and enthusiasm of a roomful of kids excited about reading.

Want to see a five-second summary of what happens when I show up to do a book reading?

My schedule is filling up fast, but I'd love to come to your school/library/bakesale. Read more about my  visits here, and then get in touch!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


I'm excited to be hosting a book reading/signing/workshop/museum exploration this weekend at the truly incredible Harvard Museum of Natural History!

It's one of my favorite museums (glass flowers! creepy taxidermy stuff!) and one of the original inspirations for my Oddanimals project.

So, come join me THIS SUNDAY, August 12, at high noon for a program we're calling DISCOVERING YOUR INNER ODDANIMAL. I'll be reading from my books and talking about my cool Oddanimals project, where kids develop new and strange creatures. Then we'll hit the museum for inspiration and reconvene to draw some new never-seen-before creatures.

The event is free with paid admission, so do it!!