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It’s that season—the sniffling, sneezing, coughing cacophony of wintery colds. Your household may have already been hit. And, yes, it may be hit again. The germ mafia is on the loose.

So what’s a parent to do? Well, you can ensconce yourself in Purell and pull that germy Kindergartener on your lap. SICK SIMON by Dan Krall is here to delight and educate you both with disgustingly charming clarity.


Kids love oozing yuckiness and ridiculously-behaving characters, so you can say SICK SIMON has it all.

Simon begins his week thinking it will be the best ever! But his nose becomes a bulbous faucet of green slime. An eerie radioactive glow surrounds him as he trudges through school. His sneezes coat the classroom in a putrid fog. Kids shriek and escape in horror-movie-style terror.

Simon remains germed up as the school eventually empties, leaving Friday’s highly-anticipated kickball game with just one player—the baron of bacteria himself, Sick Simon.

Of course, the germs are THRILLED. They hail Sick Simon as their hero!

Author-illustrator Dan Krall even drew these microscopic cretins of crustiness with amazing accuracy. Just look at these guys and their real-life counterparts!

virusprotozoa giardiabacteria


Being that we are obsessed with story ideas on this blog, I asked Dan what prompted his newly-released viral sensation. It was none other than his young daughter, who became a bacterial beacon as soon as she began school. (We parents know this all too well.)

I asked Dan if we could see early incarnations of his main character. Was his nose always so gross?

simon characters studies

You betcha!

GROSS is GREAT. Kids love it.

And you’ll love it, too, because SICK SIMON teaches kids how colds and viruses get around in an entertaining, silly, slimy way. You’ve got a hapless character, oozing greenish gooeyness, and grateful germs.

And, if you leave a comment below, SICK SIMON may show up on your doorstep!

Don’t worry, though–we’ll wash it off with an antibacterial wipe first. We’ll throw in a laminated poster, tissues and hand sanitizer to ensure you stay healthy, too.


Sick Simon Poster

dankrallDan Krall is an author, illustrator, and an animator. He worked as a character designer on the popular films How to Train Your Dragon and Coraline. He was also the art director for the television shows Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated; Chowder; and Samurai Jack; as well as a Development Artist for Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends, The PowerPuff Girls, and Dexter’s Laboratory. He lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles.

His newest book, SICK SIMON, is available now from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.




greatlollipopcaperDan Krall is genius. I mean, he created a book about lollipops! What kid doesn’t love lollipops?!

And there’s something for us adults, too. Capers! Ya know, the salty little fellas that perk up lox and a nice schmear (that’s NY-talk for cream cheese). Delish (more NY-talk). I can’t decide which I like more. And thankfully I don’t have to, because both get equal billing in THE GREAT LOLLIPOP CAPER…which releases today!

In the book, Caper’s a sourpuss. He wants kids to love him as much as they love Lollipop. Caper goes on a great caper to elevate his kid appeal, only to ungracefully fall far from grace. But don’t worry, he cleans up his act. And everyone else cleans their plates.

As you can imagine, Dan is super busy, what with the book release and working on “Chowder” and all. He’s tied up, so he sent Lollipop and Caper over to have a chat with me.


Caper, you’re beloved by adults and chicken piccatas everywhere, so why did you feel the need to convert kids into fans?

Well…no offense to adults, but they’re kind of boring. They’re not gonna see this, are they? I mean they’re fine in their way, sitting quietly in a candlelit restaurant, sipping wine, enjoying me on pasta while having a quiet, serious conversation… “Oh, does this have capers on it? Why, I believe it does…” Blah, blah, blah. I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s better than just hanging out in my jar all day. But come on, when I see the party Lollipop is having with children? Running around screaming, carnivals, theme parks, birthday parties…I mean, they go nuts for him, so who doesn’t want to get in on that?

Lollipop, you’re such a sweet guy. You wanted to help Caper even though he tried to wiggle in on your likable, lickable territory. Why so generous?

I’m a sweet and tangy lollipop and children love me. [smiles vacantly]

Um, yeah. And to think you spend your day having your brain sucked out. Never woulda known.

So let’s come back to you, Caper. I’m amazed you passed yourself off as a pea to sneak into the lollipop factory. I didn’t know capers were such masters of disguise. What other impressions do you do?

Thanks for noticing that, you know it’s one of my several talents and one of the many reasons everybody would love me if they just got to know me a little better. I have a very wide repertoire of personas I can inhabit—Bogart, Mitchum, McGruff the Crime Dog, The Neighborhood Watch guy, pretty much anybody I set my mind to that’s wearing a trench coat and fedora. I can also do a pretty mean fava bean.

So I suppose after all this, you’re content with being a Caper. Lollipop, are you happy being candy?

I’m really happy being just about anything as long as it’s sweet, and nice, and pleasant, and lovely and…. [drifts off into a vacant stare] Oh…and I always kind of wanted to be a forest ranger. [smiles]

Well, fellas, it’s obvious that Dan captured your personalities perfectly for this book. So let’s show our blog readers by having a little giveaway.


Please leave a comment to enter, letting us know if you prefer Lollipops or Capers.

A winner will be randomly selected in about a week! Good luck!

And be sure to check out THE GREAT LOLLIPOP CAPER by Dan Krall, available today!

OMG! I’m having a fangirl moment. Somebody fan me and feed me chocolate. (No, not YOU. Get Ryan Gosling.) Because not only is the brilliantly prolific author Tammi Sauer here, but she brought along the stars of her newest picture book, OH NUTS!


Thankfully I have Billy Bush helping me out (who will do as a Ryan Gosling substitute in a pinch). Billy’s qualified to interview Miss Universe contestants, so he will no doubt pose the tough questions to our guests Cutesy, Blinky and Bob. He caught them on last night’s Emmy’s Red Carpet.

Take it away, Billy.

Billy: Wow, so great to see you Cutesy, Blinky and Bob, stars of OH NUTS! Thanks for stopping to talk. You look fabulous. Tell us, who are you wearing?

Cutesy: Carolina Herrerra’s “Forest Dwellers” collection.

Blinky: Um, obviously Bob. Will someone please peel him off my back?

Bob: Wait, I was supposed to get DRESSED?


Billy: So you guys reached the pinnacle of popularity but then retreated from the limelight. What caused you to give up show business? Was the pressure just too much?

Blinky: Well, dude, we realized we had to be true to our inner chipmunk, you know?

Cutesy: Plus, all those flashing lights kind of wrecked my mascara.

Bob: Huh?


Billy: But your fans really want you to get back into the game. We heard that Alvin and his crew rejected an offer to star in “The Hunger Games IV: Acorn Atrocity”. Will you be lobbying for those roles now?

Cutesy: Our agent definitely wants us to consider it.

Blinky: Like whoa. It would be an awesome opportunity to showcase my six-pack.

Bob: I like noodles.


Billy: Do you think you’d like to branch out into other forms of entertainment? You know, become a triple-threat with a triple-threat?

Cutesy: We’ll always stick together, but we each have something special to give the world. Soon I’ll be launching my very own line of accessories called Chic Chipmunk.

Blinky: ABC wants me to be the next Bachelor.

Bob: I’m going to…wait…I forget.


Billy: How would you like to be remembered and immortalized by your fans?

Cutesy: We just want everyone to remember that chipmunks are people, too.

Blinky: I’d really like a street named after me.

Bob: I’d really like a nap. And a taco.


Billy: Oh wow, here comes Brangelina…so…SCRAM!

Cutesy: You know, we have a nickname, too. It’s “Blutesy”.

Blinky: I like it!

Bob: Hey, where’s the “Bob” in that?


Well, thanks Billy Bush, Cutesy, Blinky and Bob for the interview. And thanks for leaving behind an autographed copy of OH NUTS!

One lucky US resident will win it, just leave a comment to be entered! A winner will be randomly selected one week from today. Good luck!

And don’t forget to check out the rest of Tammi Sauer’s books. I mean, there must be a million of them now.

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