Hi, readers, writers, and sandwich fanatics, too! We're ecstatic to talk about a very important topic on the blog today: PB&J. The wonderful Katelyn Aronson is here sharing her and Sarah Rebar's adorable book, When PB Met J. When PB Met J follows the origin story of every child's favorite lunch - peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Even though Peanut Butter and Jelly are on different sides of the kitchen, they band together to help each other - especially out of sticky situations. Will their friendship be the best friendship since sliced bread? Want to know more about Katelyn, her hilarious rom-com for kids, PLUS want to hear her excellent writing tip? Read On...
Q: Hi, Katelyn! Thanks so much for joining #SeasonsOfKidLit. We’re thrilled to host you and to hear about your adorable book, When PB Met J. Before we get started, can you share a little about your journey in becoming a kidlit author?
A: Thank you so much for having me! I’ve wanted to be a kidlit author since roughly eight years old. It really has been my one life-long dream, but that dream didn’t come true until 2019 when I sold my debut, Piglette, to Penguin Random House. Since then I’ve sold quite a few picture book manuscripts (currently on the verge of signing over the eighth) but make no mistake: it has not been easy! So today, I am all the more grateful to be doing what I love in life. There is no greater gift.
Q: PB & J sandwiches are childhood classics! What gave you the idea to bring PB & J to life in your book? Can you share more about the inspiration behind your story?
A: As a kid, I loved collecting play food and serving it up at make-believe restaurants with my sister. I also loved watching an animated short on Sesame Street called Teeny Little Super Guy. It was all kinds of kitchen utensils and glassware having adventures in a kitchen. So those two childhood loves must have somehow fused together in my imagination to create When PB Met J: play food + kitchen utensils coming to life when humans aren’t watching. The fact that Sesame Street artist Sarah Rebar agreed to do the illustrations brought this project full circle and made my inner child jump for joy!
Q: How fun - thanks for sharing!
What makes When PB Met J a great seasonal read?
A: While it doesn’t specifically mention Valentine’s Day, I’d describe When PB Met J as a kid’s first rom-com. It’s very much a punny parody of West Side Story with its feuding families and forbidden friendship. But it’s also the origin story of a very popular pair, so editor Tamar Brazis and I wanted to give a little nod to When Harry Met Sally when we chose the title When PB Met J. Of course my story is more about best-friendship overcoming all odds, but there is still a hint of love in the air between Peanut Butter and Jelly.
Q: A kid's first rom-com? Count us in!
What other sweet books of yours can we check out ASAP?
A: Check out my truly sweet Piglette series (Piglette and Piglette’s Perfect Surprise), set in Paris and illustrated by the New York Times #1 Bestselling illustrator Eva Byrne.
Q: Piglette looks adorable! Can you share more about the Piglette books?
A: These stories are a treat for the senses, with the first book focusing on fragrances and the second focusing on flavors. They also deal with being one’s unique self, finding one’s place in the world, and being proud of one’s efforts even when the results are less than perfect.
Q: BONUS QUESTION: What is your favorite Valentine’s Day Candy?
A: I am a peanut butter fan living in France, where peanut butter is available but generally considered unsavory (my French husband won’t touch the stuff, ha!) so I really miss “Reese’s’’ anything.
Would you like to leave a sweet treat for the readers?
Yes - I'd love to leave a Tip!
The tip I’m leaving is especially for writers. It’s an article I wrote on creating endearing picture book protagonists, which you can read at the following link. Enjoy!
What a sweet treat! Thanks so much for sharing, Katelyn - we truly appreciate it. Everyone, please leave a comment below to thank Katelyn for stopping by.
About Katelyn Aronson:
Katelyn Aronson grew up in Southern California, where she went on to work as a children’s bookseller. She won her first trip to Paris in a bookstore window display contest, and the rest was history. She moved to France permanently a few years later.
She has a degree in Liberal Arts, a degree in Language Didactics, and a bilingual Master’s in English/French from La Sorbonne University, Paris. Today, she lives between France and Switzerland and works as a bilingual language instructor.
She has 8 children's books in the publishing pipeline, as well as poems published in various children's magazines.
For more about Katelyn, check out the below links:
For more about Sarah, check out the below links:
To purchase Katelyn's books on Amazon, or to leave a review for them, click here.