Reading at the Dakota County Heritage Library, March 3rd

I’ll be at the Dakota County Heritage Library this Saturday, from 1-2pm, reading WORM LOVES WORM and talking about how pictures books are made.

So if you’re in the neighborhood, stop in, say “Hi!” and check out my “new-ish” pants.

Reading at Galleria Barnes & Noble. Feb.10th

This Saturday, at 10 am, I’ll be reading WORM LOVES WORM at Barnes & Noble in Edina

Stop by, hear me read,Worm Loves Worm and then we can grab a hamburger (served with habit-forming “crispy potatoes”) that the StarTribune calls an “unexpected delight” and rates one of the best burgers of the year.

September Pants and Representing

These “Power Paisleys” are from Loud Mouth Golf. I thought them fitting for this month pants since:

A) Paisley Park is here in Minnesota.

B) I just found out that WORM LOVES WORM is representing Minnesota at the 2017 National Book Festival.

How this happened is beyond me, but I’m very happy and honored to be repping the North Star State. If we hadn’t moved here I would have never discovered Hamline’s MFAC program and WORM would never have been written.

You betcha’!

So, if you know who it was that made WORM the rep of the Land of Ten Thousand Lakes, please let me know so I can thank them properly by buying them some lutefisk taking them to a hockey game baking them a hot dish sending them a nice note.

“BRUH! Back off! this ain’t your bissniss!”

This appeared on Twitter, from Carrie Gelson, an elementary teacher, blogger, and my new personal hero.

This is one of the best reviews I have ever read and why I love writing for kids.

April Pants of the Month and where I win an award




The pants are from Bonobos and the award I won is from the Friends of St. Paul Public Library.

The photo on the left shows me accepting the Minnesota Book Award for Children’s Literature and saying that my winning was crazier than my pants. Honestly, I didn’t think WORM LOVES WORM was going to win at the April 8th awards ceremony.



The other photo is me with the other nominees, who are all amazingly talented authors/illustrators: Lauren StringerDavid LaRochell, and Mike Wohnoutka. (The other nominee, Alison McGhee, couldn’t attend.)

Not only are they enormously talented authors/illustrators but they’re also wonderful people who have welcomed me into Minnesota’s amazing KidLit community.


And, yes, I know, it’s been more like “pants of the every now and then, when J.J. remembers to update” rather than “pants of the month.” I promise to be better about updating the blog. If, at the beginning of next month, there are no new pants, then please send me a reminder. Or two.




Talking with Lu & Bean about worms, love, and silly voices


Last week at the Minnesota Children’s Book Festival I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Lu & Bean, and their mom, Tracy, for their fantastic kids story podcast!

It was so much FUN! Not only did I get to read WORM LOVES WORM out loud, in all my goofy voices, but we also got o talk about Star Wars, my next book, and, naturally, awesome pants.


So if you want to hear all the voices that live in my head go over and give it a listen right here.

JJ Austrian Love is Love

Worm Loves Worm Coming on 01/05/2016!

Worm Loves WormWHEN A WORM meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next. They get married! But their friends want to know—who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux? The answer is: it doesn’t matter. Because Worm loves Worm.

This irresistible picture book is a celebration of love in all its splendid forms.

Join in the celebration January 5, 2016!

WORM LOVES WORM – Storytime and Launch Party!

Event date: Sunday, January 17, 2016 – 1:00pm
Red Balloon Bookshopbee2

You are cordially invited to celebrate the wedding of a worm . . . and a worm.

Join debut local author J.J. Austrian and Red Balloon bookshop for a special Worm Loves Worm storytime and launch party. We’ll have wormy wedding treats, book signing, and fun. The party starts at 1:00!