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Jeff Mondak, Illustrator

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Jeff Mondak, Illustrator
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  • Jeff Mondak, Poet and Songwriter


    Poetry Book

    • The Toy Box Ate My Brother (JPFK, 2016)
    Contributions to poetry anthologies, textbooks, and magazines
    • Driven to Learn: Journey of a School Bus Driver (Windjammer Adventure Publishing, 2019)
    • The English Circle, Reader 2 (New Saraswati House, 2018)
    • The English Circle, Reader 4 (New Saraswati House, 2018)
    • One Minute Till Bedtime (Little, Brown, 2016)
    • When Granny Won Olympic Gold (Bloomsbury, 2011)
    • Dance Shoes for GG (C.J. Fallon, 2011)
    • The Pluto Files (W.W. Norton, 2009)
    • I Hope I Don't Strike Out (Meadowbrook, 2008)
    • Peter, Peter Pizza Eater (Meadowbrook, 2006)
    • My Teacher's In Detention (Meadowbrook, 2006)
    • The Ultimate Guide to Celebrating Kids, Vol. II (Bluegrass, 2005)
    • Rolling in the Aisles (Meadowbrook, 2004)
    • Numerous poems published in major magazines, including: Cricket, Spider, Spellbound, Countdown and Orbit.

    The Toy Box Ate My Brother

    Contributions to music books and CDs

    • Singgold 2 (National Youth Choir of Scotland, 2009)
    • Singsilver 2 (National Youth Choir of Scotland, 2009)
    • CD If You're Drunk You Cannot by a Puppy (performed by Christine Lavin, 2015, with the song "Are We All Hardwired?" co-written by Jeff).
    • CD Sounds Familiar (performed by rock band NxT, with 10 of 13 lyrics, including "I Wanna But a Turtle," by Jeff, 2015)
    • CD Triple the Pickle (performed by Mick Brady, all lyrics by Jeff, 2013)
    • CD Nobody Knows Where Our Bus Driver Goes (Jeff reciting over 30 of his poems, each with musical accompaniment, 2013)
    • CD Michael Closed the Bathroom Door (performed by Sergio Wals, all lyrics by Jeff, 2008)
    • CD Halloween Treats (Allegheny Music Works, 2007, featuring "A Spirited Denial" co-written by Jeff).


    • "Genie, Please Hurry" — Letter of merit from the Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators
    • "Pluto's Not a Planet Anymore" — Physics Song of the Month, American Association of Physics Teachers
    • Artist of the Month
    Jeff Mondak Performing at North Winthorpe


    Pre-K to 8th grade.


    Typical programs are 45 minutes to an hour, but Jeff and his musician friends are extremely flexible. They're happy to adjust their programs to suit your needs.


    No limit. We work with small groups, individual classes, several grades, and even the whole school.


    Assembly Presentations focus on funny, entertaining readings of Jeff's poems. Opportunities abound for audience participation during zany poems about Daddy's cooking disaster, earning a black belt, trading your brother, and much, much more.

    Music Performances are raucous, interactive shows. Jeff turns the program over to Jordan Kaye or Sergio Wals for the music performances. Jordan and Sergio sing songs made from Jeff's poems, along with a few surprises. They always get students singing and clapping along. The musicians also have been known to encourage music teachers and advanced music students to accompany them, and Jordan and Sergio's performances have been enhanced by many dancing teachers. For schools with bilingual programs, Sergio — a native of Mexico — is happy to include some songs in Spanish.

    Jeff Mondak Presenting

    Young Poets Classroom Presentations (K-2nd grade) include more fun examples of Jeff's poems, along with a lesson on rhyme and an opportunity for the class to help write a poem.

    Emerging Poets Classroom Presentations (3rd-5th grades) emphasize techniques for writing good poems, including discussion of style, form, rhyme, and meter.

    Poem-to-Song Presentations (4th-8th grades) examine the relationship between poems and songs, demonstrate the process of making a song from a poem, and (for older students) discuss the publication and recording processes.

    Reading Councils We greatly enjoy visiting reading councils. Programs include discussion of the writing and publication processes, integrating poetry and music in the curriculum, and a whole, whole lot of fun.


    "Jordan, Sergio and I are educators, with several decades of combined experience in the classroom. We want the students and teachers to enjoy our visits, but we're especially interested in inspiring creativity, and in sharing with your students our love of writing. When not visiting schools, I am a professor at the University of Illinois. In that capacity, I have written three academic books and dozens of research articles and book chapters. That experience has made me an enthusiastic, passionate proponent of writing in schools. I will share that passion with your students."

    Jordan Kaye


    Poetry & Music:

    • Half-Day Visit with Musical Presentations: $700 plus travel expenses
    • One-Day Visit with Musical Presentations: $1,000 plus travel expenses
    • Two-Day Residency with Musical Presentations: $1,700 plus travel expenses

    We'll provide as many presentations as you can fit in a school day. At many schools, Jeff has been in one room and Jordan, Sergio or Tim in another, so that every student sees two assemblies.

    We do everything possible to keep expenses low. We are based in the Midwest, and many schools in the region are within driving distance for us (e.g., Chicago, Cincinnati, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Toledo).


    For writing workshops with students in 3rd grade and above, a dry-erase board.


    We're happy to provide book/CD order forms in advance of our visits, and to bring books and CDs with us to your school. We'll schedule autographing sessions at your convenience.

    Sergio Wals and Jeff Mondak
    Jeff Mondak (right), Sergio Wals (left)



    Jeff Mondak
    4805 Peifer Lane
    Champaign, IL 61822
    Phone: 217-378-4283
    Alternate Phone: 217-493-7370
    Web Site:

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