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Happy Birthday, Ozzy!


A moment or two ago, I received notice that the fourth Ozzy Ox book, Ozzy Ox Stands Against Socks, went live on Amazon. Ironic, isn’t it? Today marks exactly ONE YEAR that

Emily Hagen and I struck a deal to publish four Ozzy Ox books. And what a year it’s been! First of all, both Emily and I came into this project as newbies. Emily had painted for years, and had previously illustrated a couple of books. But she had never created a cartoon character before Ozzy Ox. I had published works - feature stories, opinion articles, informational articles, advertisements, annual reports. But I had never written a book before. That we published four in just one year is a little loony—because releasing an entire series of books in one year is nothing that the book industry recommends. It was also a little miraculous, because the world of self-publishing is a maze of tangled trails with no clear path. But, somehow, we found our way. We did it! And not only did we do it, but we created quite a leading lad! Ozzy Ox books have been received favorably — and Ozzy seems to be exactly the character we hoped he’d be: the typical kid who learns life from living it. He encounters no social justice themes, no political footballs, no underlying societal causes. Instea, Ozzy is free to be a kid -- to stumble and struggle and then get back up -- like children do. We’ve heard from some readers that their children are notably impacted by Ozzy. That they remember the lessons he learns, that they relate to his transgressions. That they want to hear about Ozzy over and over.


Nothing could be more rewarding than hearing that Ozzy is making a difference. Happy Birthday to the affable, rascally Ozzy! To celebrate his one-year milestone, we are going to draw for the hardcover Ozzy Ox edition of your choice. The winner will be announced here on this blog on December 3—which (in Japan) marks the Day of the Ox!

To enter, simply go to callenkropp.com and click “contact.” Leave Ozzy your name and email address and a "Happy Birthday, Ozzy!" And, if you haven’t invited Ozzy into your life yet, go to

this link. You’ll also see Ozzy books in the Story Nook and Dakota Store in Jamestown, and Ferguson Books in Fargo and Bismarck. Thank you so much for inviting Ozzy into your heart!

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