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Astounding New Children’s Book Being Called “A Stealth Weapon to Combat Child Obesity”
Astounding New Children’s Book Being Called “A Stealth Weapon to Combat Child Obesity”

What happens when a kid eats too much junk food and watches too much TV? He turns into a couch potato—literally! Meet BUD THE SPUD. You’ll never believe what happens to him next.

Online PR News – 02-October-2012 – Mt. Jackson, VA – Called “funny and supremely gross” by ForeWord Reviews, Bud the Spud is the brainchild of award-winning author and educator Adam Byrn Tritt. One beautiful spring day he found his children inside watching TV. “It was a show about playgrounds around the country. Outside was a swing. But they watched kids on TV swinging. Outside was a slide. But they watched kids on TV sliding,” Tritt recalls. “That’s when Bud the Spud was born. I needed to show kids what will happen if they become couch potatoes, so parents won’t have to spend their time arguing with them.”

Tritt calls Bud the Spud “a field-tested instrument honed to auditory and interactive perfection with participants aged four to sixty.” The book was developed to be read aloud. Tritt, who spent many years as a teacher, tested it thoroughly in elementary, middle school, and high school classes. “Each time something fell flat, it was changed. If the rhythm failed to leave an obvious place to pause for a response, or if the response did not come, it was fixed. Tuned and re-tuned, again and again.”

In a unique feature, the book has three separate endings—three different outcomes for poor Bud—that range from the positive and uplifting to the deliciously macabre. Bud the Spud is a very funny but very persuasive way to convince young people that aspiring to be a couch potato is no aspiration at all.

The illustrations, from award-winning artist “Java John” Goldacker, are marvelously detailed—with just the right touch of the gruesome and the surreal that kids love (it scores a 10 on the gross-out scale). While some parents may initially think the comic mayhem is too over-the-top, when they see their kids giggling and reading the book over and over, most change their minds.

Better Nutrition magazine’s reviewer wrote, “Rather than preaching the merits of a healthy lifestyle, Bud the Spud takes a light-hearted approach that is both comical and creepy,” and calls it a “striking picture book [that] teaches kids healthy living.” Joyce Hatch, a sixth grade teacher in Hillsborough, North Carolina, put it this way: “I’ve been a middle school and special education teacher for nearly twenty years, and this book honestly made me laugh out loud. Please don’t be afraid that the content is too ‘dark’ for young kids. I promise you they’ll find it as hysterical as I do, and the message packs a punch. I can’t wait to read it to my students!”

The book’s positive effects are perhaps most clearly articulated by the Rev. Ann Fuller, PhD, a community minister in Florida: “As parables go, I can’t recall encountering one quite so gruesome. Which of course means my children loved it! Yet the power of a parable isn’t measured by its appeal, but rather by its effect. A delighted grimace followed by ‘Later, Mom, we’re going out to play!’ instead of ‘Hey, it’s my turn on the PS3!’ speaks volumes about Bud the Spud’s ability to teach as well as entertain.”


Adam Byrn Tritt, MEd, CH, LMT, is a poet, essayist, screenwriter, teacher, social activist, and humorist. In addition to Bud the Spud, Tritt is the author of The Phoenix and the Dragon, a collection of his poetry, as well as several works of nonfiction. Tritt won the 2006 EPPIE Award for Poetry in an Anthology, and in 1995 he was awarded an honorary doctorate for his work in religious tolerance and for the creation of TurningPoint, a nonprofit program providing alternative medicine to low-income individuals. He is equally at home speaking in lecture halls, giving public readings in bookstores, and visiting elementary school classrooms, where he can be found surrounded by children begging him to read Bud the Spud just one more time (while their parents and teachers beg him to stop).

John Goldacker, known far and wide as “Java John,” is a graphic artist, illustrator, and photographer based in Merritt Island, Florida. A designer of music-related posters, CD covers, festival posters, and t-shirts, John also illustrated River Dragon, a children’s book about legendary Brevard County landmark Annie the Dragon. He has also been featured in Photoshop Creative magazine, and has had his posters reproduced in the 2009 books PhanArt: The Art of Phish Phans and HOPE: A Collection of Obama Posters and Prints. John’s photos from various music concerts over the past two years permanently grace the hallways of the King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne, Florida, and his photography was used on the cover of Freebo’s newest CD Something to Believe.


“Speaking not just as a guitarist and former congressman, but as a professional ski instructor, avid tennis player, and sailor, I thank Adam Byrn Tritt for writing—and Java John for illustrating—Bud the Spud. Adam, John, and Bud encourage kids to get off the couch and move!” —The Hon. John Hall, two-term congressman for NY’s 19th district; former president of the Saugerties (NY) Board of Education; singer/songwriter for the band Orleans

“Bud the Spud is a really beautiful book—I just love it. And my good buddy, Java John, is a very talented artist as well!” —Legendary pop artist Peter Max

“As a pediatrician for forty years, I have seen my share of couch potatoes increase alarmingly. This funny book brings home a great message in a lighthearted way. Let’s hope the point is received and effective for homes with potatoes that they cannot make into salad.” —Loraine Stern, MD, FAAP, co-editor of AAP’s Nutrition: What Every Parent Needs to Know

“Java John creatively illustrates this fantastic story in a manner both colorful and creepy. The design of Bud the Spud is interesting enough on its own to push the moral of this cautionary tale.” —Len DiSalvo, illustrator for the award-winning Lima Bear Stories series, computer game animator, and art illustration and animation teacher in Tucson, Arizona

“Kids will love this book! With a very pointed message that Bud’s story provides, conversations will ensue about the dangerous results of becoming a couch potato, be it from over consumption of television or computerized games.” —Kathy Teitelman, National Board Certified Teacher and a third grade teacher for twenty-five years in Ohio

For more about the book, visit axiosinstitute.org/bookstore/Bud%20the%20Spud

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Media Contact
For a media packet and a review copy of Bud the Spud, contact:
Jody Banks
Axios Press

To arrange an interview with Adam Byrn Tritt and/or Java John Goldacker, contact:
Kate Bandos
KSB Promotions