Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Best. Gift. Ever.

Hey everyone! Happy holidays! Do you celebrate any December holidays? The GHD crew is exchanging gifts this week, and I got a super cool gift the other day! Humphree and Princess Dagger made it for me -- check it out:

Is that the coolest or WHAT?! It makes my hot cocoa extra delicioso!

Now I'm itching to see what's in that silver box underneath my new mug, but Dags says I have to wait until Friday. SMUDGE!

Have a great week and happy holidays!
Cosmoe and the crew

Friday, December 11, 2015

Check out this way-cool Galactic Hot Dogs Island art!

Hey everyone!

Today I've got something special for you: Radically awesome artwork from the design of Poptropica's Galactic Hot Dogs Island! If you don't know the amazingness that is Poptropica, well, you're missing out. Read these posts to get the dealio and I bet you'll want to play Poptropica right NOW!

I mean, how cool is this stuff, right?!

You can see it all in action when you play GHD Island for free online or on Poptropica's free app! Humphree, Dags, and I all love playing it, and I bet you will, too.

Have a great weekend!
Cosmoe and the crew

Monday, November 23, 2015

Rescued from the cutting room floor: FRED facts!

Hey you guys!

Today I've got some never-seen, super-exclusive, way-cool FRED facts for you!

Back when the illustrators of my first print book were doing all the crazy awesome book art, they created a ton of fun FRED facts. But they created so many, they couldn't all fit in the book. So I got my hands on some of them -- check these out:


I bet you know which one is my favorite, right?!

Have a great week everyone,

PS: I've seen Star Wars 502 times now!!!

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Neon Wiener has crash landed on Poptropica!

You guys know that there's a Galactic Hot Dogs Island on the way-cool online game and app, Poptropica, right? (If you don't know what Poptropica is, read this post.)

Well, right now, on any Island's Main Street (that's where you start out), you'll find the Neon Wiener has crash landed! If you go inside our ship, you'll be able to talk to the crew, customize your costume with Galactic Hot Dogs outfits, and even get in a shootout with some Jacks!

So cool! Go check it out -- Poptropica is awesome. Me, Dags, and Humphree love it and if you haven't played it yet, I bet you'll totally dig it!

Later gators,

Friday, November 6, 2015

#BadGuySelfies in Intergalactic Social Space!

Hi you guys! How’s it going? My brain feels as fried as a crunchy crater tot. Today I got sucked into the deep-space void that is the Intergalatic Social Space — for HOURS. It’s kind of like your Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook, all smashed into one crazy, busy, wacko network.
Creepy bad guy selfies from Galactic Hot Dogs!

It must be a slow day for the bad dudes of the galaxy because this morning #BadGuySelfie was trending. And all the weirdos out there got into the action. I couldn’t stop scrolling through all the photos. It seems like space cretins love to show off their best — no, worst — sides!

That’s Bic Vasterdly on the top left. Bounty hunter. Kind of scares the whats out of me. 

Next to him is General Krax Von Grumble. He’s one of Queen Dagger’s main bad guys and a total doofus.

And yeah, that’s the Queen on the bottom left. Being evil and all, she had to get in on the hashtag.

That last one is another bounty hunter named Jae Falcon. Kind of looks like a cute little kitty, if you squint real hard. But there’s nothing cute about that dude.

Gah, now I have the creeps. Time to forget about the bad dudes and play some video games with Humphree and Dags!

Stay awesome,

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sorry to break it to you, Buzz...

Woody doesn't have the heart to tell Buzz that his new big idea has already been done. #NeonWiener

Friday, October 23, 2015

Breaking news: There is now a hot dog emoji!

I repeat: There is now a HOT DOG EMOJI!

You need to have an Apple device or a Mac of some sort to enjoy the awesomesauce goodness that is the hot dog emoji. But I'm sure everyone will get to enjoy it soon.

This emoji stuff is serious business, my friends. Chicago hot dog restaurant Superdawg campaigned for over a year to make it a reality. This article on DNA Info describes how it all went down, if you're curious.

If not, no biggie.

Just get texting or tweeting or whatever and be sure to show your love of all things hot dogs to your friends. You know, like I did:

Happy Friday,
Cosmoe and crew

Thursday, October 8, 2015

My top 10 reasons why Star Wars is the best ever.

If you know anything about me, you know that the Star Wars movies are my favorite movies of all time. Like EVER. And the original “Star Wars: A New Hope” is the best of them all, in my expert opinion.

But you know, what totally kills me is that Princess Dagger and Humphree dig the movies but aren’t 100% appreciating their high level of supreme spectacularness. I need to get through to them. I need to get them to go, “Hot smudge, Cosmoe! You’re so right. Star Wars IS the best ever!”

So I thought to myself, Okay, self. How can you convince your best friends that the original Star Wars trilogy is pretty much movie perfection? And I came up with this list:

Cosmoe’s top 10 reasons why you can’t even question that Star Wars is The Best

The Force. Its magical, mystical energy field of awesomeness is beyond way cool. Both good guys and bad guys can harness its power to perform acts of skill and control the world around them. Plus it enables the best Jedi mind tricks:

Lightsabers. Enough said. I mean, just holding a lightsaber makes you cooler than cool.

Luke Skywalker, the best Jedi around. Why is Luke awesome? Let me count the ways: He comes from really humble beginnings and morphs into one of the greatest Jedis ever. His weapon of choice is a lightsaber, which we all know is the best weapon ever. He always does the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. And in the end, Luke defeats Darth Vader AND saves his soul. Basically, Luke is pretty much my inspiration to be the best space kid I can be.

Leia, the strongest, sassiest princess. She tells off Tarkin, stands up to Vader, gives motivational speeches to the troops, kills Jabba with a chain and her BARE HANDS, and has a bunch of awesome lines. Oh yeah, and she kicks butt with a blaster. Stormtroopers can’t even handle this princess. No. Way.

The best movie reveal of ALL TIME:

Han Solo, the coolest rogue there is. The dude’s a smuggler and scoundrel who turns into a great leader in the Rebel Alliance. How rad is that? And it seems he’s a fan of funky hair, too, which makes him doubly super awesome.

Amazing aliens and robots. Yoda, a little 800-something year old Jedi who can fight Sith bad guys even though he’s completely ancient. Chewbacca, the way-cool Wookie warrior and Han Solo’s BFF. The know-it-all C-3PO and the clever R2-D2, pretty much the raddest droids in the universe. Jabba the Hut, the Wampa ice creature on Hoth, Jawas on Tatooine, Sand People, the creepy Rancor in Jabba’s death pit, and yes, even Ewoks… So many cool species in one movie series!

The baddest bad guys. You've got Darth Vader, whose back story is totally tragic and turns him into a super bad guy with a thirst for exterminating Jedi. And there's the Emperor, who’s like the evilest master of manipulation in any movie, ever. I mean COME ON. No contest.

The most famous movie blooper ever caught on film:

And finally…Star Wars has the quotes that beat all quotes. On Earth you can say most of these quotes and even people who haven’t seen Star Wars know what you’re talking about (why there are still people who haven’t seen Star Wars, I don’t know).

“Do or do not. There is no try.”
“Never tell me the odds!”
“I find your lack of faith disturbing.”
“I love you.” “I know.”
“I’m Luke Skywalker, I’m here to rescue you.”
“You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.”
“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.”
“Laugh it up, fuzzball!”
and of course, the best-known line of all: “May The Force be with you.”

BOOM. There it is. If this list doesn’t convince Dags and Humphree, I don’t know what will!

PS: The next Star Wars movie looks so rad, I can’t even handle it. I’m so making a stop on Earth this December to see it!

All images from except Star Wars movie poster and Star Wars quote t-shirt.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

It's the 2016 Galactic Hot Dogs Calendar!

Hey everyone! Can you believe it's October already? Only three more months left in 2015. Holy smudge, how is 2016 just around the corner?!

That means the debut of my next print book is getting closer and closer -- it's scheduled for spring 2016! If that seems like a loooong time away to you (like it does to me), I've got something to fill up those empty months:

The 2016 Galactic Hot Dogs Wall Calendar!

It's chock full of full-color illustrations from my first book. Super awesomesauce!

Looks pretty sweet, right? You can get it online at a few different retailers. Just Google it -- you'll find it!

See ya next week,
Cosmoe and the crew

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Make your own Galactic Hot Dogs bookmark!

Hey everyone! How's it going? We've been cruising through space for a few weeks now, looking for our next adventure. Nothing's cookin' right now, except LOTS of hot dogs -- we're back on Space Port Funketoun slinging dogs and making tons of space cash. We need to stock back up on spaceos. Adventures in space aren't free, you know!

Today I've got something for all you awesome bookworms: a super-cool GHD bookmark! Check it out:

Now you can have me, Humphree, and Dagger with you no matter what book you're reading. Sweet!

Stay awesome,

Friday, September 11, 2015

Galactic Hot Dogs is an online game and app!

Hey everyone! I bet you all play games online and on phones, right? Well, did you know that you can play a Galactic Hot Dogs game online AND on an app? 

It's true, and it's WAY COOL!

Here's the deal. There's this game called Poptropica, which is this awesome virtual world where kids can play in a safe online environment -- and the Poptropica geniuses created something called Galactic Hot Dogs Island that you can play in Poptropica!

I bet you're wondering what the heck a Poptropica Island is. Well, within the world of Poptropica there are these Islands that all have their own themes and adventures to complete. There's a couple Wimpy Kid Islands, a Mythology Island, Reality TV Island, and tons more!

So basically, you create your own little Poptropica character and then you're off to explore any Island you want. There are super-cool quests, stories, and games, and you can collect objects, read digital books and comics, watch movies, and compete in head-to-head competition with other Poptropicans.

Check out this cool video to get an idea of what GHD Island is all about:

There's also a Poptropica app and GHD Island is on that, too! Look at my Poptropican talking to Humphree!

Check out this Galactic Hot Dogs Island info page where you can get fun stuff like desktop wallpaper, a Neon Wiener paper craft, and a free F.R.E.D. follower (a "follower" in Poptropica is a little dude who follows your Poptropica character around). You can also watch a walkthrough of the island, which is super helpful if you’ve never played Poptropica before.

Go check it out -- I bet you'll love it! I'm playing the app right now (but don't tell Humphree cause he thinks I'm making a batch of mustard).

Stay awesome,

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

19 awesome books for middle-grade boys

Great books for middle grade and middle school boys. 4th - 8th graders, including reluctant readers, will love these!

We read a lot of amazing books this summer and wrote a ton of blog posts about them. But I thought it might help out all you adults if I broke up our lists into books that boys usually like and books that girls usually like.

Of course, everyone can read whatever they want to. That's the beauty of books. No discrimination! No worries! Princesses and football for everyone!

But for those of you thinking, "What do 10 year old boys usually like to read???" and "What in the world do I get a 11 year old girl who likes to read???" Well, I'm creating lists for you that are full of books that are probably a safe bet.

First up: Books that middle-grade boys usually dig. That's boys ages 9 – 12, or 4th – 8th graders. I've got funny books, thoughtful books, adventure books, graphic novels, and more! Here we go, listed from younger to older readers...

Knights of the Lunch Table by Frank Cammuso (book 1 of a series)

The Arthurian legend is reborn--in a funny, average-joe, middle-school boy and his pals! Artie King just wants to ease into life at Camelot Middle School. He’s got new lunch buddies, Percy and Wayne, and his science teacher, Mr. Merlyn, is pretty cool. But then there’s scary Principal Dagger and big bad Joe and The Horde, a bunch of brawny bullies who rule the school.

Clueless McGee by Jeff Mack (book 1 of a series)

Clueless McGee is just your average fifth-grader: snarky, awkward, and a magnet for trouble. The only difference: he's also an amateur detective. Determined to make his absent father proud, he uses the skills he's learned playing video games to solve mysteries. Only he's no Sherlock Holmes. Or Encyclopedia Brown. Or even Scooby-Doo.

When the school bully is framed for filling the orchestra teacher's tuba with macaroni and cheese, Clueless is on the case. But can he catch the culprit before he strikes again? His only obstacle, as Jeff Mack shows us in his hilarious new illustrated series, is his own ineptitude . . . questionable talent . . . and limited intelligence. No problem!

Lunch Lady by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (book 1 of a series)

Hector, Terrence, and Dee have always wondered about their school lunch lady. What does she do when she isn’t dishing out the daily special? Where does she live? Does she have a lot of cats at home? Little do they know, Lunch Lady doesn’t just serve sloppy joes—she serves justice! Whatever danger lies ahead, it’s no match for LUNCH LADY!

Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce (book 1 of a series)

Nate knows he’s meant for big things. REALLY big things. But things don’t always go your way just because you’re awesome. Nate barely survives his dad’s toxic oatmeal before rushing off to school—minus his lunch. He body slams the no-nonsense principal. He accidentally insults his least favorite teacher, the horrifying Mrs. Godfrey (aka Godzilla). And school has barely started!

Trouble always seems to find him, but Nate keeps his cool. He knows he’s destined for greatness. A fortune cookie told him so.

Timmy Failure by Stephan Pastis (book 1 of a series)

Take eleven-year-old Timmy Failure--the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile--Timmy’s mom’s Segway--and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won’t have to stress out about the bills anymore. Of course, Timmy’s plan does not include the four-foot-tall female whose name shall not be uttered. And it doesn’t include Rollo Tookus, who is so obsessed with getting into "Stanfurd" that he can’t carry out a no-brainer spy mission...

(Side note: Timmy Failure is coming to Poptropica!)

Frank Einstein by Jon Scieszka and Brian Biggs (book 1 of a series)

Frank Einstein loves figuring out how the world works by creating household contraptions that are part science, part imagination, and definitely unusual. After an uneventful experiment in his garage-lab, a lightning storm and flash of electricity bring Frank’s inventions -- the robots Klink and Klank -- to life!

Not exactly the ideal lab partners, the wisecracking Klink and the overly expressive Klank nonetheless help Frank attempt to perfect his Antimatter Motor ... until Frank’s archnemesis, T. Edison, steals Klink and Klank for his evil doomsday plan!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (book 1 of a series)

This is THE book that started the craze for illustrated kids' books! It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.

Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.

Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all ‘Dear Diary’ this and ‘Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things.

BONE by Jeff Smith (graphic novel)

The BONE adventures tell the story of a young bone boy, Fone Bone, and his two cousins, Phoney Bone and Smiley Bone, who are banned from their homeland of Boneville. When the cousins find themselves mysteriously trapped in a wonderful but often terrifying land filled with secrets and danger--and special new friendships--they are soon caught up in adventures beyond their wildest dreams.

Public School Superhero by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts, illustrated by Cory Thomas

Kenny Wright is a kid with a secret identity. In his mind, he's Stainlezz Steel, super-powered defender of the weak. In reality, he's a chess club devotee known as a "Grandma's Boy," a label that makes him an easy target for bullies.

Then Kevin gets detention for the first time, and he is assigned the nearly impossible task of teaching one of the school’s biggest bullies, Ray-Ray, how to play chess. During their weeks of playing together, the two boys learn things about each other that lead to an unlikely friendship.

Goblin Secrets by William Alexander

In the town of Zombay, there is a witch named Graba who takes in stray children, and Rownie is the youngest boy in her household. Rownie’s only real relative is his older brother Rowan, who is an actor. But acting is outlawed in Zombay, and Rowan has disappeared.

Desperate to find him, Rownie joins up with a troupe of goblins who skirt the law to put on plays. But their plays are not only for entertainment, and the masks they use are for more than make-believe. The goblins also want to find Rowan—because Rowan might be the only person who can save the town from being flooded by a mighty river. A National Book Award winner!

The Terrible Two by Jory John and Mac Barnett, illustrated by Kevin Cornell

Miles Murphy is not happy to be moving to Yawnee Valley, a sleepy town that’s famous for one thing and one thing only: cows. In his old school, everyone knew him as the town’s best prankster, but Miles quickly discovers that Yawnee Valley already has a prankster, and a great one. If Miles is going to take the title from this mystery kid, he is going to have to raise his game.

It’s prankster against prankster in an epic war of trickery, until the two finally decide to join forces and pull off the biggest prank ever seen: a prank so huge that it would make the members of the International Order of Disorder proud.

Crown of Three by J.D. Rinehart

Family secrets combine with fantasy in this epic tale of battle, magic, strange creatures, power, and fate! Toronia, a kingdom composed of three realms, is wracked with civil war. Cruel King Brutan rules with an iron fist. The kingdom’s only hope comes in the form of Brutan’s illegitimate triplets, prophesied to kill the king and rule together in peace. Separated at birth and scattered throughout the realms, the triplets face a desperate fight to secure their destiny. Will they survive long enough to rule?

Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi (graphic novel)

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids' mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals. Together with a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

August "Auggie" Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face.

Wonder begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi (book one of a series)

Eva Nine was raised in an underground sanctuary by the robot Muthr. But when it's destroyed, the twelve-year-old girl is forced to flee aboveground. Eva Nine is searching for anyone else like her: She knows that other humans exist because of an item she treasures—a scrap of cardboard on which is depicted a young girl, an adult, and a robot, with the strange word, “WondLa.” 

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein

Kyle Keeley is the class clown and a huge fan of all games—board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the construction of the new town library.

Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot as one of twelve kids invited for an overnight sleepover in the library, hosted by Mr. Lemoncello and riddled with lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors stay locked. Kyle and the other kids must solve every clue and figure out every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route!

City of Orphans by Avi

The streets of 1893 New York are crowded and filthy. For thirteen-year-old newsboy Maks Geless, they are also dangerous. Bruno, leader of the awful Plug Ugly Gang, has set his sights on Maks and orders his boys to track him down. Suddenly Maks finds himself on the run, doing all he can to evade the gang, with only his new friend Willa by his side. And that’s just the start of Mak’s troubles. His sister, Emma, has been arrested and imprisoned for stealing a watch from the glamorous new Waldorf Hotel. Maks knows she didn’t do it—but will he be able to prove it in time?

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann (book 1 of a series)

Each year, all the thirteen-year-olds in Quill are labeled as Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Wanteds get more schooling and train to join the Quillitary. Necessaries keep the farms running. Unwanteds are set for elimination.

It’s hard for Alex, an Unwanted, to leave behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted, but he makes peace with his fate—until he discovers that instead of a “death farm,” what awaits him is a magical place called Artimé. There, Alex and his fellow Unwanteds are encouraged to cultivate their creative abilities and use them magically. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation. 

But it’s a rare, unique occurrence for twins to be divided between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron’s bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artimé that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate magical battle. 

Legend by Marie Lu (book 1 of a series)

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.


How could we not include our own awesome book, right? Galactic Hot Dogs: Cosmoe's Wiener Getaway is perfect for kids ages 9-12!

Meet Cosmoe, the Earth-Boy. He’s captain of the Neon Wiener, the finest flying food truck in the galaxy. Along with his bud, Big Humphree, he spends his days cruising the cosmos and staying crazy busy…

1. Cooking up a Mega-Dog. (Dude, this hot dog is the size of a jeep!)

2. Escaping mutant worm monsters, zombie space pirates, and grumpy robots. (What the butt?!)

3. Playing Super Moon Ninja Death Jab (Turbo Ear Slap! 9,000 points!!)

4. And…PROTECTING THE GALAXY from the Ultimate Evil. (He’s kind of an awesome space guy.)

Happy reading,
the Galactic Hot Dogs crew

PS: If you liked today's post, click the "way cool" box below!

Image credit: "Gripped by Terry Prachett" by Richard Leeming is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Goodbye summer, hello new adventures!

Well, everyone, it's been a super rad summer. We've chilled at the beachmini-golfed, hit a bazillion theme parks, gone camping, cooled off at water parks, explored a ton of fairs and carnivals, and now we're chilling at a lake. We're taking one last deep breath of fresh Earth air before we're blasting outta here! 

That's right, the Neon Wiener is fixed! We are now ready to go where no wacky-haired kid has gone before. Time for us space adventurers to get back to what we do best: fighting space jerks, playing video games, and selling hot dogs!

It's been real, Earth friends! I'll update on the blog after we get settled in at Space Port Funketoun!

Stay awesome,
Cosmoe and the crew