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Battle of the Brains

This hilarious companion to Battle of the Butts examines the way animals use their brainpower for survival in the wild and encourages readers to rank animals based on their intellectual prowess.

Birdbrained. Pigheaded. Batty. Bullheaded. When humans want to insult the intelligence of another person, they often compare them to an animal. But animals are smart. Really, really smart. There are animals that use tools. Others that can solve complex problems. Some have excellent memories. A few can even talk to us! With animals having such mighty minds, the question is: who has the best brainpower of them all? That’s for you to decide!

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection!

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Battle of the Butts

Did you know manatees swim using farts? Or that herrings communicate by passing gas?

Butts are used for breathing, eating, swimming, talking, and even killing in the animal kingdom. Focusing on ten different animals and their derrières, and offering fun facts about their origin, habitat, and “posterior power,” this hilarious book captures the wonder of our ecosystem. Which animal has the coolest butt power? That’s up to you to decide!

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Order Signed Copies

I’ve partnered with Itinerant Literate Books to ship signed copies BATTLE OF THE BUTTS and BATTLE OF THE BRAINS. If you order the book from them, it will be signed by me AND it will be delivered with stickers for BUTTS and a bonus still to be determined for BRAINS.

Click here to order BUTTS and here to order BRAINS.

Add to cart and then Checkout.

On the order summary form, there is a place that says “Add an order note.” Press the + button.

In the space that says “Enter your note here” add any personalization instructions. Is there a specific message you want me to include? Specify it here. Who do you want me to sign it to? Your kids? Your grandkids? Your neighbor or family friend? A classroom teacher or librarian? Add their names here, so I can make sure to spell everything correctly when I’m signing.

If you just want a signed copy without any specific personalization, you can leave this field blank.

Thank you for your support! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

Seeking Adorable Pet Prodigies!

BATTLE OF THE BRAINS releases on November 8th, and I’m celebrating with brainy animal posts to count down to the big day.

Since I know your pet is a genius, I need your help! Please share your super smart pet with me by filling out this form.

You can either share a video of your pet doing something brainy (like tricks they know, clever habits, or let’s be real, “just” being cute is evidence of being savvy in order to manipulate their humans, so send me the cuteness!) OR share an adorable picture of your astute animal along with an anecdote or explanation about their braininess.

Give me your clever canines, crafty cats, brilliant birds, resourceful rodents, remarkable reptiles, eggheaded equines, and any other adorable pet prodigies you have!

I’ll incorporate your video/photo into a graphic and post similar to the ones below and post with the hashtags #BattleOfTheBrains and #PetProdigy.

And follow my social media accounts for a parade of adorable pet prodigies!

Bear Instagram post
Freya Instagram Post

Author and Filmmaker

Jocelyn Rish

Jocelyn Rish is a writer and filmmaker who loves exploring the magic of stories in all their formats. Her short stories have been published in Highlights for Children and The Post & Courier, and she previously wrote for the MTV News website. Her debut book was published in November of 2021 by Running Press Kids, an imprint of Hachette. It’s a nonfiction picture book called Battle of the Butts, about ten animals that do weird things with their butts. Her next book is Battle of the Brains, about ten animals that have mind-blowing brain powers, which will be published November 8, 2022, by Running Press Kids.

Jocelyn has won awards for her short stories, screenplays, short films, and novels, including the 2020 Book Pipeline YA Unpublished Contest, 2013 SCBWI WIP Grant for Contemporary Novel for Young People, 2009 Highlights Fiction contest, and two different grants to turn her short stories into short films: Saying Goodbye and High Heels & Hoodoo. She and her brother also won a grant to create a feature-length horror anthology called Grave Intentions, which is available on Amazon and other digital platforms. 

When Jocelyn’s not writing or doom scrolling social media, she tutors elementary school kids struggling to read through Reading Partners. Jocelyn lives outside of Charleston, SC, with her dogs.

Find me around the internet:

Jocelyn Rish

My Movies

Saying Goodbye movie poster

Saying Goodbye

A cat with the ability to predict death and a spunky fellow resident inspire a woman who’s lost everything to enjoy living again.

Watch Here
High Heels & Hoodoo movie poster

High Heels & Hoodoo

A greedy party girl who is so determined to get what she wants that she employs the dangerous magic of a Gullah root doctor to help her cross over into the spirit world for one last conversation with her grandmother.

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Poster for Grave Intentions

Grave Intentions

In this anthology of chills, thrills, and kills, a practitioner of the magical arts teaches the basics of her craft. The most important lesson? You must be mindful of your intention.

Watch Here

My Blog



Oops, it’s been another year since my last blog post. And once again I’m revisiting my neglected blog to share super exciting news … I HAVE A BOOK DEAL!!! I've been waiting to write this post for a very long time. If you read my I Have An Agent post from last year,...

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I haven’t posted in a long time. A really long time. Over 14 months – yikes! But how wonderful that I’m revisiting my neglected blog and kicking off 2019 by writing the post I’ve been dying to write since before I even had a blog ... … the I HAVE AN AGENT post!!!...

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Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 262

Tweet Tales Tuesday Week 262

It’s been a whirlwind week! On Wednesday, I was the director of CAMP. Say what? It’s fall, kids are in school not at camp! Well, I’m talking about Kathleen Fox’s fabulous Creative Arts of Mount Pleasant, which offers all kinds of classes for kids and adults. Kathleen...

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Schedule a School Visit

Fancy page coming soon!
Meanwhile, email info (at) jocelynrish (dot) com for more info.