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We were absolutely delighted when Jon Scieszka invited us to film a video for the Children’s Choice Book Awards in his home. After filming in his study Jon was gracious enough to read one of his most popular books — The True Story of the Three Little Pigs — a retelling of the classic fairytale from the wolf’s point of view. Was the wolf really as bad as the pigs said he was? Could the three little pigs have been three little meanies? You decide.
A. Wolf is still sticking to his story: he was framed As for that huffing and puffing stuff? A big lie. A. Wolf was just trying to borrow a cup of sugar to make his poor old granny a birthday cake. Who should you believe, the pigs or the wolf? You read. You decide. With over two million copies sold, The True Story of the Three Little Pigs remains as funny and irreverent as the inventive minds of Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. Viking is celebrated it’s 25th anniversary in 2014 with a handsome gift edition, featuring a stunning new jacket with lots of silver. And there’s a surprise inside as well.
ABOUT JON SCIESZKA
Jon Scieszka was born in Flint, Michigan, the second of six boys born to Shirley and Louis Scieszka. Jon attended Culver Military Academy for high school. After high school Jon studied science and English at Albion College in Michigan. Upon graduating he in 1976 he moved to Detroit, then to Brooklyn, NY to write. He earned his MFA in Fiction from Columbia University in New York in 1980.
Jon taught at The Day Schooling New York City. He started as a 1st grade Assistant Teacher, taught 2nd grade, 3rd and 4th grade Math, 5th grade History, and 6th, 7th and 8th grade.
While teaching Jon realized children were the best audience for the stories he dreamed up. After taking a year off from teaching to write he sent stories to publishers. However this didn’t dissuade him from writing more — and painting apartments.
Jon met Lane Smith, an artist who was painting illustrations for magazine articles, and working on his first children’s book. Jon shared his story, A. Wolf with Lane. Lane drew illustrations for the book, then they shopped it around. Unfortunately, the story was rejected by every publisher to which it was sent. After many more rejections Regina Hayes, an editor at Viking Books, took a chance on the story. In 1989 the book was published as The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!. Since the then more than three million copies of the book have been sold.
It’s been more than 20 years since Jon and Lane started working together. As a team they have worked together on eight picture books and eight Time Warps. Lane’s wife Molly Leach has designed all of their picture books.
Jon’s books have won awards including the Caldecott, and sold over 11 million copies domestically and internationally.
Jon still lives in Brooklyn with his wife Jeri. They have two children: a daughter Casey, and son Jake.
You may know Christopher Marlowe and Richard Burbage, The Globe Theatre and The Swan, perhaps even The Lord Chamberlain's Men and The Admirals' Men. But what do you know of modern Shakespeare: new productions, new performances, and ongoing research in the late 20th and 21st centuries? Shakespeare has, in many ways, remained the same, but actors, directors, designers, and other artists have adapted his work to suit the needs of the world and audiences today.
It’s been more than 40 years since Natalie Babbitt’s award-winning book Tuck Everlasting was published. Now, the story of an immortal family, a 10 year-old runaway, and the lessons they learn together makes its way to Broadway. The author has been involved with the play since the first reading. Babbitt gave the cast and creatives notes which helped the writers adapt the book for the stage.
StoryMakers host Rocco Staino interviewed Tuck Everlasting cast members and creatives Andrew Keenan-Bolger (“Jesse Tuck”), Chris Miller (music), Nathan Tyson (lyrics), StoryMakers alumni Tim Federle (writer), Claudia Shear (writer), Sarah Charles Lewis (Winnie Foster), Terrence Mann (The Man in the Yellow Suit), and Casey Nicholaw (director and choreographer). The amount of love the cast and creatives have poured into the play is wildly evident. They are wide-eyed and eager to share their love of the book and play with the audience. Viewers will get a glimpse of brilliant original art created for the play, and raw rehearsal footage.
You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live.
— Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting
The next time a child frowns at required reading remind them they could end up writing Broadway-caliber music and lyrics. Tuck Everlasting was required reading for Chris Miller and Nathan Tyson, in grade school. Miller and Tyson met while attending New York University’s graduate musical theater writing program. When the duo decided to collaborate after their thesis play they made a wish list. Tuck Everlasting was at the very top of their list of dream projects — that was 15 years ago.
There are other kid lit connections in the play too. Like Federle, actor Andrew Keenan-Bolger is a creator of literature for children. He is the author of Jack & Louisa: Act 1 and Jack & Louisa: Act 2 (Grosset & Dunlap).
Tuck Everlasting begins previews on March 31, 2016 and opens on April 26, 2016. Click here for tickets and more information.
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ABOUT TUCK EVERLASTING
Tuck Everlasting Written by Natalie Babbitt with a forward by Gregory Maguire
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR
Blessed with or doomed to eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less of a blessing than it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune.
A brand-new introduction from Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked, and additional bonus materials make this special edition of Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting a must-have for lovers of the book and a great way to introduce a new generation to a classic.
When Winnie Foster discovers the magical secret of the Tuck family, she embarks on an extraordinary adventure that will change her life forever. Take a journey you’ll never forget in this daring new Broadway musical about love, family and living life to the fullest.
Based on the best-selling, award-winning novel by Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting is brought to life with world-class artistry and powerful storytelling in a sweeping production featuring a book by Tony Award® nominee Claudia Shear (Dirty Blonde) & Tim Federle (Better Nate Than Ever), music by Chris Miller (The Burnt Part Boys), lyrics by Nathan Tysen (The Burnt Part Boys), and direction and choreography by Tony Award® winner Casey Nicholaw (Something Rotten!, Aladdin, The Book of Mormon).
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is Eric Carle’s most famous children’s book. It is loved the world over and has been translated into many languages. The book inspired The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, an off-Broadway play that adapts four of Carle’s books for the stage. StoryMakers host Rocco Staino visited the 47th Street Theatre to interview the show’s creator, Jonathan Rockefeller. Rocco and Jonathan discussed taking Eric Carle’s work “from the page, to the stage,” working with Eric Carle, and the puppeteering process.
Seventy-five (75) puppets created in detail to resemble the characters in The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar make the show come alive. Many puppets are life-size and others are magnified many times over — a 12 foot tall butterfly! Several of the actors are puppeteers who’ve worked on Sesame Street and other children’s shows.
Jonathan enjoys seeing the faces of audience members — both younger and older — who’ve read Eric’s books. They know the story but react very differently as they watch Eric Carle’s stories unfold boldly before their eyes. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show is especially wonderful because Jonathan Rockefeller and his team have shows that are bilingual and autism friendly.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show began previews on January 30th; opened on February 7th; and runs until March 27, 2016. Click here to purchase tickets for shows in New York City.
GIVEAWAY: Enter to win a pair of tickets to The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show and a prize pack filled with books and other goodies!
One sunny Sunday, the caterpillar was hatched out of a tiny egg. He was very hungry. On Monday, he ate through one apple; on Tuesday, he ate through three plums–and still he was hungry. Strikingly bold, colorful pictures and a simple text in large, clear type tell the story of a hungry little caterpillar’s progress through an amazing variety and quantity of foods. Full at last, he made a cocoon around himself and went to sleep, to wake up a few weeks later wonderfully transformed into a butterfly!
Every child has an artist inside them, and this vibrant picture book from Eric Carle will help let it out. The artist in this book paints the world as he sees it, just like a child. There’s a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox and a polka-dotted donkey. More than anything, there’s imagination. Filled with some of the most magnificently colorful animals of Eric Carle’s career, this tribute to the creative life celebrates the power of art.
Mister Seahorse Written and illustrated by Eric Carle
Published by Philomela Books
When Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs, she does it on Mr. Seahorse’s belly She knows he will take good care of them. While he swims waiting for the eggs to hatch, he meets some other underwater fathers caring for their babies: Mr. Tilapia, who carries his babies in his mouth; Mr. Kurtus, who keeps his on his head; and Mr. Catfish, who is baby-sitting his young hatchlings. Eric Carle has done it again, with astonishingly beautiful collage illustrations and a story that introduces the very young to the wonders of aquatic life … and some very special daddies. A “hide and seek” feature with acetate overlays adds a colorful surprise.
When a very lonely firefly goes out into the night searching for other fireflies, it sees a lantern, a candle, and the eyes of a dog, cat, and owl all glowing in the darkness. It even sees a surprise celebration of light. But it is not until it discovers other fireflies that it finds exactly what it’s looking for. Read it with a flashlight in the dark or under the table–and watch those fireflies glow!
ABOUT ERIC CARLE
Eric Carle is acclaimed and beloved as the creator of brilliantly illustrated and innovatively designed picture books for very young children. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has eaten its way into the hearts of literally millions of children all over the world and has been translated into 62 languages and sold over 41 million copies. Since the Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle has illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 132 million copies of his books have sold around the world.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by author/illustrator Eric Carle has delighted generations of readers since it was first published in 1969 selling more than 41 million copies worldwide.
Eric’s well-known books captivated readers with his iconic colorful hand-painted tissue paper collage illustrations and distinctively simple stories, introducing generations of children to a bigger, brighter world — and to their first experience of reading itself.
Now, the timeless classic makes its way off the page and onto the stage.
Created by Jonathan Rockefeller, the critically acclaimed production of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show features a menagerie of 75 lovable puppets, faithfully adapting four of Eric Carle stories, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course, the star of the show – The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Jonathan Rockefeller is a co-founder of Rockefeller Productions, a company that combines film, theatre, animation, puppetry and television. He also devotes time to philanthropic work furthering childhood literary and appreciation of the arts. The production of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show’ debuted to a sell-out season at the Sydney Festival January 2015, and will continue to tour Australia and New Zealand through 2017. Prior to his work with Eric Carle, Jonathan co-wrote and produced the puppet-parody ‘Thank You for Being a Friend’ which has been licensed for further productions worldwide. This year Jonathan was selected as a ‘Men of Influence’ by Men’s Style Australia for his work in children’s theater and literacy. Click here to learn more about Jonathan Rockefeller.
Ava DuVernay, the director behind Selma, will take the helm of a movie based on Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. Farrar, Straus & Giroux first published this Newbery Medal-winning children’s book back in 1963.
Here’s more from The Chicago Tribune: “The story follows children as they travel through time and visit strange worlds in order to find their missing scientist father…A Wrinkle in Time is the first book in L’Engle’s Time Quartet series that also includes A Wind in the Door, Many Waters, and A Swiftly Tilting Planet.”
According to The Disney Blog, Jon Favreauserved as the director and Justin Marks served as the screenwriter for this live action/CG hybrid movie. The movie studio has set the theatrical release date for April 15.
Titan Comics will publish an English translation of the Sherlock manga series. These comic books, adapted from the popular BBC television series, were originally published in Japan four years ago.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Jay, an illustrator, created the artwork. The release date for Sherlock: A Study In Pink has been scheduled for June 2016.
Here’s more from io9: “To make up for the fact that fan translations have been widely distributed in the four years since the manga released in Japan, Titan’s release will include an increased page count, new alternate covers, and bonus art from frequent Titan collaborator Alice X. Zhang. It will also be available in both physical and digital formats.” (via Comic Book Resources)
Archie Comics COO Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa has agreed to write the script. He will serve as an executive producer along with Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schecter, and Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater.
Here’s more from the press release: “The show will focus on the eternal love triangle of Archie Andrews, girl-next-door Betty Cooper, and rich socialite Veronica Lodge, and will include the entire cast of characters from the comic books—including Archie’s rival, Reggie Mantle, and his slacker best friend, Jughead Jones. Popular gay character Kevin Keller will also play a pivotal role. In addition to the core cast, Riverdale will introduce other characters from Archie Comics’ expansive library, including Josie and the Pussycats.”
Taraji P. Henson will play the mathematician Katherine Johnson in the Hidden Figures movie. In the past, the actress (pictured,via) was nominated for an Academy Award for her role in the film adaptation of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
According to Variety, the story for this film adaptation comes from Hidden Figures: The Story of the African-American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. HarperCollins will publish this nonfiction book on Sept. 6.
Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “Ted Melfi will direct the film about a group of black women who provided NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions. Fox is planning to release the film Jan. 13, 2017, to coincide with the Martin Luther King holiday weekend.” (via Bustle)
Entertainment Weekly reports that “the upcoming season will feature the Underwoods pursuing separate paths to power, and the 60-second trailer offers a peak at the Machiavellian schemes, sexually charged rendezvous, and violent outbursts along the way. It also glimpses new cast members including Ellen Burstyn, Joel Kinnaman, and Neve Campbell.”
A theatrical production of To Kill a Mockingbird will open on Broadway. Scott Rudin, a famed producer, has acquired the stage adaptation rights.
According to Playbill, Aaron Sorkin, an Oscar-winning screenwriter, has agreed to adapt Harper Lee’s beloved novel for the script. Bartlett Sher, a Tony Award-winning director, has signed on to take the helm of this show.
According to Variety, other members of the cast include Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander, and Tommy Lee Jones. The story for this film adaptation comes from the thriller book series written by Robert Ludlum and Eric Van Lustbader.
USA Today reports that Paul Greengrass served as the director for this adaptation project. The theatrical release date has been scheduled for July 29. (via The A.V. Club)
Earlier this month, it was announced that Neil Patrick Harris would take on the role of the antagonist, Count Olaf. The story for this adaptation project comes from a popular middle grade series by Lemony Snicket (a.k.a. Daniel Handler). Altogether, Handler wrote and published a total of thirteen installments.
Here’s more from Deadline: “Narrated by Snicket, A Series Of Unfortunate Events recounts the tale of the orphaned children Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire at the hands of the villainous Count Olaf, as they face trials and tribulations, misfortunes and an evil uncle in search of their fortune, all in their quest to uncover the secret of their parents’ deaths. Violet, the self-confident, capable and smart-beyond-her-years eldest sibling, helps her brother and sister solve problems with her skills as an inventor. Klaus is the middle child who loves books.” (via Hello Giggles)
Paramount Pictures will shoot a Little House on the Prairie movie. The story for this project comes from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s beloved novels and the popular television adaptation.
According to Variety, Sean Durkin has signed on as the director and Abi Morgan will serve as the screenwriter. At this point in time, no casting announcements have been made.
Here’s more from The Hollywood Reporter: “Little House aired on NBC from 1974 to 1983 and starred Michael Landon as the patriarch of a pioneer family living in the 1880s in the American Midwest. The show was known for its wholesome values and was a loose adaptation of the classic series of children’s books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, who based it on her childhood.” (via The Los Angeles Times)
Here’s more from the press release: “The plot posits a war brewing between old and new gods: the traditional gods of mythological roots from around the world steadily losing believers to an upstart pantheon of gods reflecting society’s modern love of money, technology, media, celebrity and drugs. Its protagonist, Shadow Moon, is an ex-con who becomes bodyguard and traveling partner to Mr. Wednesday, a conman but in reality one of the older gods, on a cross-country mission to gather his forces in preparation to battle the new deities.”
Kim Basinger has landed the role of Elena Lincoln in the Fifty Shades Darker film adaptation. In the past, the Academy Award-winner has acted in several literary-themed movies including Batman, L.A. Confidential, and Charlie St. Cloud.
According to Vanity Fair, Basinger will play “the older woman in Christian Grey’s life who first introduced the fictional billionaire to the world of BDSM…In Fifty Shades Darker, Elena earns the nickname ‘Mrs. Robinson’ when Anastasia Steele—Christian’s more age-appropriate love interest, played by Dakota Johnson—learns that Elena seduced Christian when he was a teenager.”
Cate Blanchett has signed on to star in a theatrical production of Anton Chekhov’s The Present. In the past, the two-time Academy Award winner (pictured, via) has acted in several literary-themed movies including the Lord of the Rings franchise, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Cinderella.
Here’s more from The New York Times: “The Present, also known as Platonov, centers on Anna Petrovna, who is celebrating her 40th birthday at her summer home in the country. She holds a party that includes uncomfortably mismatched collection of characters. Chekhov wrote it as a young medical student in the 1880s but it went nowhere and the playwright put it aside. It was unearthed in a Moscow bank vault in 1920, 16 years after his death.”
Deadline reports this play will mark Blanchett’s debut on Broadway. Starring alongside her will be Richard Roxburgh. Andrew Upton, Blanchett’s husband, adapted Chekhov’s piece. John Crowley, the director behind the Oscar-nominated film Brooklyn, has agreed to take the helm on this project. At this point in time, neither the New York City-based venue nor the opening date have been announced. (via Theater Mania)
TIME reports that other members of the cast include Helena Bonham Carter as The Red Queen, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, and Sacha Baron Cohen as Time. This film adaptation, a sequel to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, comes out May 27, 2016.
According to USA Today, the movie “features a genre-covering swath of British stars, including Doctor Who’s Jenna Coleman (as Louisa’s sister), Harry Potter’s Matthew Lewis (as Louisa’s longtime boyfriend) and Game of Thrones star Charles Dance (as Traynor’s father).” The theatrical release date has been set for June 3. (via E! Online)
Barry Allen (played by Grant Gustin) will meet Kara Danvers (played by Melissa Benoist) in her Earth hometown, National City. In the past, both actors appeared on the hit TV series, Glee. The air date has been scheduled for March 28.
Here’s more from the announcement on the DC Comics website: “Requests for Supergirl to cross over with either The Flash or Arrow have been loud and frequent among fans, particularly since the three shows share executive producers. This actually isn’t the first time characters from The CW’s shared DCTV universe have bumped into a character from a series originally launched outside of that universe. Earlier this season, Matt Ryan’s John Constantine made an appearance on Arrow, after having previously debuted on NBC’s now-canceled Constantine.” (via Nerdist)
Here’s more from Deadline: “The adaptation of the Jules Verne novel has a script by Rick Sordelet and Dan Studney, based on a story by Singer and those writers. Singer will produce with Jason Taylor, who heads the director’s Bad Hat Harry Productions.”