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1. StoryMakers | Mother’s Day Special

StoryMakers - Mother's Day Special 2016 Featured Image

In the spirit of celebrating moms KidLit TV produced a Mother’s Day special inspired by Josh Funk’s popular rhyming picture book, Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast. Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast are best friends who find out there is only one drop of syrup left in the refrigerator. Soon the friends embark on a hysterical and sometimes treacherous dash to get that one last drop. Of course they they both learn a valuable lesson — but the end is anything but typical.

StoryMakers host Rocco Staino and Josh Funk were joined by dad and travel blogger Jason Greene (One Good Dad). Together the trio cooked up a Mother’s Day breakfast fit for a queen … A queen who loves pancakes, French toast, strawberries and cream! If you’re still thinking about what to do for the special lady in your life — whether she be your partner, wife, or mom — we highly recommend watching this episode. If that’s not enough to keep you glued to the screen, two of Jason’s children make a special appearance.

What’s your idea of the perfect Mother’s Day? What’s your favorite breakfast dish? Let us know in the comment section below!

We’re giving away three (3) copies of Josh Funk’s picture book, Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast. The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on May 18, 2016. Enter now!

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Download the free Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast activity kit.

Mother's Day Special - Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast Activity Kit Cover

ABOUT LADY PANCAKE & SIR FRENCH TOAST


Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast
Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast - Mother's Day Brunch
Written by Josh Funk; illustrated by Brendan Kearney
Published by Sterling Publishing

A thoroughly delicious picture book about the funniest “food fight!” ever! Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast have a beautiful friendship—until they discover that there’s only one drop of maple syrup left. Off they go, racing past the Orange Juice Fountain, skiing through Sauerkraut Peak, and reeling down the linguini. But who will enjoy the sweet taste of victory? And could working together be better than tearing each other apart? The action-packed rhyme makes for an adrenaline-filled breakfast … even without a drop of coffee!

ABOUT JOSH FUNK

Via Josh Funk Books
Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as picture books – such as the award-winning Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast (Sterling), as well as the forthcoming picture books Pirasaurs! (Scholastic 8/30/16), Dear Dragon (Viking/Penguin 9/6/16), It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk (Two Lions, 2017), and more.

Josh is a board member of The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA and the co-coordinator of the 2016 and 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conferences.

Josh grew up in New England and studied Computer Science in school. Today, he still lives in New England and when not writing Java code or Python scripts, he drinks Java coffee and writes picture book manuscripts.

Josh is terrible at writing bios, so please help fill in the blanks. Josh enjoys _______ during ________ and has always loved __________. He has played ____________ since age __ and his biggest fear in life is being eaten by a __________.

CONNECT WITH JOSH FUNK
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

ABOUT JASON GREENE

Via One Good Dad
From the time I was a child, my dream was to become an actor and a writer. After college, I set out along with my wife to chase that dream. We arrived in New York City and I was ready to “make it.” After a few years of auditioning and bit parts here and there, my wife gave me the news that I was about to take on the biggest role imaginable — the role of a daddy. After my son was born, I became a stay-at-home dad and now I’m a proud papa of 4 children. Being a stay-at-home dad has changed the way I think about myself and the world around me. And that has lead me to become a dad blogger and travel blogger.  My blog touches on parenting challenges and rewards, faith, travel, entertainment, sports, sponsorships and reviews, or whatever else is keeping me from getting that great night of sleep I so desperately need.

CONNECT WITH JASON GREENE
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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StoryMakers
Host: Rocco Staino | Executive Producer: Julie Gribble | Producer: Kassia Graham

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The post StoryMakers | Mother’s Day Special appeared first on KidLit.TV.

6 Comments on StoryMakers | Mother’s Day Special, last added: 5/6/2016
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2. Interview Time! John Patrick Green in Conversation with Eric Colossal

Who? What? Where? When? Why?

It’s a blog tour, kiddos!  A tour of bloggy goodness.  More than that, it’s a graphic novel blog tour done to celebrate Children’s Book Week in all its fancypants glory.

The subject of today’s interview is none other than Eric Colossal.  Colossal, if the name is new to you, is the author of the danged funny RUTABAGA series.  I’m a big fan of those books as they combine two of my favorite things: quests and eating.  And in a bit of a twist, I won’t be doing the interview here today, though.  That honor goes to John Patrick Green, author of the upcoming HIPPOTAMISTER.

Take it away, John!


  • Colossal, EricYour series is about a plucky adventurer who constantly finds himself in sticky situations that he manages to get out of by cooking delicious foods. How did this concept come about?

Growing up, I loved fantasy stories filled with weird beasts and mystical magic but I was always confused about why no one talked about the food in these lands. I mean, here in the real world we eat some pretty strange stuff. We eat bee barf and call it honey, we grind up a rock and put it on our food and call it salt. How come people who live in these magical lands never eat the strange beasts they fight in the bottoms of dungeons? So I created Rutabaga to do just that!

 

  • At the back of each book are a few complete recipes that readers can cook. How do you come up with those? I’ll admit, even the fictional recipes Rutabaga makes on his quests look tasty! Where do you get the ideas for those?

There are two criteria I have for making a recipe to share: Does the recipe contain a fun activity and does the final product look unique. For instance, there’s nothing new about dipping grapes in chocolate but taking that idea and adding steps to the recipe that make the final product look like a chocolate spider with a big ol’ squishy butt, that’s a perfect recipe for Rutabaga! In fact, that recipe is in book 2 and it’s one of my favorites! 

 

  • What is your creative process like?

9781419716584I watch a LOT of documentaries on food and food culture. My favorite ones talk about why people eat what they eat. Sure it’s fun to find out HOW to cook something but if you tell me WHY a culture has the diet it has you don’t just learn about food, you learn about people, and stories are about people. Other than that, most of my time is spent at my computer writing and drawing. I make the entire book digitally which is really handy when you have 2 cats who like to chew on paper!

 

  • Which do you love more: food or comics? Please explain your answer in a piechart. Or maybe just a pie.

It’s a tough choice but I’m going to have to say I love food more. A comic can take up to a year to write, draw, and color but you can cook a huge 3 course meal in about 2 hours. Imagine if it took a year to make breakfast! And just for fun here’s that pie chart you asked for:

 

  • What else are you working on? Can we expect further adventures of Rutabaga and his trusty kettle, Pot? Maybe an entire cookbook?

I have so many Rutabaga stories to tell, you have no idea! I probably have enough material for at least another 8 books! As long as there are people who want to read about my goofy little chef and his metal pal, I’ll keep making them!

  • What comics or children’s books are you currently reading?

Below the RootThe last book I read was a young adult book called “Below The Root” by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. It’s an older book about a society of people who live in cities built on gigantic trees. They wear long flowing robes that allow them to glide around in the air to get from branch to branch. They’re an extremely peaceful race, they don’t eat meat, they don’t fight, they won’t even write on paper because it would hurt a tree to make the paper. The books follow a group of children as they uncover the history of their people and the sinister things that have been done in the name of protecting them. It’s a three book series and I greatly enjoyed it!


 

Thanks for the interview, guys!  And what a fantastic book to end on.  Honestly, it would have been even more awesome if you’d mentioned the Commodore 64 game of Below the Root that was based on the book (to the best of my knowledge, the ONLY children’s book to be adapted into the Commodore 64 gaming system format), but we’ll let it slide.

 

Want to read more of these interviews?  Here’s the full blog tour:

Monday, May 2ndForever YA featuring Gene Luen Yang

Monday, May 2nd  – Read Write Love featuring Lucas Turnbloom

Monday, May 2ndKid Lit Frenzy featuring Kory Merritt

Tuesday, May 3rdSharp Read featuring Ryan North

Tuesday, May 3rdTeen Lit Rocks featuring MK Reed

Wednesday, May 4thLove is Not a Triangle featuring Chris Schweizer

Wednesday, May 4thSLJ Good Comics for Kids featuring Victoria Jamieson

Thursday, May 5thThe Book Wars featuring Judd Winick

Thursday, May 5thSLJ Fuse #8 featuring Eric Colossal

Friday, May 6thSLJ Scope Notes featuring Nathan Hale

Friday, May 6thThe Book Rat featuring Faith Erin Hicks

Saturday, May 7thYA Bibliophile featuring Mike Maihack

Saturday, May 7thSupernatural Snark featuring Sam Bosma

Sunday, May 8thCharlotte’s Library featuring Maris Wicks

Sunday, May 8thThe Roarbots featuring Raina Telgemeier

Thanks to Gina Gagliano and the good folks at First Second for setting this up with me.

 

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3. Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Brianne Farley

  Several weeks ago at Kirkus, I wrote here about Brianne Farley’s new picture book, Secret Tree Fort, published by Candlewick just last month. When I write about picture books over at Kirkus, I always like to follow up with art about a week later here at 7-Imp. I can’t write about picture books without […]

1 Comments on Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Brianne Farley, last added: 5/3/2016
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4. Borten’s Book Re-Birth

“The renewed interest in work I did so long ago is both wonderful and disconcerting; it brings back a different person, a young artist juggling a career and motherhood, as passionately immersed in visual expression as I later became in sound production.” * * * Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Helen Borten, […]

2 Comments on Borten’s Book Re-Birth, last added: 4/28/2016
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5. intrigues on romney marsh: the body on the doorstep

Huge congratulations to the two writers who are AJ MacKenzie, whose exciting-looking book comes out today! I first met Canadian husband-wife team Marilyn Livingstone & Morgen Witzel at the wonderful Emirates Festival of Literature in Dubai; we spent a lot of meals together and they were fascinating. Morgan had some great tales about growing up in the wilds of British Columbia and Marilyn's been writing as a medieval historian for 25 years; she and Morgan decided to try something new, diving into the 18th century and trying their hand at crime fiction, something page-turning and fast-paced but still very much grounded in history.

the body on the doorstep

Here's the cover art, designed by Jet Purdie (who won and had two titles shortlisted for the most recent Kitschies Inky Tentacle cover awards) and he commissioned the illustration from Head Design. And here's the blurb:

Shocked to discover a dying man on his doorstep - and lucky to avoid a bullet himself - Reverend Hardcastle finds himself entrusted with the victim's cryptic last words. With smuggling rife on England's south-east coast, the obvious conclusion is that this was a falling out among thieves. But why is the leader of the local Customs service so reluctant to investigate? Ably assisted by the ingenious Mrs Chaytor, Hardcastle sets out to solve the mystery for himself. But smugglers are not the only ones to lurk off the Kent coast, and the more he discovers, the more he realises he might have bitten off more than he can chew.

I had a couple questions for AJ MacKenzie:

Marilyn and Morgan, I can't wait to read this new book! What are a couple of the most exciting bits of the history that made you want to write it?

The 1790s were quite a dangerous and (if you don’t have to live in them) exciting time. Romney Marsh, where The Body on the Doorstep is set, was rife with smuggling and dark nights would see parties of smugglers landing on the beaches and carrying cargoes of gin and brandy inland over the Marsh, pursued by the Preventive men, the law enforcement officers of the day.



Then there was the threat of invasion from France, which by the mid-1790s was becoming very real. There is a earlier Hogarth print at the Fitzwilliam Museum that shows hordes of ravening Frenchmen threatening to descend on England:



It looks sort of comical, but in fact the threat was very real and was taken seriously; there were plenty of invasion scares. From Romney Marsh, you can see the French coast on a clear day. In the next picture, the line of clouds is where France begins; it’s only about thirty-five miles.




A lot of French refugees washed up on the coast of Kent after the French Revolution began. But which refugees were genuinely fleeing the Terror, and which ones were actually enemy agents? A lot of this begins to sound rather familiar, doesn’t it?

Finally, there were a few historical characters we could bring in and play with. One was the painter JMW Turner, just starting out on his illustrious career. During the early 1790s, Turner often came to the Kent coast to paint the sea. This is one of his early works, Fishermen at Sea, on show at the Tate. The Tate say this was painted near the Isle of Wight. But who is to say he didn’t make a little unrecorded trip to Romney Marsh around the same time?


'Fishermen at Sea' by Turner, 1796 from Tate Britain collection

Where and how you and Morgen work?

We work in all sorts of places. What we don’t tend to do is lock ourselves in a room and write together. There are several reasons for this; chief among them being that we both listen to music as we write, but very different kinds of music. Marilyn likes mathematical music like Bach and Purcell, or modern performers like Ms Dynamite. Morgen listens to gloomy Central European music from the late nineteenth century. Each person’s music would drive the other crazy.



In fact we mostly work by talking, working out plots and characters and ideas and conversations, and we can do that anywhere. We often sit opposite each other in these two chairs in our sitting room, talking and reading text to each other.



If the weather is fine (not always a given in the West Country) we go outside. The beaches of west Cornwall and the tors of Dartmoor are some of our favourite places to work.



After all, we live in a beautiful part of the world; why not take advantage of it for inspiration and ideas?



Thanks, guys! You can read a lot more about The Body on the Doorstep and The Romney Marsh Mysteries over on the AJ MacKenzie website and blog. And you can follow them on Twitter: @AJMacKnovels. (They're very friendly; feel free to ask them questions.) Right now you can buy the first book in hardcover and for Kindle, and the paperback comes out in August. (I ordered mine from Tales on Moon Lane, through the Hive Books button on the AJ MacKenzie website.) Published by Zaffre.

Age appropriateness: Aimed at adults but might be accessible to high-school/secondary-school kids and secondary school libraries. No sex, some violence, quite a lot of bad language (mostly f***).

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6. StoryMakers | Todd Parr

STORYMAKERS - Todd Parr

Teachers Rock! is the new picture book from New York Times best-selling author and illustrator Todd Parr.  The book is a celebration of teachers and all the wonderful things they do for students. Children spend many of their waking hours in classrooms, so teachers have a huge impact on their lives. Teachers Rock! contains many real life scenarios; Parr shows teachers buying their own supplies, making sure children wipe their noses, and a few unexpected moments.

Parr grew up in Wyoming where he remembers having a wonderful classroom experience. While he was appreciative of many of his teachers he cites Mrs. Judson, his fourth grade teacher, with being the one who encouraged most of his creativity. As an adult Parr studied art; however, he didn’t do well because he preferred a style all his own. Todd Parr’s work is highly relatable to children because of the bright colors, imperfect lines, and simplicity. Parr told StoryMakers host Rocco Staino that his ultimate goal is to continue writing books that help children feel good about themselves, embrace their feelings, and understanding of others.

Do you have a favorite teacher? Let us know who that person is, and why they’re so special, in the comment section below.

We’re giving away three (3) bundles of Todd Parr’s picture books. Each bundle includes a copy of Teachers Rock!, It’s Okay to Make Mistakes and The Goodbye Book. The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on May 3, 2016. Enter now!

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ABOUT TEACHERS ROCK


Teachers Rock!
Todd Parr - Teachers Rock!
Written and illustrated by Todd Parr
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Teachers are amazing! They teach you new things, make you laugh, and help you meet new friends. They always encourage you to do your best. They make the classroom a great place to be!

From admiring the way teachers foster creativity in the classroom to how they ensure all children’s needs are met, Todd Parr offers an ode to everything teachers contribute to the world. Bursting with positivity about school and the people who make it special, this book is sure to become a classroom and at-home favorite.

ABOUT TODD PARR

Todd Parr is the author and illustrator of more than 30 children’s books. Todd moved to San Francisco to pursue a career as an artist, then took a detour as a flight attendant, before becoming a full-time author and illustrator. Todd draws in a style that’s highly relatable to children.

Todd acknowledges his supportive family — including a grandma who introduced him to Dr. Seuss books — as being a strong influence in his work. He is able to write stories about kindness and love because of his upbringing. Todd’s books have been translated into more than 14 languages. In 2005 Todd received a Daytime Emmy nomination for his preschool television series ToddWorld.

Todd’s favorite color is blue, and he loves macaroni and cheese.

Todd loves hearing from fans of his books. Go ahead and contact him, here. You can send him a note and pictures too!

Bonus: Actress Sandra Bullock is a big fan of Todd’s Family Book. She reads it aloud to her children Louis and Laila before bedtime.

CONNECT WITH TODD PARR
Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | YouTube

CONNECT WITH KidLit TV
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StoryMakers
Host: Rocco Staino | Executive Producer: Julie Gribble | Producer: Kassia Graham

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3 Comments on StoryMakers | Todd Parr, last added: 4/22/2016
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7. What I’m Doing at Kirkus This Week,Plus What I Did Last Week, Featuring Hervé Tullet

“Eeeek! We better leave on tiptoe . . .”(Click to enlarge spread)   In honor of National Poetry Month, I have my favorite new poetry title over at Kirkus today. That will be here soon. * * * At the end of March, I talked here with Hervé Tullet over at Kirkus, and I’m just […]

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8. Pottermore Interviews Eddie Redmayne At The MTV Movie Awards!

Following the exciting release of another amazing Fantastic Beasts trailer at the MTV Movie Awards yesterday evening (which you can read about here and watch below), Pottermore caught an exclusive interview with Eddie Redmayne himself – and it’s just about the loveliest interview you’ll ever read!

As we know, Fantastic Beasts will be dealing with a very different setting to that of the Harry Potter series. Tom Riddle is just being born (in 1926), Albus Dumbledore is still teaching Transfiguration at Hogwarts (and apparently advocating against Newt’s expulsion), and we’re being wooshed away to New York, to see how the American wizarding (and No-Maj) world of the 1920’s differs from the British version of the 1990’s-2000’s.

Talking about the pressure of adding to the legacy of Potter, and helping to create this entirely new story, Eddie remains humble as ever, showing how much he cares about the series and his character:

“‘Each time you put a little thing like that out into the world, it feels nerve-wracking,’ he says, in his reverent British half-whisper. ‘The weird thing about film-making is that you make films as a team and together, you care about every bit that goes out. You care what people think. I care.’ 

Eddie blinks a couple of times, earnestly, and it’s clear that he does. He’s the kind of actor who keeps a piece of his characters in his heart. He adores Newt Scamander especially, you can tell.

‘When I first heard the notion of this film and that it was set in a totally different time period [to Harry Potter] the question for me was, would those worlds ever collide? When I read the script, the delicacy with which J.K. Rowling weaves the names and the characters of a different generation to the one we know and love excited me. It still does.’

As for Newt’s expulsion and the reason he’s arrived in New York City? 

‘I can say nothing further about that,’ Eddie says, holding tight onto the secret. “

You can tell Eddie really knows his stuff – we love an actor who gets into the story as much as us (we’re looking at you, Evanna Lynch)!

On Newt’s love for magi-zoology:

‘Newt is much better at communicating with beasts and spending time with his creatures than perhaps he is with human interaction. On the journey of this film, he begins to find connections with people but he’s not exactly a people-pleaser. What I love about Newt Scamander is that he’s his own person. He’s a passionate man and he’ll do anything for those beasts.’

Our frame-by-frame analysis of the trailer gives a closer look at one of the more adorable beasts in Newt’s intriguing briefcase, and allows us to see that the briefcase holds beastie characters we’ll get to know more throughout the film. The mysterious Pottermore Correspondent chooses to focus on this strange (but cute!) little beast:

Screen Shot 2016-04-10 at 10.54.22 PM

‘The Niffler!’ says Eddie, with a slight shake of his fist on Newt’s behalf. ‘As you know, I have a love-hate relationship with that little guy. He gets a little moment in the trailer, the Niffler. He’s ravaging a purse. I thought he did pretty immaculately in his debut but there’s a lot more Niffler to come. He looked so sweet and adorable just then but don’t be fooled.’

Eddie beams with genuine affection for the little beast and sighs with relief that he can finally talk about a few more things that appear in the film. Now that the trailer’s out, he’s got approximately eight fewer secrets to keep until November. 

‘I’m so bad at keeping secrets, so anything being out there that I don’t have to hide anymore is good,’ he says.

We know that Eddie’s a busy man, and we also know that he’s expecting a baby with his wife – apparently he’s taking a well-deserved break (but probably not for long – the sequel’s still to come, and another after that!):

‘Do you know, I am actually taking a wee break,’ he says. ‘My wife is having a baby and we thought we’d travel a little. What was wonderful about Fantastic Beasts is that it was fully immersive but the shoot was long, it was six months and it was rigorous. I put everything I had into it so, yeah, it’s time for a wee break.’

But one of the best parts of the interview doesn’t even involve any interviewing – the Pottermore Correspondent beautifully sums up Eddie’s shining personality with a quick observation, making us even more confident that he’s the Newt we never knew we were looking for:

“And with that, Eddie stands, hugs me goodnight, climbs the narrow black stairs down from his trailer, stops to film 11 seconds of fireworks on his phone and jumps into the black car waiting for him outside.”

Read the full interview over at Pottermore here!

We can’t wait to see/hear more about the film (which hits cinemas November 18th!) – catch the trailer below, and read our frame by frame analysis here!

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9. Tom Felton and Warwick Davis on Theme Parks, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and ‘Cursed Child’

Adding to the torrent of great interviews from the grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood this week, SnitchSeeker have posted interviews with Tom Felton and Warwick Davis,  on which attraction they think should be added to the park.

Tom Felton stayed loyal to his character, saying he’d love to see Malfoy Manor, and even said he’d agree if he was asked to be involved in the process of making it!:

I would like to see Malfoy Manor – obviously a bit biased there. I think it would maybe make a good ghost house or some sort of like spook train or whatever. There’s enough dark sides of that house to scare any child, I think. Yeah, there’s more look forward to. Something tells me this isn’t the end of it.”

On Fantastic Beasts, Tom Felton was confident that the newest venture in the cinematic Wizarding World will live up to Potter fans’ standards:
SnitchSeeker: What are your thoughts about the Fantastic Beasts series? What are you hoping to see, as a fan, as part of the series?
Tom:
 No expectations. I haven’t thought about it. I know it’s the dream team. You’ve got Heyman, Yates and Rowling back together, so they can’t really do much wrong, I don’t think. I have every faith in their ability to convert Jo’s work to the best of their abilities. I just think it’s exciting that she’s keeping the flame going, in a different sense. She’s creating more content.

SnitchSeeker: What would be your advice to that cast, just coming into this fan base, for Eddie Redmayne and everybody else?
Tom:
 I don’t think they need to take advice from us. We don’t share any similarities, really. At 9 and 10 years old, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. They know exactly what they’re getting themselves into. And Eddie’s an Oscar-winning actor. The last thing he needs is advice from me.

Tom also spoke about his career choices, and projects he’s currently involved in:

SnitchSeeker: What do you have coming up, project-wise?
Tom:
 Something released? A few things this year. There’s an animation film called, Sheep & Wolves, there’s a British spy film called, Stratton and a film that I just did with Troian Bellisario, an American drama called, Feed. I have no idea when any of these films will be out, but I know they will be at some point. This year’s going to be mostly commercial.

SnitchSeeker: You pick so many different projects. How do you choose them? What motivates you?
Tom:
 Just people. I don’t particularly go for character or story. I mean, it all plays a part, but I’m more interested in working with people that I get on well with. I don’t consider the outcome to be the reward or the result. I just purely base it on my experience, and what comes out of it is really neither here nor there to me. If the Harry Potter films were a complete failure, I still would have loved them as much as I did. So yeah, just enjoying the experience.

Watch SnitchSeeker’s video of the interview below, and read the full interview here.

Warwick Davis also told us what he’d add – he takes a dark route, similar to Tom – it’d definitely be interesting to see some sort of haunted mansion-esque ride with the darker places in the Wizarding World featuring somehow!:

SnitchSeeker: If you had a voice in how to expand the Wizarding World here or in Orlando or even Japan, what would you like to see come to life?
Warwick:
 I would like to see Azkaban. I’m intrigued about what goes on in Azkaban. We hear about it but we never really get a chance to see in Azkaban. So I think that’d be interesting.

SnitchSeeker: How would you envision it?
Warwick:
 A dark experience, wouldn’t it be? It’d be spooky, kind of like a Haunted Mansion-type thing that they have at Disneyworld. You go through and it’s one of those exploratory rides that takes you through. Lots of shocks and stuff, and really into special effects.

Speaking on Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child (which Warwick admitted he’d love to have a part in),  Davis seems just as excited as Tom, with all the trust in Jo Rowling and Jack Thorne to give us amazing stories, and links this to the abilities of the theme park to add to the Potter stories in ways we’d never imagined:

SnitchSeeker: So Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child, it’s basically a new chapter in the entire Wizarding World. What are your thoughts on it – starting with Fantastic Beasts?
Warwick:
 Fantastic Beasts will, I believe, give us another glimpse into the Wizarding World J.K. Rowling’s imagined. That’s quite exciting, isn’t it? It’ll be a slightly different perspective of that world. I’m looking forward to seeing the movie.

SnitchSeeker: Have you poked J.K. Rowling to get her rolling there? Because we know there are goblins in Fantastic Beasts?
Warwick:
 You don’t know who to drop hints to, these days. I used to do that with Star Wars. That was my old trick. If there’s a character, I would hope that they would ask me to do something. As I said, I’m just excited that they’re actually going to make some more stuff that gives us another look into that world. 

As do things here in the Wizarding World. Forbidden Journey is a chance to experience further adventures – something you don’t see in the movies. So all of this stuff expands on it. The play in London will also do a little bit more of that, as well. It’ll be a slightly different glimpse into the world.

SnitchSeeker: So what advice would you give to the actors in Fantastic Beasts, as somebody whose been surrounded by millions of fans over the years? They’re about to hit that, as well.
Warwick:
 They’re certainly going to find it an interesting experience. And one I should imagine they’re preparing themselves for because, obviously, when we made the first Harry Potter film we knew the books were really successful, there were two books out at that point. 

We never had a concept of how successful the movie was going to be. And then the fact that we were going to go and make eight in total. So at this point I imagine they actually have some idea like, “Yeah, this could be pretty huge, this.” But, you never can tell, but they’re always going to be known for being cast members in Fantastic Beasts. That’s what’s going to happen.

In terms of projects he’s working on, Warwick is very secretive – SnitchSeeker try to get us some hints, but to no avail, unfortunately! We look forward to the eventual revealing of his role in films to come:

SnitchSeeker: So what’s coming up for you, project-wise?
Warwick:
 I’m in loads of stuff at the minute. Much of it I can’t talk about, which is a shame, but rules of secrecy exist quite prominently in the film industry now. There’s lots of exciting things, but stuff I can’t talk about. Sorry.

SnitchSeeker: Possibly back in Star Wars?
Warwick:
 Again, I couldn’t talk about it.

Again, see SnitchSeeker’s interview with Warwick below, and read the full interview with him here.

Catch more with Tom, Warwick and other Potter actors from the event here and here!

 

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10. StoryMakers | Nick Bruel’s ‘Bad Kitty’

STORYMAKERS - Nick Bruel Featured Image

Nick Bruel’s Bad Kitty is everyone’s favorite mischievous feline. Recently, the series creator and Bad Kitty herself were interviewed by Rocco Staino on StoryMakers. The Bad Kitty series is a favorite of early readers and those who’ve been introduced to chapter books. Bruel discusses the evolution of the Bad Kitty series — from picture books to chapter books; his inspiration for going against the sometimes syrupy sweet kid lit grain; and how Bad Kitty went from page to stage. Nick Bruel has appeared in the Princeton Book Festival and Carle Honors episodes of StoryMakers.

Watch KidLit TV’s Bad Kitty short, here.

We’re giving away three (3) copies of Nick Bruel’s Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet and a MerryMakers Bad Kitty backpack pull. The giveaway ends at 12:00 PM on April 20, 2016. Enter now!

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ABOUT BOOKS

Bad Kitty Goes to the VetBad Kitty Goes to the Vet - Nick Bruel
Written and illustrated by Nick Bruel
Published by Roaring Brook Press

When Kitty is happy and healthy, everything is perfect. She jumps around, eats everything in sight, and has the energy to keep slobbering puppies in their place. But when she’s sick, all she can do is lie in her bed. Looks like it’s time for this sick kitty to go…to the vet. When Kitty’s family finally manages to get their clawing, angry pet into the doctor’s office, it’s a wild adventure for Kitty, who has to get the most dreaded thing of all…a shot. Once the shot is administered, Kitty is cast into an ingenious dream within a dream sequence in which she has to make right by Puppy or risk being shut out of PussyCat heaven forever. This ninth installment of the popular Bad Kitty series from Nick Bruel is chock-full of brilliant supporting characters and, of course, the crankiest bad kitty you’ve ever seen.

ABOUT NICK BRUEL

Nick Bruel is the author and illustrator of New York Times bestseller Boing! and the Bad Kitty books, among others. He is a freelance illustrator and cartoonist, and during his down time, he collects PEZ dispensers and grows tomatoes in the backyard. He lives in Tarrytown, NY with his wife Carina and their lovely cat Esmerelda.

CONNECT WITH NICK BRUEL
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Host: Rocco Staino | Executive Producer: Julie Gribble | Producer: Kassia Graham

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11. Evanna Lynch on Zombies, Warwick Davis on ‘Cursed Child’ and More From The Wizarding World in Hollywood!

The red carpet event celebrating yesterday’s grand opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Hollywood took place on the 5th April.  Leaky fans were on the ground covering the event, which you can read about here, but of course there are more interviews with the Potter cast than we can count!

Here are some of the best below:

Entertainment Weekly sought after the actor’s questions for J.K. Rowling since the series finished filming.

James and Oliver Phelps wanted to know what happened to George after Fred’s death:

OLIVER: I think with George, it would probably be what does he do with the company. Like, does he expand it? Or does he just keep it as homage to his brother? Or does he go, we’re going to open it up elsewhere?

JAMES: Did he franchise it?

Oliver Phelps came up with a great theory regarding Fred’s ultimate fate, which he told Seventeen:

“I think he’d dive into the family business even more and try to make it even better in Fred’s memory, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Fred was a ghost in the shop.”

Tom Felton told Entertainment Weekly that he missed Draco, and had endless compliments for J.K. Rowling regarding the character:

There’s a beautiful understanding between him and I, I think. I miss him. I miss him a lot. But Jo has such a wonderful way of making these characters so rich and full anyway. I suppose all the things that I don’t know are assumed. But I also know that Jo is an endless wealth of knowledge so if I ever have anything that was puzzling me, I know she’d be more than happy for me to ask her. You’ve got me picking my brains now. I’ll have to message her tomorrow.”

Evanna Lynch obviously had the most questions about Luna – being a huge fan of the books, she wanted to know more about Luna’s family:

I think the big blank is her mom. I’ve always wondered what she’s like. We’ve just been told her name is Pandora and that she died doing an experiment, and I just wonder, I really am curious what was her relationship with Luna? Because obviously she’s so close to her dad, and I find that there’s always one parent that you have more in common with or that you confide in more, and I wonder … was that her mom? Or just what kind of person she was.”

Make sure you catch the full article from Entertainment Weekly here.

You can also read a hilarious exclusive interview with Tom Felton playing ‘Marry, Snog, Stupefy’ with Bustle here, and a snippet from the interview below:

“When given three names of Harry Potter characters, Felton must choose which he’d most like to marry, snog (kiss), and stupefy, which, according to Harry Potter wiki, to stupefy someone means to “render a victim unconscious and/or halt moving objects.” So basically, it’s a less morbid version of the “kill” option most muggles are accustom to.

But before I can give him three options, Felton declares: “I’d snog Bellatrix.” …. I remind him of the rules — I give you the three options, Tom — and we begin.”

MSN also spoke to Evanna Lynch, about the roles she is currently looking for, which appear to steer away from ‘darker’ roles in shows such as The Walking Dead:

“I really just want to do characters a I really love,” Lynch told AAP on the red carpet at the grand opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in California.

“There are other scripts that come along and I see them but I don’t really have the passion unless I connect with the character.

“I am sick of zombie movies, all these things about undead people. I want things that make the world lighter rather than scarier.

“Everyone says it’s so good but I hate zombies and that kind of violence.”

She also commented on J.K. Rowling’s constant development of the wizarding world – which we know she is excited about and understandably wanting to be involved in! Evanna spoke about what she’d like to see from any sequels involving Luna:

“She (Rowling) has created another world and made it so rich and varied and interesting and I feel like it will never end,” Lynch said.

“I’d love if she did a sequel, I would love to know more about Luna and I feel like there is a lot more to explore.

“I would love a wildlife show with Luna and a documentary series.”

Read the MSN interview in full here.

She revealed her thoughts on whether she thought the pairing of Neville and Luna should have gone any further to Movie Pilot:

“Definitely not. I think he’s very much a homebody, a stay-at-home dad. And Luna wants to go out and explore the world and different creatures, and I think she wants to have several different relationships and not be committed forever. Neville would want a good sturdy wife who cooks, and that’s not her.”

Evanna also gave Extra a VIP tour along with James and Oliver Phelps, which you can view below:

Warwick Davis also attended the event, and spoke to Hollywood Life about the how he’d feel about appearing in Cursed Child. Of course, he’d be more than thrilled:

“To be back in something that has been created by J.K. Rowling and something that goes on to have a life beyond that is exceptional and it would be lovely to do that!”

“I love performing, I am an actor. This is what I love doing So however I manage that and have that manifest itself is a great pleasure!”

He also revealed his aspirations for TV:

“It would be to have a chat show, I mean that is my last bucket list to take on”

“I have done everything else in my career that I have wanted to take on and what I want to do but the chat show still remains elusively something that I would still love to do and a thing that I think I could do very well!”

Read the full interview at Hollywood Life here.

SnitchSeeker also caught up with James and Oliver Phelps to ask them about the theme parks, and about the newest ventures into the wizarding world (Fantastic Beasts and Cursed Child). They posted a video of the interview (below), and you can catch their transcript here.

Make sure you catch our full coverage of the event at this link!

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12. An Interview with One Story


A new interview with me — the first to come out since Blood: Stories was released — is now up at One Story's blog, part of the publicity leading up to the One Story Literary Debutante Ball. Many thanks to Melissa Bean for conducting the interview, and for her very kind words about the book.

Here's a taste:
MB: On that note, what inspires your stories?

MC: Daydreams and nightmares created by anxieties, fears, and desires.

I don’t write fiction for the sake of therapy, per se, but I am prone to anxiety and I have an active imagination, so it’s often the case that a story starts from one of my weird anxiety fantasies.
Read more at One Story...

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13. One Writer’s Process: JoAnn Early Macken

If you visit the workspace of Joann Early Macken, you’ll find it filled with many of her favorite things, including a lucky pink pig that was a gift from Norma Fox Mazer, one of her advisors at Vermont College, where Macken earned an MFA in writing for children. That lucky pink pig, along with the skills that she learned while studying for her degree, have helped her write five picture books,

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14. StoryMakers On Location| The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems

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StoryMakers host Rocco Staino caught up with Mo Willems at the preview for The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems, a retrospective of Willems’ work at the New-York Historical Society. The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems exhibit contains many pieces that show Willems’ process as he created some of kid lit’s most memorable characters. He hopes children create their own art after they leave the museum. The author and illustrator briefly discussed The Thank You Book, the 25th and last book in the Elephant and Piggie series.

Mo Willems has had a huge impact on the lives of children. As a television writer for Sesame Street he garnered six Emmys. His witty one-liners inspired children to quote characters from Codename: Kids Next Door amongst other familiar cartoons. In 2003 his first picture book, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, was published and since then it’s been a stream of accolades; three Caldecott Honors, two Geisel Medals, five Geisel Honors, and a place in the Picture Book Hall of Fame.

Willems’ surly pigeon, the mismatched pair of Elephant and Piggie, and everyone’s favorite Knuffle Bunny are a few of the characters visitors will get to see evolve via the exhibit.

The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems exhibition brings together original art, sketches, and inspirational drawings from Willem’s most popular series, plus stand-alone classics such as Leonardo the Terrible Monster and That is NOT a Good Idea!. It displays the efforts behind the effortlessness, the seriousness behind the silliness, and the desire, as Willems says, “to think of my audience, not for my audience.” His ability to crisply weave together life lessons and humor creates artful volumes that speak to all, regardless of size.

The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems is open now, until September 25, 2016. Click here for ticket information, directions, and more.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art organized the exhibition, which is supported by Disney Publishing Worldwide.

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ACTIVITIES

Click the images or links below to access fun activities with characters from Mo Willems’ books!

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ABOUT THE THANK YOU BOOK


The Thank You Book
The Thank You Book - The Art and Whimsy of Mo Willems
Written and illustrated by Mo Willems (Disney-Hyperion, 2016)

Gerald is careful. Piggie is not. Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can. Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to. Gerald and Piggie are best friends. In The Thank You Book!, Piggie wants to thank EVERYONE. But Gerald is worried Piggie will forget someone … someone important.

ABOUT MO WILLEMS

#1 New York Times Bestseller Mo Willems began his career as a writer and animator for PBS’ Sesame Street, where he garnered 6 Emmy Awards for his writing. During his nine seasons at Sesame Street, Mo also served as a weekly commentator for BBC Radio and created two animated series, Nickelodeon’s The Off-Beats and Cartoon Network’s Sheep in the Big City.

While serving as head writer for Cartoon Network’s #1 rated show, Codename: Kids Next Door, Mo began writing and drawing books for children. His debut effort, Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! became a New York Times Bestseller and was awarded a Caldecott Honor in 2004. The following year Knuffle Bunny: a Cautionary Tale was awarded a Caldecott Honor. The sequel, Knuffle Bunny Too: a Case of Mistaken Identity garnered Mo his third Caldecott Honor in 2008.

In addition to picture books, Mo created the Elephant and Piggie books, a series of “Easy Readers”, which were awarded the Theodor Suess Geisel Medal in 2008 and 2009 and  Geisel Honors in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. For older audiences he has published an illustrated memoir of his year-long trip around the world in 1990-91 entitled You Can Never Find a Rickshaw When it Monsoons and Don’t Pigeonhole Me!, a collection of 20 years of his annual sketchbooks. His books have been translated into over 20 languages.

Read more: Mo Willems FAQ

CONNECT WITH MO WILLEMS
Website | Twitter

ABOUT THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY

The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research, presenting history and art exhibitions, and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical is the oldest museum in New York City. New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered political, cultural and social history of New York City and State and the nation, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history.

New-York Historical is recognized for engaging the public with deeply researched and far-ranging exhibitions. Supporting these exhibitions and related education programs are one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artifacts, works of American art, and other materials documenting the history of the United States and New York.

The New-York Historical Society’s museum is the oldest in New York City and predates the founding of the Metropolitan Museum of Art by nearly seventy years.

Read more: New-York Historical Society

CONNECT WITH THE NEW-YORK HISTORICAL SOCIETY
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15. Interview: Why Aliens Defiance Belongs in the Beloved Franchise

STL001113Remember the first time you saw a baby Xenomorph burst from someone’s midsection in Alien? The moment when that monster opened its jaw only to see an even smaller head inch so close to Sigorney Weaver’s face that it made you clutch the armrest of your seat even tighter. For almost 30 years now Alien has been […]

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16. A Play Date with Hervé Tullet

“I feel that inspiration is everywhere. You just have to find it. To look, observe — the streets, the walls, the pavement, the windows, the traffic jams, and so on. … I feel that everybody is ready for this experience, including children. There’s a real connection between art and children. Children don’t know anything, and […]

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17. Interview: Australian Children’s Laureate Leigh Hobbs

MWD Interview - Australian Children's Laureate Leigh Hobbs

Children’s author and artist Leigh Hobbs is the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2016-2017.  Leigh described his appointment in February as ‘a lovely thing for me because my books are on the subversive side, and … Continue reading ...

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18. MATT CHATS: Tim Daniel on Designing Comics and Constructing Stories

BURNING_FIELDS_1I’ve enjoyed Tim Daniel’s design work since he started working on books with current Captain America writer Nick Spencer at the Image Comics imprint Shadowline. I was even lucky enough to have him design a logo for a series I wrote once upon a time. Ahead of my upcoming, extensive piece about the state of design in […]

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19. En Pointe with Barbara McClintock

“When my sister was in college near Minneapolis, she took me to see the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. This was the first professional dance performance I’d ever seen. I was hesitant and had no idea what to expect. The magnificent Judith Jamison was the featured dance soloist. She dominated the stage, creating shapes and patterns. […]

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20. Emma Watson Interviews Lin-Manuel Miranda for UN Women HeForShe Arts Week

Emma Watson, the UN Global Goodwill Ambassador, has taken to Facebook to share a four-part interview with Lin-Manuel Miranda, the creator, star and writer of the Broadway hit musical Hamilton. This interview was taped during the HeForShe Arts Week in New York City. The HeForShe Arts Week, an initiative to leverage the arts for gender equality, was a part of UN’s International Women’s Day commemoration. To celebrate the Arts Week, HeForShe and its partner institutions gathered in New York City to spotlight the efforts taken towards gender equality and women’s rights.

Lin-Manuel Miranda shares his inspiration to Hamiltonmentioning Ron Chernow’s extensive biography on the first US Secretary of the Treasure as his inspiration for telling the “proto-American immigrant story” via a musical that mixes styles from hip hop and R&B to “Beatlesque” music. Hamilton has been a massive Broadway success, and Emma Watson herself praises Lin-Manuel Miranda for creating a piece of art that left a huge impression on her by blasting through every expectation and tradition.

Miranda states that when creating the structure for the musical, he stole a little from Harry Potter and elaborates this statement by saying that like Harry, who meets Malfoy before meeting the people who become his real friends, Hamilton first meets Aaron Burr and only after that his real friends, namely Hercules Mulligan and Marquis de Lafayette. In addition to discussing the inspiration for Hamilton, Watson and Miranda discuss the contemporary issues the musical is able to tackle despite its historical context, like the role of government and the extend US should be involved in the issues of other countries. In addition, Miranda brings up the fact that in Hamilton, every character who dies does so as a result of gun violence, a controversial and contested issue in contemporary United States.

Watson praises Miranda for writing strong women who in Hamilton take form of the Schuyler sisters. Though the Schuyler sisters were a part of Hamilton’s life, historical accounts of them are much more limited than those focusing on Hamilton and the men he worked and socialized with. This lack of historical records means that Miranda had to do intensive research in addition to creating stories for these women in order to make them a crucial part of the narrative of the play. Watson asks Miranda about the female storytellers that have inspired him, to which Miranda responds by naming Jeanine Tesori (the composer of broadway musical Fun Home), Elizabeth Shadows (the composer of Broadway musical Runaways), Judy Blume, J.K. Rowling and several other female writers and creators. Towards the end of the fourth part of the interview, Watson and Miranda sort the Hamilton characters into Hogwarts houses, with Hamilton himself as Gryffindor.

Throughout the interview, Watson and Miranda cover a wide range of issues with intelligence, passion and enthusiasm. Also, Emma Watson beatboxes while Lin-Manuel Miranda freestyles about gender equality, which is definitely worth seeing and hearing! You can watch the four part interview from Emma Watson’s Facebook page.

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21. A Visit with Larry Day

“… Yes, they said, that youngster Roosevelt is going to do big stuff—exactly like his famous, older cousin, President Ted.”(Click to enlarge spread)   Illustrator Larry Day is in 7-Imp Land today to talk about creating the artwork for Suzanne Tripp Jurmain’s new picture book (Dial, January 2016), Nice Work, Franklin!. The book—which kicks off […]

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22. StoryMakers | David Walliams’s ‘Demon Dentist’

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David Walliams is the bestselling author of Demon Dentist and several other middle grade books. Also, Walliams is a comedian who is best known to adults as the star of the popular English comedy, Little Britain. StoryMakers host Rocco Staino interviewed Walliams on location at New York City’s Path1 Studio.

We’re giving away three (3) copies of David Walliams’s Demon Dentist. The giveaway ends at 12:00 PM on April 6, 2016. Enter now!

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ABOUT DEMON DENTIST

Demon Dentist - David WalliamsDemon Dentist
Written by David Walliams; illustrated by Tony Ross (Harper Collins Children’s Books)

Something strange is happening in Alfie’s town. Instead of shiny coins from the tooth fairy, kids are waking up to dead slugs, live spiders, and other icky, terrible things under their pillows. Who would do something so horrific? Alfie is sure that Miss Root, the new dentist in town, is behind it all. There’s nothing Alfie hates more than going to the dentist, but to solve this mystery, he may have to book a dreaded appointment … (Via Harper Collins)

Read a sample, here.

ABOUT DAVID WALLIAMS

Via Harper Collins UK
Since beginning his publishing career in 2008, David Walliams has taken the children’s literary world by storm. His sixth book Demon Dentist was published in September 2013 and went straight to number one in the bestseller charts.

Previous bestsellers Ratburger and Gangsta Granny were also immediate number one hits, and the paperback of Gangsta Granny dominated the UK charts in 2013, remaining at number one for a colossal 22 weeks.

David is currently the fastest growing children’s author in the UK. Following the Christmas 2012 success and BAFTA nomination of the BBC adaptation of his second book, Mr Stink, starring Hugh Bonneville, Gangsta Granny was aired in 2013 over Christmas. Walliams’ books have achieved unprecedented critical acclaim and it comes as no surprise that countless broadsheet reviewers have compared him to his all-time hero, Roald Dahl.

David is well known for his work with Matt Lucas. Together they created Little Britain, which has won numerous international awards including three BAFTAs and is now shown in over 100 countries. David and Matt followed Little Britain with the hugely popular spoof airport documentary series Come Fly With Me.

In September 2011 David swam 140 miles from Gloucestershire to Westminster raising £2.5 million for Sports Relief. David has also proved popular in his role as a judge on TV talent show Britain’s Got Talent, where he found inspiration for one of the characters in his bestselling novel Ratburger.

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23. Following Up with Barbara McClintock . . .

“The theater lights dim. The music begins. The curtain rises. The dancers glide onstage. Gracefully they end, and swirl, and leap. Emma watches every move.She can feel every lift of the dancers’ arms, every step and pause.”(Click each to enlarge)   Last week, I chatted with author-illustrator Barbara McClintock over at Kirkus about her newest […]

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24. How Bastien Dubois Turned An Award-Winning Short Into A TV Series

Bastien Dubois talks to Cartoon Brew about the challenges of transitioning from an indie filmmaker to a TV series creator.

The post How Bastien Dubois Turned An Award-Winning Short Into A TV Series appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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25. Seven Questions Over Breakfast with Gareth Hinds

  If you like the artwork of Gareth Hinds, pictured right, you’re in for a treat today. In this, his breakfast visit to 7-Imp, he shares a whole heapin’ lot of artwork, and it’s my pleasure to feature it. You may have already heard a lot this year about Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of […]

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