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26. Interview: Belgian Cartoonist Brecht Evens Invokes Fear In a Handful of Colors with PANTHER

PANTHERinterior_25Over the past few years, cartoonist Brecht Evens has become one of the great Belgian imports thanks to books like The Wrong Place and The Making Of. Evens has a fascinating eye for color, a unique sense of design, and the ability to juggle a large cast of relatable characters. Those fascinating, thoughtful stories though […]

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27. My Q&A with Faith Ringgold

“I do love the creativity and energy of children. My foundation, the Anyone Can Fly Foundation, is devoted to teaching children about the African American artists that have been left out of the historical canon.” * * * Over at Kirkus today, I talk to author-illustrator Faith Ringgold, pictured here. Tar Beach, her first picture […]

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28. StoryMakers | Jennifer Oxley & Billy Aronson

STORYMAKERS - Jennifer Oxley & Billy Aronson (Peg + Cat) Featured Image

We’re trying to make math cool … It’s for everybody
and it’s everywhere. It’s a part of your life.
— Billy Aronson

Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson are the team behind the award-winning PBS series “Peg + Cat”. Peg is a little girl whose life is a big math problem, which she solves with her best friend, Cat. Her world looks like math as the backdrop is graph paper and various items are made from simple shapes. The animated television series Peg + Cat has won seven Daytime Emmy Awards including Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Animated Program, Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation (Jennifer Oxley), and Outstanding Writing in a Pre-School Animated Program.

Parents and teachers who want to continue the STEAM fun offline can turn to the Peg + Cat books written by the series creators. In this episode of StoryMakers Rocco Staino, Billy Aronson, and Jennifer Oxley discuss the creative vision for the series and several themes central to the  series of books. Fun, simple mathematics, diversity, and a seamless flow are essential to the success of the books and television series.

Oxley and Aronson offer encouraging messages about mathematics that will inspire children, parents, and teachers alike.

We’re giving away three (3) sets of books for this episode of StoryMakers. Each set includes a of copy of Jennifer and Billy’s picture book, PEG + CAT: THE PIZZA PROBLEM and PEG + CAT: THE RACE CAR PROBLEM. The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on June 7, 2016. ENTER NOW!

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ABOUT THE BOOKS


Peg + Cat: The Pizza Problem
Peg + Cat: The Pizza Problem - Jennifer Oxley & Billy Aronson
By Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson
Published by Candlewick Entertainment

What do fractions have to do with pizza? The stars of the Emmy Award winning animated series “Peg + Cat” serve up a delicious new episode.
It’s lunchtime at Peg’s Pizza Place. Peg and Cat are excited to take their first order from the Teens only to learn that some of their customers want a whole pizza while one of them wants half a pie. How can Peg and Cat make half a pie when they don t know what “half “is? Luckily, Ramone and Mac are there to help, with a slice up the middle of the pizza. As more customers come in, things get entertaining, with Peg singing a jazzy song and Cat doing a dance. But soon there’s another problem: four orders, but only two and a half pizzas left. Peg is totally freaking out until Cat reminds her that when it comes to halves and wholes, it’s all in how you slice it.


Peg + Cat: The Race Car Problem - Jennifer Oxley & Billy AronsonPeg + Cat: The Race Car Problem
By Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson
Published by Candlewick Entertainment

Peg and Cat, stars of their own Emmy Award winning animated TV series, zoom into a picture book and put math skills to the test in a lively racing adventure. Peg and Cat have built an amazing car out of things they found lying around. They’ve named her Hot Buttered Lightning (since she’s built for speed), and they plan to win the Tallapegga Twenty. If they can make it out of the junkyard, that is. It’s a good thing Peg knows the best shape to use to make wheels and how to count laps to see who is ahead. And it’s lucky that Cat reminds Peg to keep calm when she’s “totally freaking out.” Will Peg and Cat be the first to complete twenty laps and win the Golden Cup? Or will it be one of their quirky competitors? Count on Peg and Cat to rev up young problem-solvers for an exciting race to the finish.

ABOUT JENNIFER OXLEY

Jennifer Oxley was born in Hollywood, California and caught the filmmaking bug early – she made her first film at the age of seven. Since then she has directed fifteen short films for Sesame Street, as well as the award-winning adaptation of Spike Lee and Tanya Lewis Lee’s children’s book, Please, Baby, Please.

Her latest film, The Music Box, was acquired by The Museum of Modern Art for their permanent children’s film collection. Her work in children’s television includes directing and artistic credits. Jennifer is the recipient of an Emmy Award for her role as director on Little Bill, and she created the look and animation style of The Wonder Pets!, which won an Environmental Media Award and the prestigious Japan Prize.

Most recently Jennifer teamed up with Billy Aronson to create Peg + Cat for PBS Kids, and is co-founder of 9ate7 Productions.

Source: 9ate 7 Productions

CONNECT WITH JENNIFER OXLEY
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ABOUT BILLY ARONSON

Billy Aronson is a playwright and writer. Aronson is probably best known for creating the original concept behind the Tony award-winning rock opera Rent. He’s written several plays and musicals. Also, he’s written for popular children’s shows, and cartoons including Courage the Cowardly, Codename: Kids Next Door, The Backyardigans, The Wonder Pets, and Beavis and Butthead.

Aronson attended Princeton University. He counts several plays by Shakespeare, Looney Tunes, and The Brothers Grimm among his influences. Billy Aronson is a co-creator of Peg + Cat for PBS Kids, and is co-founder of 9ate7 Productions, with Jennifer Oxley.

Learn more about his playwriting, television work, and  here.

CONNECT WITH BILLY ARONSON
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StoryMakers
Host: Rocco Staino | Executive Producer: Julie Gribble | Producer: Kassia Graham

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29. A Child of Books

  Arriving on bookshelves in September (Candlewick) will be Oliver Jeffers’s and Sam Winston’s A Child of Books, and today I’ve got a little sneak peek. First, they have created one of those newfangled book trailer dealios (to be exact) for the book, which is above. (It’s always fun to hear that Belfast accent.) Also, […]

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30. INTERVIEW: Farel Dalrymple on POP GUN WAR: GIFT, New York, & Brandon Graham’s ISLAND

PopGunWar_Gift-1The cartoonist sits down with us to discuss the legacy and future of his legendary series.

1 Comments on INTERVIEW: Farel Dalrymple on POP GUN WAR: GIFT, New York, & Brandon Graham’s ISLAND, last added: 5/25/2016
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31. Interview: Sita Brahmachari

MWD interview with author Sita BrahmachariAuthor Sita Brahmachari‘s latest book is Car Wash Wish, her second novella for Barrington Stoke, a UK publisher who specialise in making books accessible to struggling readers, with a special emphasis on dyslexia. It’s an inter-generational story … Continue reading ...

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32. Christian Coulson Discusses Tom Riddle

Bustle recently sat down with Christian Coulson, to discuss his portrayal of young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

Coulson revealed that he could empathise with his character relatively easily (minus the genocidal, racist tendencies, of course). Raised in Wool’s Orphanage in London, Tom Riddle was a troubled, isolated, child – Coulson says his experience of boarding school helped him empathise with Riddle’s isolation, but also to his slightly darker side:

“I had been at boarding school in a sort of Hogwarts-y school called Westminster, which has been around for about 1000 years … The stone steps leading up to where we had assembly are worn down from hundreds of years boys running up and down them. My parents were abroad when I was there, and I felt like I was an orphan. There was a detached survival mechanism that I really identified with.”

 “I really loved doing that scene with Richard Harris where I’m pretending to be a model student… while really lying to him,” Coulson says. “It reminded me a lot of my experience at boarding school — of being impeccably well-behaved on the outside and secretly getting up to mischief.”

“There’s a lot that isn’t similar about us, but I felt that I understood something about him.There’s something very wrong with him, but I understand what it is,” the 37-year-old actor says. “The things he did [as a teenager] made sense to me in terms of his survival.”

Portraying Riddle at a time when Rowling was still developing his story arc, Coulson enjoyed imagining the depth to his character:

 “From the information in those [four books], it seemed to me that there was a coldness and an emotional absence to his evil, and that was what I was interested in exploring.”

Riddle’s story begins in 1926 – the year Newt Scamander arrived at MACUSA with his magnificent briefcase after being expelled from Hogwarts, and supported by Albus Dumbledore himself. An interesting coincidence, making us wonder if there’s any chance we’ll be getting hints at the dark lord in Fantastic Beasts… or is it too early in Riddle’s life to pull him into the story?

Read the full Bustle interview here.

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33. A Peek into Denise Fleming’s Studio

  Pictured here is a gelatin print from author-illustrator Denise Fleming. She’s experimenting, while working on some new books. Since she chatted with me last week at Kirkus (here) about her latest picture book, Maggie and Michael Get Dressed (Henry Holt, April 2016), I wanted to follow up today here at 7-Imp with some images […]

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34. StoryMakers | Julie Hedlund & Susan Eaddy

STORYMAKERS - Julie Hedlund and Susan Eaddy Featured Image

Author Julie Hedlund and illustrator Susan Eaddy collaborated on My Love for You Is the Sun, a beautiful book that celebrates the many ways we express love for others. In this craft-based episode of StoryMakers, Eaddy teaches Hedlund and host Rocco Staino how to make a relief sculpture based on the illustration style used in the book. The author and illustrator provide examples of additional activities parents, caretakers, and teachers can do with children. Viewers are encouraged to explore color and texture creation.

Julie Hedlund is familiar to many aspiring and established children’s literature authors. She is the founder of 12×12, a year long picture book writing challenge where members write 12 drafts in 12 months. Hedlund celebrated five years of the 12×12 challenge in early 2016.

We’re giving away three (3) prize packs for this episode of StoryMakers. Each prize pack includes a of copy of Julie Hedlund’s picture book, MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN and art supplies to make your own clay art inspired by Susan Eaddy’s work. The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on May 31, 2016. ENTER NOW!

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ABOUT ‘MY LOVE FOR YOU IS THE SUN’


My Love for You Is the Sun
My Love for You Is the Sun - Julie Hedlund
Written by Julie Hedlund, illustrated by Susan Eaddy
Published by Little Bahalia Publishing

My Love for You is the Sun is a love letter from parent to child, written in verse and expressing that timeless and unconditional love through metaphors from the natural world. My love for you is the sun, a tree, the rain, a river but of course, its also about more than familial or parental love, its about the universal, infinite nature of love itself, and as such, will hold crossover appeal for all ages. Edited by best-selling childrens book author Emma Walton-Hamilton, and illustrated with the amazing clay art of Susan Eaddy, this melodious tour of parent-and-child animals in their various habitats will mesmerize children at bedtime, and help them feel a connection with the loved one sharing it with them. With soothing verses evoking the beauty and wonder of the natural world, combined with stunning, hand-sculpted clay illustrations, this book is one families everywhere will read again and again.

ABOUT JULIE HEDLUND

Inspired by my two children, I began writing picture books. I took a course in children’s book writing and joined the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators in order to learn more. All while continuing my “day” job.

Finally, in the fall of 2009 I attended a regional SCBWI conference in Denver. I was swollen with inspiration, hope and desire to not only write, but to make a career from writing. On the drive home, I had an epiphany — “What if I could feel as inspired, driven and hopeful every day as I do today?”

So I made the decision to leave my job – right as the world economy collapsed. Everyone, myself included, thought I was crazy, but I no longer felt like I had a choice. I knew I needed to give a writing career a shot, and that I needed to start immediately.

I began writing my blog, signed up for a few social media networks, wrote another picture book manuscript, signed up for an SCBWI national conference in New York and never looked back.

People often ask me why I write for children. I write for children because I want to make their lives better through books.  Yes, books educate children, give them adventures, escape, and entertainment.  But books also give children hope.  And what could be more important and profound than that?

Read more, here.

CONNECT WITH JULIE HEDLUND
Website | Facebook | Twitter

ABOUT SUSAN EADDY

One of the reasons I enjoy clay so much is that I don’t really know how to do it.  Each illustration is a discovery process as I study nature and animals and try to figure out how to bring them to life in clay.

My finished clay critters live in pizza boxes, and I suspect that they play at night while we slumber.

I was an Art Director for fifteen years, and won some international 3D illustration awards and a Grammy nomination. But my passion is, and always has been, illustrating and writing for children.

I am the Regional advisor for the Midsouth SCBWI, and a member of the SCBWI Bologna Team. I love to travel and have done school visits anywhere in the world from Taiwan to Alabama to Hong Kong.

Read more, here.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN EADDY
Website | Twitter

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

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The post StoryMakers | Julie Hedlund & Susan Eaddy appeared first on KidLit.TV.

2 Comments on StoryMakers | Julie Hedlund & Susan Eaddy, last added: 5/21/2016
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35. INTERVIEW: Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley Literally Change the Face of Crime in the Return of THE BEAUTY

BeautyBannerCan you imagine a future where people actually want a STD?

2 Comments on INTERVIEW: Jeremy Haun and Jason A. Hurley Literally Change the Face of Crime in the Return of THE BEAUTY, last added: 5/19/2016
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36. Interview: Totally Talented Brian Lies

I recently did an interview for WritersRumpus.com with Brian Lies, successful author and illustrator of gorgeous books for children. It was posted to coincide with the release of Brian’s latest picture book, Gator Dad. You can see his glorious artwork and read about him here. Bookmark

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37. My Kirkus Q&A with Denise Fleming

“I am pretty much the same person I was at age 4 or 5. I like the same things. I am still bossy and messy. Animals were my best friends then — and now. Still like to make things using bright colors. Abhor bedtime. Peanut butter, pickles, chocolate, and cheese and chips are my favorite […]

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38. StoryMakers | Susan Verde and Emily Arrow

STORYMAKERS - Susan Verde and Emily Arrow Featured Image

Yoga isn’t only for adults. More American parents are introducing their children to the ancient practice which originated in India. Preliminary studies show it is beneficial for reducing stress and improving mood. Certified yoga instructor and author Susan Verde wrote I Am Yoga, a picture book which helps children explore mindfulness through relationships and movement. The book is one of several kid lit collaborations between Verde and the New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds. His relaxed illustration style helps convey Susan Verde’s message of peace, stillness of mind, and tranquility.

Reflecting the swelling ranks of adult yogis, a growing number of kids are now doing yoga, as health experts, researchers and educators note the promise of initial research suggesting the ancient meditative movement practice may help little ones relieve stress, calm anxiety and improve mood – along with helping address ADHD, without drugs.

Susan Verde and StoryMakers host Rocco Staino were joined by — via satellite —  kid lit singer and songwriter Emily Arrow. Arrow has written and performed songs based on children’s books. Together, Verde and Arrow collaborated on a song and music video for I Am Yoga. Emily Arrow’s song lyrics draw heavily from the book. Arrow’s latest CD, “Storytime Singalong, Volume 1”, is a combination of songs based on popular kid lit and tunes for young readers.

Watch Susan Verde’s interview at the Westchester Children’s Book Festival.

We’re giving away three (3) prize packs including of copy of Susan Verde’s picture book, I AM YOGA and Emily Arrow’s STORYTIME SINGALONG, VOL. 1 CD. The giveaway ends at 11:59 PM on May 25, 2016. ENTER NOW!

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ABOUT ‘I AM YOGA’

I Am Yoga - Susan VerdeI Am Yoga
Written by Susan Verde, illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds
Published by Harry N. Abrams

An eagle soaring among the clouds or a star twinkling in the night sky … a camel in the desert or a boat sailing across the sea yoga has the power of transformation. Not only does it strengthen bodies and calm minds, but with a little imagination, it can show us that anything is possible. New York Times bestselling illustrator Peter H. Reynolds and author and certified yoga instructor Susan Verde team up again in this book about creativity and the power of self-expression. I Am Yoga encourages children to explore the world of yoga and make room in their hearts for the world beyond it. A kid-friendly guide to 16 yoga poses is included.

ABOUT SUSAN VERDE

Susan Verdeis an award-winning children’s book author, elementary educator, and a certified children’s yoga instructor. Her books highlight the unique manner in which children see the world. Her stories focus on their interactions with their surroundings with emphasis on problem solving in a calming and mindful way. Susan’s books are used to teach children how to express gratitude and to support each other.

Susan became a certified kids yoga instructor and children’s book author, after several years in the education field. “Her stories inspire children to celebrate their own, unique stories and journey. Her writing also inspires adults to let their inner child out to dream of infinite possibilities… and maybe come out for a spontaneous game of hopscotch every now and then.”

Susan’s latest book, The Water Princess, will be published in late 2016. The book is another collaboration with he bestselling, award-winning, author and illustrator, Peter H. Reynolds. Peter and Susan have collaborated on The Museum, You & Me, and I Am Yoga. Susan lives in East Hampton, New York with her three children and dog.

Read more, here.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN VERDE
Website | Twitter

ABOUT ‘STORYTIME SINGALONG, VOLUME 1’

Storytime Singalong CD cover Storytime Singalong, Volume 1

Emily Arrow is the 2015 winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest in the Children’s Category for her song “The Curious Garden Song”. The song was inspired by the book THE CURIOUS GARDEN by Peter Brown. Emily was also a finalist in the 2015 Great American Song Contest and the 2014 John Lennon Songwriting Contest. Emily Arrow creates literature inspired music for children, cultivating an appreciation and love for singing, songwriting, literature, and art. She performs storytimes of her original music regularly in Los Angeles at Once Upon A Time Bookstore and Children’s Book World. Emily is touring in support of the album at schools, bookstores, and libraries around the country!

Click here for a track listing.

ABOUT EMILY ARROW

Originally from Ohio, Emily played the piano, read a lot of books, and led a neighborhood “kids only choir.” Fast forward to now and…she’s still silly, she still sings incessantly, and she still loves books! She is a graduate of Berklee College of Music in Boston and earned her graduate-level teaching certification in Orff-Shulwerk Levels I & II. After graduating Emily became a K-6 music teacher at a performing arts-based elementary school in Los Angeles. During her time teaching, she found that her passion was collaborating with the library, art, and technology departments. Which led her to her current career as a kidlit singer/songwriter!

Read more, here.

CONNECT WITH EMILY ARROW
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Host: Rocco Staino | Executive Producer: Julie Gribble | Producer: Kassia Graham

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39. 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
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StoryMakers
Host: Rocco Staino | Executive Producer: Julie Gribble | Producer: Kassia Graham

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8 Comments on StoryMakers | Mother’s Day Special, last added: 5/8/2016
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40. 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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41. 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 […]

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42. 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, […]

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43. 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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44. 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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45. 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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46. 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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Click the images or links below to access fun activities with characters from Nick Bruel’s books!

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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.

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47. 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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48. 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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49. 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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50. 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

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

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