A new series of books has open our family up to an old favorite and an Academy Awards tie in!
As little ones my kids loved Rolie Polie Olie. The colorful, magical robotic world drew my kids in. So it shouldn’t surprise me that my younger sons new favorite book is a new series created by the same man that created the Emmy winning television series Rolie Polie Olie.
The Guardians of Childhood is a new 15 book series that creates a world that is even more magical than Rolie Polie Olie. The first book of the series, Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, was release in October 2011. The book gives a colorful and adventurous back story to the common childhood heros. I am not talking about Bat Man and Spider man. William Joyce’s heros are much more legendary. Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and the Bogey Man to name a few.
The tale unfolds within a fantastical, mythical world filled with all the trimmings you would expect to see. For our family this was a perfect read aloud book for a few reasons the words are beautiful and flowing and sound good read out loud the second reason is also one of my favorite aspects of this book. The author interweaves magic with reality. An example is that it contains references to old world Russia, Leonardo da Vinci, Himalayas along with Atlantis. When you can share this story with you children you can really take the moments to fully discuss real vs fiction. But in the way that the author sprinkles magic on common subjects peaked my sons interest and he was off researching many different scientific principles or world maps and cultures. This book was a spark for learning. The 2nd book in the series, E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core!, was just released this last week. My son and I started yesterday and we are hooked! http://www.theguardiansbooks.com/
Dreamworks is making an upcoming 3D computer-animated action adventure comedy film based on these books. The name of the movie is The Rise of the Guardians, the release date is 11/12. The film features a group of heroes from various childhood stories -Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and Jack Frost (Chris Pine) – who join in an adventure to stop Pitch the Boogeyman (Jude Law) from sending the world into “eternal darkness”.
Here is the Academy Award tie in– The author William Joyce is nominated for best animated short. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore – My family LOVED this short film! It is one you will not quickly forget.
Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a poignant, humorous allegory about the curative powers of story. Using a variety of techniques (miniatures, computer animation, 2D animation) award winning author/ illustrator William Joyce and Co-director Brandon Oldenburg present a hybrid style of animation that harkens back to silent films and MGM Technicolor musicals. Morris Lessmore is old fashioned and cutting edge at the same time.
Also check out -The App -
“The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” iPad app was honored with multiple awards at the close of 2011. Apps Magazine named “Morris” their App of The Year, saying “It’s innovation, design and humor combined to make an app that represents everything we admire in mobile entertainment.”
iPad Insight has also named “Morris” Best App of 2011, saying: “If this app doesn’t soon make it into an iPad TV commercial I’ll be shocked. It is the epitome of what makes the iPad live up to its ‘magical’ billing.”
The New York Times listed “Morris” as one of The Top 10 iPad Apps of 2011. Writer Bob Tedeschi says: “My favorite work of fiction in a book app last year, Morris Lessmore is a graphically stunning narrative that’s part picture book, part movie- moviebook, anyone?.”
So there you go….a full multi-media experience brought to you by William Joyce. ENJOY!