And here I thought that Dr. Seuss films began with The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T and those short animated specials and ended with stuff like the CGI fests we’re seeing in theaters practically every year. Not so! Good old stop-animation also has had a hand in Seuss’s silver screen career. Interestingly, this is the only film version (that I know of) of And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street.
Fun Fact: Beatrix Potter was a fan of the book. Thanks so much to Phil Nel for the link!
So the official trailer for The Giver movie came out. Like so:
Two words: Ruh-roh. Or is that one word? Hm. By the way, 100 points to the first person who makes a mock version of this video with the title “The Giver Tree”. I will honestly and truly send you a cookie if you make that thing. Scout’s honor.
So a couple weeks ago we were watching the Oscars and I was happy to find that all the nominated songs were interesting and good. But I’ll confess to you that the one that interested me the least was the U2 song. I’m just not a U2 girl. Joshua Tree lovers, pelt me with your stones at will. But wait! Hold fast your flying rocks because I just discovered a fascinating fact. Actually someone that I’ve now forgotten (someone at a dinner, I suspect) shared this with me very recently. If you watch the music video for the U2 song “Ordinary Love” you will find that all the writing in it (and there’s a lot) looks a bit familiar. Know why? Bloody blooming Oliver Jeffers did it! I kid you not! Wowie-zowie. An honest-to-goodness kidlit connection.
This man may have the most famous handwriting in the business today.
Now I’m about to go all adorable on you. Or rather, these kindergartners are. You may recall that a year or so ago I presented a video created by Arturo Avina and his kindergarten class from LAUSD’s Olympic Primary Center. They had adapted Miss Nelson Is Missing and it was a great look at how you can combine digital technology, reading skills, and literature into a project. Well, Arturo wrote me recently to let me know the sequel was out. You betcha. It’s Miss Nelson Is Back. Check it out:
Says Arturo, “At first, I was skeptical about how this class would tackle it because they did not come in as high academically as last year’s class. However, a beautiful thing happened. When my students saw what last year’s class did, they wanted to do the same, and as a result, they stepped up to the plate and succeeded…in spades. I am particularly proud of this class because they did not start off in third base like last year’s class. They started off at home plate and hit a home run.The reaction to our movie has been enthusiastically positive by all who have watched it so far. At this point, several parents and teachers have contacted me to let me know that their kids absolutely LOVE it! It is still my hope that teachers, parents, and kids are entertained by our efforts and hopefully encouraged to blend more dramatic arts into literacy activities. We also hope that this can be used a resource in the classroom. We poured an incredible about of work and love into our project, and it is with great joy and pride that we present it to the world.”
Thank you for sharing this with us, Arturo! You have some seriously amazing actors on your hands. Hollywood, take note.
And since we were already talking about the Oscar nominated songs earlier, might as well play this. It’s the fun little video all your 10-year-old daughters have already seen featuring Idina Menzel, Jimmy Fallon and The Roots. Just cuz.
By the way, is it fair to say that Idina Menzel has spent most of her working career the idol of 12-year-old girls? Other folks too, but to go from Rent to Wicked to Frozen . . . well, it’s impressive.