Tuesday, February 28, 2012

90-Second Newbery Film Festival!!

Okay, this non-blogging this is bad. I miss you! But here I am, quickly, to tell you about ...


If you are in the Portland, Oregon area, you can see it for yourself this Saturday! I am co-hosting along with author and founder/curator James Kennedy, of whom I have been a fan since reading his there's-nothing-in-the-world-like-it debut novel The Order of Odd-Fish, which I wrote about back here. James is famous in library circles for this marvelous madness, when he notoriously tackled Neil Gaiman and wrestled his Newbery Medal out of his hands. You simply must read the link, but be prepared for a long interlude and some head-scratching. Like Odd-Fish, it's just not like anything else.

Um. Would you trust this guy ...?

Well, I'm happy to report that when we met in person last summer in Chicago, he was a bit less sinister. But not less funny.

Here's the event info: 

Central Library
801 S.W. 10th Avenue, Portland, OR
Saturday March 3, 3-5 pm


For those of you not deeply ensconced in the world of children's literature, the Newbery Medal is given every year (since 1922) by the American Library Association to most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Past winners include The Graveyard Book, A Wrinkle In Time, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, The Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Voyages of Doctor Doolittle, Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, A Cricket in Times Square, Island of the Blue Dolphins, and so so so many more amazing books. Full list here.  

Anyway, James Kennedy along with New York City librarian extraordinaire Betsy Bird cooked up this idea to get students to compress entire stories of Newbery Medal books into 90 seconds of film. Genius. Like visual Cliffs Notes for the canon of American children's literature. Told and acted by kids. The results are pretty hilarious. 

Here are some examples. The variety of creativity, the FUN. It's wonderful!

A COMPLETELY awesome A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. Seriously. Watch this:

A full-scale musical of 21 Balloons by William Pene du Bois. This is just bonkers:

Gorgeous shadow-puppet production of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin,
done by home-school kids in Michigan: 

(hmm ... home-school ...)

A silent film of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman:

And a claymation of Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott Odell:

So come and see more, in a lively environment at our gorgeous main library, with the hijinx and madness of this man, and me just trying to keep up! If you can't make it, there are a lot more video entries to watch HERE, plus the rules if you and the kids in your life want to make your own!



Kristin said...

This is great! I will try very hard to be there.

Laurence King said...

I so wished I lived in the Portland area but alas I'm in Boston. What a great concept this is! Have fun on Saturday.

James Kennedy said...

Thanks for talking up the 90-Second Newbery, Laini! I can't wait to rip it up with you on Saturday!

Patti said...

That Wrinkle in Time one was awesome.

Rachel Flores said...

I loved A Wrinkle in Time as a kid (and still do), and the 90-second short is HILARIOUS. And also awesome. Those kids must have had so fun.

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