Showing posts with label podcasts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label podcasts. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

William Joyce talks about creating The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Occasionally, I will watch children read and reread a story, absolutely carried away on the story's journey. They will want to revisit that special story world again and again. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore amazes children and adults when they first read it. Some are amazed at the way the book app integrates animation and interactive features, but many readers are simply captivated by the story. Now, this wonderful book is available as a picture book to share with children.
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
by William Joyce
NY: Simon and Schuster, 2012
available at your local library and on Amazon
Morris Lessmore is a man who loves words and stories, so much so that he surrounds himself with books. One day, he is swept away to a distant land when a terrible storm strikes. Adults may see reference to The Wizard of Oz or Hurricane Katrina, but children just follow Morris into a magical land of stories.
“Then a happy bit of happenstance came his way. Rather than looking down, as had become his habit, Morris Lessmore looked up. Drifting through the sky above him, Morris saw a lovely lady. She was being pulled along by a festive squadron of flying books.” 
The young woman sends him a story that leads him to a stately old home where books from years gone by apparently ‘nested.’ Morris explores this wonderful place, discovering his true home among the books and stories, each “whispering an invitation to adventure.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is currently number one on the New York Times Bestselling Children's Picture Books list - hooray! I'm so very glad it's reaching a wide audience.

I was honored last month to listen to William Joyce talk about his inspiration for this story. Listen to the speech he gave to gathered librarians and admirers at the Simon and Schuster party at the American Library Association, in June 2012. First, you'll hear Justin Chanda, his editor and the publisher of Books for Young Readers at Simon & Schuster, introduce Bill. And then listen to Bill describe the story behind Mr. Morris Lessmore.
Bill Joyce tells us that he originally wrote the story for The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore in 1999, when he was visiting his friend and mentor, William Morris. And yet ten years later, after many hard years and too many losses, when he was getting Moonbot Studios off the ground, he came back to this story. Morris stands for everything he wanted Moonbot Studios to be about: the way stories can inspire us, feed our imagination and lift our souls.

If you'd like, you can also listen to my interview with Bill. I was so honored to be able to sit down with him and talk about the way new technologies like the iPad can be used to share stories with children.
Thank you to Bill Joyce, for sharing these stories with us and for taking the time to talk with me. Thank you to Simon and Schuster for arranging the interview. This interview was first shared on Katie Davis's fantastic podcast, Brain Burps About Books.

The review copy was kindly sent by the publisher, Simon & Schuster. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this site, a small portion goes to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you!). Thank you for your support.

Review ©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books
Speech ©2012 William Joyce

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

William Joyce – creator of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Today, I have the honor of sharing an interview with William Joyce, the amazing creator of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore. Joyce is an author, illustrator and animator of many books and films, most recently winning an Academy Award for the short film of Morris Lessmore. The app, based on the same story, has been one of my favorites for the way it blends a touching story with incredible combination of animation, interaction and narration.

Come listen to this interview on Katie Davis’s podcast, Brain Burps About Books. You can listen for free on iTunes or on Katie’s site. It was an amazing experience getting to sit down with Bill Joyce - I've admired his work for so long.

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore truly opened my eyes to what a book app can do (see my review of the app over at SLJ's Touch and Go). Above all else, the story resonates with children – it’s a story about the power of books and stories to sustain us, to fill our lives and imaginations. But it’s also an incredible combination of narrated text (beautifully written and read), animation that leaps off the screen, and interactive features that surprise readers as they are pulled into elements of the story.

If you’re fascinated by books, stories and how the new medium of the iPad will affect the way we share stories with our children, please take some time to listen to this interview. Bill Joyce is a visionary, in my mind. He sees that stories are really what we fill our lives, but that technology can be used in so many different ways to bring these stories to life.

As Bill said in this interview, halfway through the production of the short film for Morris Lessmore, the iPad was released. He and his coproducer realized that this is going to change everything. They wanted to see how this technology can be used to tell a story, to pull you into an immersive story world. The iPad can complement books, helping publishing, not hurting it.

Each way of reading The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore is a different experience. The short film is completely silent, pulling the audience in but demanding that they fill in the story’s narrative plot themselves. The app uses much of the animation from the film, but adds the narration as well as letting the reader control the pacing of the story. The picture book – just released last month – lets the reader savor moments even more so. In a way, the picture book contains frozen “spots in time” that can come alive in your imagination.

I can't wait to try out Moonbot Studio's newest app - the IMAG-N-O-TRON with kids. Here's a preview of this fun new app:

Moonbot Imag•N•O•Tron Demonstration Video from Moonbot Studios on Vimeo.

Thank you to Bill Joyce for making the time to visit, to Simon and Schuster for arranging this opportunity, and to Katie Davis for sharing the podcast. I feel like one very lucky book-loving kid.

©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Celebrating the 2011 Cybils!

The Cybils Awards have been released today - have you gone to their site to see the great books the panelists have chosen? Really, head right over there now! This award honors children's and young adult books that combine literary excellence with kid appeal. And they consistently point me in the right direction when it comes to finding books for my students.
I've been especially excited about the newest Cybils category focusing on book apps. As the coordinator of this category, I've had the real honor of working with two panels of hardworking, thoughtful bloggers from a range of backgrounds. Our winning book app is:

The Monster at the End of This Book
by Sesame Street Workshop and Callaway Digital Arts, Inc
Nominated by: Sheila Ruth

No one will be able to resist lovable, furry old Grover in this giggle-inducing book app, based on the 1971 classic Golden Book. Sesame Street and Callaway Digital Arts hit all the notes perfectly from the opening pages, as Grover draws the reader in with his charm and natural humor. From that point on, no matter what age you may be, you will laugh, smile, and read along while Grover tries his best to keep you from turning yet another page. Emerging readers will follow the highlighted words as Grover speaks. Little fingers will tap the screen, discovering ways to untie the ropes and knock down Grover's brick wall, undoing each of his creative attempts to stop you turning the page. This app is perfect for preschoolers, but Grover’s silly voice and the engaging interactive features make it fun for all ages.

Head over to Katie Davis's site to listen to her podcast: Brain Burps About Books. Today for she's sharing an exclusive interview I had with Sylvia Vardell, one of the Cybils panelists in this new category.

I'd like to send out a special thanks to all of our members of the Cybils book app panels:

Round 1:

Jeff Barger
NC Teacher Stuff

Sara Bryce
Bryce Don’t Play

Nicole Kessler
Nicole’s Book Nook

Carisa Kluver
Digital Media Diet

Tasha Saecker
Waking Brain Cells

Melissa Taylor
Imagination Soup

Sylvia Vardell

Round 2:

Alyson Beecher

Kate Hannigan

Elizabeth LeBris

Dan Santat
Dan Santat

Mary Ann Scheuer
Great Kid Books

Review ©2012 Cybils, shared by Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Brain Burps about Books: fun podcast about children's books

Hey, hey! I had such fun on the radio that I wanted to share MORE about fantastic book apps for kids. I'm joining the BRILLIANT podcast Brain Burps About Books produced by Katie Davis. Hooray! Head on over to Brain Burps About Books to listen to this week's episode where I'll share about the Cinderella app by Nosy Crow.

If you love children's books, either as a parent or librarian -- or as a writer or illustrator, Katie delivers fun, informative interviews with all sorts of folks involved in children's books. This week Katie's interviewing Emma Dryden, a children's book editor with rich and deep experience in the business. Her expertise is "is working with authors to help define, enrich, and craft their work to make it viable for the current marketplace." I can't wait to hear it!

Listen to the show from your computer (Brain Burps About Books) or download the show on iTunes.

I am so excited to share book apps for kids on Katie's show. This week I'm sharing  of Cinderella by Nosy Crow. My students have loved, loved this app. Of course they love the familiar fairy tale, but they're just eating up the interactive features that Nosy Crow has built into this app. I'm very impressed by the thoughtful way that this app creates such a rich layered experience, pulling children back to reading it again and again.

I hope you have fun listening to the episode on Brain Burps About Books, and have a chance to check out the Cinderella app with your kids.

©2012 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books