New Book-to-Movie Trailers

August 1st, 2017 by

Alert: Your summer vacation may be half over. For those of you in certain school districts, it might be soon over! How have you been spending your time away from the classroom? At the beach, camping, or activity-filled day camps? Are you making new friends at summer school? Or enjoying the air conditioning and the thousands of amazing free books in your local library?

No matter how you’ve been spending your vacation, take a break from your break, ’cause you’re gonna want to see these movie trailers and teasers for upcoming book-to-movie adaptations!

Wonderstruck

Based on the novel by Brian Selznick

The Breadwinner

Based on the novel by Deborah Ellis, of which we have 101 book reviews from You(th)!

A Wrinkle in Time

Based on the novel by Madeleine L’Engle

Bonus: Ferdinand

This animated movie adaptation is based on the picture book The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf, which you may have read when you were younger — it looks fun!

Bad news: We’re going to have to wait months for these movies.

Good news: The videos above for A Wrinkle in Time and Wonderstruck were just teasers, so we’ll be treated to more movie footage soon.

Even better news: You can read all of these books and submit a book review to Kidsmomo while waiting for them to hit the silver screen!

— Nancy

Nancy wants to call out another excellent trailer for A Wrinkle in Time — this one with perhaps just a wee less production budget:

The Wild Ones Book Launch Party & Sweepstakes

September 10th, 2015 by

There ain’t no party like a book launch party ‘cause a book launch party is AWE-SOME! What happens at a book launch party? The author talks. The audience asks questions. Drama unfolds. An animal runs wild. Snacks are eaten.

WildOnesBookLaunch_sign
At least, that’s what happened at the launch party for C. Alexander London’s new book series, The Wild Ones, held at Books of Wonder in NYC on August 29th.

The event kicked off with a performance that the author described as “one little scene to give you a taste of the action of The Wild Ones” — a scene where a rescue occurs in Ankle Snap Alley:

WildOnesBookLaunch_authors

Left: Eliot Shrefer. Right: C. Alexander London (with temporary animal ears).

Afterwards, there was a civilized conversation between the author and Eliot Schrefer, who has also written several books for teens and two books in the Spirit Animals series! Here’s some inside scoop that we’re reporting back to Kidsmomo readers:

C. Alexander London was inspired by reading Brian Jacques’ Redwall series as a kid, so he always wanted to write a fantasy series with talking animals. (As you read The Wild Ones, keep an eye out for Martin the mouse, a tribute to Redwall!)

The series follows the adventures of Kit, a raccoon:

Kit is a country raccoon who finds himself alone in the big city when a pack of hunting dogs destroy his home and kills his parents. Kit finds himself in Ankle Snap Alley, a city in the midst of a turf war between the Wild Ones and the people’s pets who call themselves The Flealess. There he uncovers the secret that they died for — an ancient truce that gives Ankle Snap Alley to the Wild Ones. But the Flealess will stop at nothing to keep that secret buried forever, and Kit is in serious danger. Only the brave of heart and quick of paw can save the Wild Ones now.

The idea came to London when he encountered two raccoons in his backyard. One of them lifted a paw, so he raised his hand up in response.

Raccoon Waving Twitter@CuteEmergency

Not the raccoon in question. From Twitter User @CuteEmergency

Meanwhile, his pet dog was snarling at the raccoons from inside the house, which made sense because London later discovered that raccoons hold their paws up to show aggression. Here, he shares the details of the drama-filled origins of the book:

Since London mentioned his pet dog, our question was: Did Baxter make it into the book as a character? The answer: The main baddie, Titus, was once based on Baxter, a Boston terrier. However, after much consideration, Titus was changed to a thin Italian Greyhound with spindly legs and a deep gruff voice, inspiring London’s favorite sentence in the book, describing Titus’ voice as being “like dynamite in a silk purse.”

Stand-in for C. Alexander London's dog, also a Boston Terrier

Stand-in for C. Alexander London’s dog, also a Boston Terrier

Photo (c) Flickr User louies

An Italian Greyhound. Photo (c) Flickr User louies

In preparation for writing The Wild Ones, London read many books featuring animal characters, such as the classics The Rats of NIMH and The Wind in the Willows. Like the Redwall series, many of them were very British, so he thought: What would the American counterpart be? London decided it could be an immigrant story — someone coming to a new place and finding a home: That is Kit’s story. Ankle Snap Alley is based on the historical Five Points neighborhood in Manhattan, infamous for crime and poverty.

WildOnesBookLaunch_CAlexanderLondonSo what will we be looking forward to after reading The Wild Ones? The sequel, of course! In the sequel, we’ll get a taste of a villainous coyote, a gang of otters, and the mysterious alligator in the sewer that everyone’s heard about. London just finished the first draft, which was a little held up because he invented a lot of new words for the world, but had a tiny bit of trouble keeping track of it all. A lot of the jargon used by the animals is similar to what thieves and magicians say.

After the Q&A, we stood in line for the book signing and enjoyed some compost cake and animal crackers:WildOnesBookLaunch_Snacks

And in case you’re worried that we’re reporting this from the grave after an intense life-ending stomachache: Nope, compost cake is NOT made of actual compost, but actually consists of crushed cookies, chips, pretzels and more fun, yummy snacks. Compost cake, naturally, is the closest homage to what the Wild Ones eat, which is… trash and compost. The animal crackers, however — the author admitted that was a little odd. He doesn’t want to us to EAT Kit, he wants us to READ about him, obviously. So… pick up a copy of The Wild Ones today! Or enter below for a chance to win a copy!

Raccoon Photo (c) Flickr user fatedsnowfox

Raccoon Photo (c) Flickr user fatedsnowfox

ENTER BY SEPTEMBER 30TH FOR A CHANCE TO WIN…

  • GRAND PRIZE: A SIGNED HARDCOVER COPY OF THE WILD ONES AND A HARDCOVER COPY OF IMMORTAL GUARDIANS!
  • TWO RUNNER-UP PRIZES: A HARD COVER COPY OF THE WILD ONES!

This sweepstakes has ended.

See Official Rules

 

— Karen & Nancy

P.S. In case you were keeping track: The “animal running wild” that we mentioned at the beginning was an adorable service dog who walked around the bookstore like he owned the joint. It did not seem professional to take a picture of him, as he was doing important dog work.

Kidsmomo Pictionary, Part 7

October 5th, 2012 by

It’s October! Time for pumpkins, costumes, candy, and things that go bump in the night! In that spirit, we have a super frightening video for you today. Why’s that? Well, nothing’s scarier than Karen’s horrible attempts at so-called “drawing” when we play KidsmomoMo Pictionary!

If you’ve missed any previous rounds of our competition, here’s how it works: all the answers are titles of books we’ve recommended on Kidsmomo in the past. Watch Part 7 and play along! How many titles can YOU guess?

And here’s a running tally of Correct Guesses:

Part Karen Nancy
I 5 1
II 3 0
III 1 3
IV 2 2
V 1 1
VI 3 1
VII 3 0
Total: 18 8

DRAMA by Raina Telgemeier – Video & Sweeps!

September 6th, 2012 by

drama-raina-telgemeierWe’ve never appeared in a play, but we definitely still know all about drama — and that’s because we attended middle school!

As you guys know, life at school is more than just classes and homework; there’s a lot of crazy and meaningful stuff that happens in the halls, during lunch period, and in the middle of extra-curricular activities. And at Eucalyptus Middle School, drama certainly abounds.

That’s the setting in the new graphic novel DRAMA by Raina Telgemeier, which involves drama both on stage (in the school production of Moon Over Mississippi) and off stage (new friendships, a school dance, tears, laughter, and multiple unrequited crushes).

DRAMA just came out this week, and to celebrate, Raina stopped by Kidsmomo to give us a special behind-the-scenes look at how she draws Callie, the main character in the book. Check out the exclusive video below:

So cool to see an artist in action, isn’t it? And if you like that illustration of Callie, well, you’re in luck! We’re giving away the original illustration and a signed copy of DRAMA to one lucky winner!

Enter our sweepstakes below, and stay tuned for a Q&A with Raina in a couple weeks!

This sweepstakes is now closed.

ParaNorman Movie Review

September 1st, 2012 by

The new movie ParaNorman is full of creatures with no pulse, but it’s guaranteed YOUR pulse will quicken as you watch all the fast and funny zombie action in this flick!

We give it two thumbs up — watch our video for our commentary on the trailer and read on for our thoughts on the film and the book! (Warning: we tried to pack in as many spooky puns and references as possible, so be prepared to groan…)

Storyline
Karen says:I’m a huge scaredy cat, so I deliberately read as little as I could about the story before going to see it. I knew that if I thought about it too much, I’d start to get irrationally afraid of the zombies and my anxiety would overpower my BRAAAAAIIIIIIN and I’d chicken out of watching the movie. So I was really happy that it turned out to be not too freaky. Actually, I thought it was pretty sweet and heart-warming for a movie about the undead!

Nancy says: Unlike Karen, I did read the book (by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel) before watching the movie — and it was awesome! There are barely any differences in storyline between the book and movie, and I thought the WICKED twist with the witch was really clever.

Spooky Reference Running Tally: 2

Characters
Karen says: I immediately liked Norman — but then again, you’d have to be a CORPSE not to like him! I also loved his new friend, Neil. But the rest of the characters seemed a little stereotypical — almost like GHOSTS of truly unique people. I especially would have liked Norman’s dad to have more depth because his character was as shallow as a SHALLOW GRAVE. But still, this didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment of the movie.

Nancy says: So what you’re saying, Karen, is that you would have liked to see Norman’s dad more FLESHED out? Heeheehee! In the book, Salma is a lot more involved and funnier, so I missed her. She was the BRAAAAIINNNSS of the operation. I liked how Norman eventually came around to being Neil’s friend; in the book you find out why he’s so shy and introverted, so when Norman gets the GUTS to come out of his shell in the movie, I had that in the back of my mind. I mean, BRAAAAIIINNN.

Spooky Reference Running Tally: 9

Visuals
Karen says: I absolutely loooooooved the way this movie looked — and we didn’t even see it in 3D! Actually, I feel like the visuals are so good, the 3D is probably unnecessary. Of course, I can’t say that for sure — I’d have to pick the BRAAAAAAAIIIIIIINS of people who did see it in 3D — but I thought all the detail and richness of the visuals were great in 2D! Also, I don’t know about anyone else, but I kept staring at Norman’s eyebrows. Is that weird? Probably…

Nancy says: At first, I was kind of GROSSED OUT by the way some of the people look in the movie — especially Norman’s mom and sister, who have teeny-tiny waists and giant butts and heads. But in the end I thought, hey — I’m probably supposed to be grossed out. I also thought the climatic scene with Norman and the accused witch was beautiful — no spoilers here, but let’s just say… it was ELECTRIFYING!

Spooky Reference Running Tally: 12

Favorite part
Karen says: This was a huge surprise to me, given that I normally am DEATHLY afraid of the idea of the living dead, but the zombies were my favorite part of the movie! I thought all their mannerisms were really funny, and it especially SLAYED ME up when one of them ended up riding in a car with Norman!

Nancy says: I already mentioned how much I loved the scene with Norman and the witch, so I’ll go with… every funny part of the movie! Seriously, the movie made my RIBCAGE rattle from giggling so much. Even though the hockey-mask scene is in the other ParaNorman trailer, it’s still a HOOT in the movie.

Spooky Reference Running Tally: 16

Overall impressions
Karen says: I would definitely recommend this movie. It’s got everything you could ask for: an unlikely hero, an action-packed story, awesome stop-motion visuals, lots of humor, and lots of heart. Definitely not one of those dumb movies made by people who expect kids to just enjoy anything; the people behind this film definitely used their BRAAAAAAAIIIIIIIINS to make something really cool! So I give it a thumbs up for sure!

Nancy says: I would also recommend this movie, and the book by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. I think it’d be enjoyable to read the book first or in the AFTERLIFE of the movie.

Have you seen the new movie ParaNorman? Leave a comment with YOUR review! Did you love it? Did you hate it? Did you freak out when the zombies appeared and wail like a baby who’s diaper needs to be changed? We wanna know!

Total No. of Spooky References: 18

Kidsmomo Pictionary, Part 6!

August 16th, 2012 by

The Olympics may be over (boo hoooooo), but the games still go on! If by “the games,” you mean our ongoing game of KidsmomoMo Pictionary, that is…

If you’ve missed any previous rounds of our competition, here’s how it works: all the answers are titles of books we’ve recommended on Kidsmomo in the past, and Nancy repeatedly trounces Karen. I mean, she really stomps all over Karen. She COMPLETELY puts Karen to shame. You get the picture.

Can Karen break the cycle in Round 6? Watch and find out — and play along! How many titles can YOU guess?

And in case anyone is curious about how who’s winning, here’s a running tally of Correct Guesses:

Part Karen Nancy
I 5 1
II 3 0
III 1 3
IV 2 2
V 1 1
VI 3 1
Total: 15 8

Kidsmomo Pictionary, Part 5!

August 9th, 2012 by

It’s been a while since we’ve played KidsmomoMo Pictionary — not just because Karen needed all that time to get over the humiliation of her poor attempts at drawing!

If you’ve watched any previous rounds of our competition, then you know how it goes: all the answers are titles of books we’ve recommended on Kidsmomo in the past, and Karen consistently freezes up in anguish because she has no artistic skills whatsoever.

Will the pattern continue in Round 5? Watch and find out! And, of course, please play along! How many titles can YOU guess?

A Musical Independence Day, Kidsmomo-Style!

July 3rd, 2012 by

patriotic-skull

This picture has nothing to do with anything. We just thought it was hilarious!

Tomorrow is America’s birthday, and what do we do on birthdays? Why, sing in celebration, of course!

But for this Fourth of July, we decided to stay away from the National Anthem. Instead, we’re celebrating independence of a different kind — the freedom to dig into any old book you want! Summer reading is all about your choice: No teachers with required reading lists. No class assignments. All you and no rules!

That’s certainly enough to inspire us to burst out into song! (Well, that and also all the sugary popsicles we’ve been eating to stay cool…)

So, without further ado, here’s our version of “Yankee Doodle Dandy” — dedicated to summer reading!

(PS – If you’re on the go — or maybe busy chowing down on hot dogs and apple pie — just download the audio.)

As you guys can tell, we spared you from Karen’s so-called “singing” this time around. Instead, we got a professional musician to lend us a hand — our friend Tom from the band Men and Whales. (He’s also a teacher when he’s not rocking out, and he looooooooooves Wimpy Kid!) A BIG thanks to Tom for helping us out!

— Happy 4th of July, from Karen and Nancy!

The Lorax Movie Review

March 8th, 2012 by

the-lorax-by-dr-seussWe saw The Lorax on opening night.
Was it a beauty or was it a fright?
Watch the video if you want to see
A movie review from Karen and Nancy!

Hey, give us a break, we know we can’t compare to Dr. Seuss! But really, who can?

The REAL question here is whether you should see the Lorax movie. Watch our movie review video to find out:

(PS – If you’re on the go — or busy protecting the trees from greedy, axe-wielding men — don’t worry, you can still listen to our review. Just download the audio.)

Have you seen the new Lorax movie? Leave a comment with YOUR review! How do you think it compared to the book?

The Secret World of Arrietty Movie Review

February 23rd, 2012 by

Imagine a film about tiny people living in the walls of your house, sneaking into your room at night, taking little items while you sleep. Is it the newest horror movie to hit theaters? No, it’s The Secret World of Arietty, based on Mary Norton’s classic children’s book The Borrowers!

Yeah, we were just kidding with that horror film stuff. Although the question still remains: Is this movie a delight, or a fright? Check out our video review below:

(PS – If you’re on the go — or busy hiding from the household cat because you’re about the size of his paw — don’t worry, you can still listen to our review. Just download the audio.)

Have you seen the new movie The Secret World of Arietty? Leave a comment with YOUR review! How do you think it compared to the book?

« Older Entries