Pippi Longstocking Slated for Big Screen Return

 

Courtesy of Penguin Random House

 

Just in time to celebrate Pippi Longstocking’s 75th anniversary in 2020, French film company StudioCanal and Britain’s Heyday Films are partnering up to produce a new adaptation of Astrid Lindgren’s (1907-2002) beloved children’s book series starring a plucky, red-haired Swede named Pippi.

The most recent big-screen adaptation of the Pippi books was back in 1988. Unfortunately, The New Adventures of Pippi Longstocking was a commercial flop, even though Lindgren’s books starting the World’s Strongest Girl have been translated into 77 languages with 65 million copies sold world-wide. Lindgren’s now famous tales evolved from bedtime stories told to her daughter Karin and are filled with adventure and excitement.

Perhaps this version will fare better than the 1988 film. Harry Potter and Paddington producer David Heyman will be at the helm this time around, and he has been working closely with Nils Nyman, Astrid Lindgren’s grandchild and CEO of Astrid Lindgren Films.

In a statement, Heyman said, “I am thrilled to collaborate with Thomas Gustafsson, Olle Nyman and their team at the Astrid Lindgren Company and our partners at Studiocanal on this film adaptation of the brilliant and timeless Pippi Longstocking. Pippi has endured and inspired families everywhere through her life force, strength of character and her irrepressible joie de vivre. Astrid Lindgren’s books have been translated around the globe for many years – a testament to her vision which we are determined to honor with a new film.”

No word yet on the film’s cast, crew, or release date.

Coincidentally, a new edition of the book, featuring the original illustrations by Ingrid Vang Nyman, is due out from Puffin Books in April.

Harry Potter and History Collide at the New York Academy of Medicine

Bezoars, screaming mandrakes, and basilisks all figure in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, but their origins date back centuries. Now, the New York Academy of Medicine has launched a digital exhibition exploring the connections between Rowling’s books and historical texts. Read all about it on the Fine Books Blog. 

This Book is Magic!

Hello, World! series author Ashley Evanson is back with This Book is Magic! (Grosset & Dunlap, $14.99 32 pages, ages 0-4) an interactive picture book-board book hybrid for emerging readers. Evanson’s clearly got a knack for getting kids interested in reading and she kindly answered a few of our questions about her craft and the magic of childhood.

Below is an edited transcript of our question and answer session from January 17, 2017.

  1. What was the inspiration for this book?

A couple of years ago my little brother called to ask a few questions about the first Harry Potter book, which I happily answered since I’m a huge fan of the series. The phone calls continued and I decided to read the books along with him so we could call each other every night to chat. Over the next year we read all seven Harry Potter books, Lord of the Rings, and the entire Sherlock Holmes series. I looked forward to our “book club” with great much excitement. These nightly discussions had me constantly thinking about magic, which is why I dedicated my book to my little brother.

  1. Why focus on magic? You have a whimsical, bright style that youngsters gravitate towards.

I think childhood is its own element of magic, and everything in this book is something I imagined as a child or see my own children imagining.

  1. Your Hello, World series is adorable–I have all 4 titles here–do you have plans to add to that series?

I would love to create more Hello, World books! But first I’m publishing a companion book for This Book Is Magic.

  1. What’s your medium?

Everything I do is on Adobe Illustrator.

  1. How do you approach a project? What’s your process?

My approach is pretty primitive. I mean, my rough drafts contain stick figures! The concept always comes first and the art follows, but I only include concepts of things I know I would love to draw. I have inspiration boards of my favorite artists, color palettes, and photographs of the images I’m drawing.

  1. Do you work solely in children’s picture-book illustration? 

I feel like if I tried to illustrate anything else it would still end up looking like a children’s book illustration. It’s just who I am.

  1. Could you tell me how you think your work is helping shape and excite young minds. 

I feel like the most unqualified person to be publishing books so I tell people if I can do it, seriously, anybody can do it!

  1. What are you working on now?

I’m in the brainstorming phase for the companion book to This Book Is Magic, but it feels a little more like the writer’s block phase! I’ll get there!

  1. What else should I have asked you that I didn’t but that you would like our readers to know about you?

My occupation may be an author-illustrator, but my number one job is being a mother. There is nothing more magical or important than childhood and raising your little ones.

 

(Children’s) BookNotes April 20, 2016

Harry Potter’s million-audio milestone, French classics professors protest cutbacks, and Cartoon Network’s “Steven Universe” creator gets a kids book addressing gender fluidity, this week in the world of children’s books.

Listen Up! Harry Potter’s Million-Audio Milestone :


Classics Professors in France Protest Education Reform in Style:

Rebecca Sugar announces ‘Steven Universe’ children’s book that addresses gender fluidity:

Staying in the Lines

Coloring books have reached the zenith of sophisticated stress-release and mindfulness for adults – one need look no further than the pricey pattern tablets offered with creamy Faber-Castel colored pencils – but coloring books for kids offer inexpensive, portable, and decidedly screen-free ways to relax and pass the time. The following three selections are the best of the pack:

I Heart Cute Coloring, by Jess Bradley; Price, Stern, Sloan, $9.99, 128 pages, ages 6-9.

Yes, this chunky tablet delivers exactly what the title promises: page after page of unicorns, reindeer and bathing penguins. The vaguely anime style lend the book an air of cool no pre-tween can resist. Rather than swipe your kid’s copy, adults can pick up the companion volume, I Heart Coloring, by Felicity French.

Merry Christmas, Hello Kitty! Grossett & Dunlap, $9.99, ages 3 and up.

64 pages of puzzles, mazes, seek and finds, and a pull-out poster all starring the global phenomenon Hello Kitty. Does it matter that the illustrations are Christmas-themed? Not in the least. If you have more than one Hello Kitty fan at home, better get two copies.

Harry Potter Coloring Book, Scholastic; $15.99, ages 9-14. (release date: November 10, 2015)

This coloring book cast a spell on me; filled with all the magical creatures and places from the film series, it will enchant Harry Potter buffs, too. The final 16 page spread includes fully-colored illustrations of emblems as well as photo stills from all the movies. Aparecium!