Maddi’s Fridge to Come Alive on Stage!

Blog Post by Lois Brandt, author of Maddi’s Fridge

Wow!

I have Google and Twitter alerts set to tell me when webpages or internet users are discussing Maddi’s Fridge. Sometimes I get great surprises, like when the Seattle School District teachers were striking and, to pass the time, read Maddi’s Fridge out loud on the picket line. I ended up visiting some of those teachers at Queen Anne Elementary, an inspiring Seattle school.

I also got an alert when a dad complained on twitter that his daughter asked him to read Maddi’s Fridge every night and it was “so depressing.” I tweeted to the dad that Maddi’s Fridge was like that. Parents get all teary-eyed and kids get empowered.

Last week an alert notified me that Childsplay in Tempe, Arizona, was going to put on a production of Maddi’s Fridge during their 2017 – 2018 season. Look at the company Maddi’s Fridge is keeping!

THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH: September 17th – October 15th, 2017
TOMAS AND THE LIBRARY LADY: October 21st – November 12th, 2017
GO, DOG. GO! NATIONAL TOUR: November 25th – December 23rd, 2017
A CHRISTMAS CAROL WITH KATIE MCFADZEN: 
December 2nd – December 24th, 2017
THE SNOWY DAY AND OTHER STORIES BY EZRA JACK KEATS: January 21st, 2017 – March 11th, 2018
MADDI’S FRIDGE: March 31st, 2018 – April 8th, 2018
FLORA AND ULYSSES: April 22nd, 2018 – May 20th, 2018

When I checked in with Flashlight Press, they told me that they had just finalized the rights agreement.

Double wow! I am so grateful to Childsplay for discovering Maddi’s Fridge and turning it into a play. Years ago when I opened my best friend, Liz’s, refrigerator I felt that the entire world had failed me. What kind of world do we live in where my best friend and her little brother didn’t have enough to eat? But now, the people at Childsplay have found the story that my eleven-year-old self wanted to SHOUT OUT TO THE WORLD. Here, in one of the richest countries in the world, our friends and our neighbors are struggling to feed their children.

A big THANK YOU to everyone at Childsplay. I am so excited that you are sharing the story of Maddi’s Fridge.

When A Dragon Moves In – the Graphic Novel?

Originally Published on March 21
Taken from Jodi Moore’s Blog

Today I received a truly splendiferous email. It seems a fifth grade teacher challenged her students to take a favorite story and turn it into a graphic novel.

And guess what?

*drum roll*

One of her students chose When A Dragon Moves In…and her mom not only shared it with me, but gave me permission to share it with all of YOU!

*Tigger dances*

Words can’t describe what an honor and a thrill this is. And so without further ado, it’s my privilege to share the work of this brilliant young artist:

(SPOILER – check out the alternate ending!!!)

Thank you, thank you, thank you, Sarah. Like Howard McWilliam (the illustrator for When A Dragon Moves In and When A Dragon Moves In Again), you’ve brought my characters, my vision – my dream – to life! You’re an inspiration to all of us, and we can’t wait to enjoy more of your talents!

Ernestine Visits Rotterdam

On May 14th, Linda Ravin Lodding — author of The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister, (illustrated by Suzanne Beaky) — appeared at the First Annual Book Carnival at the American International School in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Prior to the book signing, the students enjoyed Ernestine-themed activities in the library, including kite making!

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Ernestine Travels to Play

The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister, written by Linda Ravin Lodding, illustrated by Suzanne Beaky, featured at the Bologna Book Fair 2012.

“Although I couldn’t attend the 2012 Bologna Book Fair which just closed last week, my first picture book, The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister, was on display. This annual fair is the most important international event in the children’s publishing industry. Publishers and agents from all over the world met to show off their wares and buy & sell foreign rights. While insiders reported that there seemed to be fewer attendees this year than last, business was robust. “Ernestine” proudly took her place at the active SCBWI (Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators) stand which showcased the work of some of their members.” Linda Ravin Lodding, author, The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister

Not April Fooling You

written by Linda Ravin Lodding, illustrated by Suzanne Beaky

Author Linda Lodding is a featured interviewee on Julie Hedlund’s April Author-Palooza! Read what she has to say about writing and publishing picture books, and leave a comment on that post to be entered to win a manuscript critique from Linda or one of the other multi-published authors.

Join in the Discussion about Play

Hurray!  It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!
Today’s choice is as much for parents and teachers as it is for kids!

Image from The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister, written by Linda Lodding, illustrated by Suzanne Beaky

The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister
Flashlight Press, October 2011, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 5 and up
Themes/Topics: the importance of play, over-scheduling
Opening: “Each morning, while Ernestine ate breakfast and Nanny O’Dear prepared lunch, Ernestine’s father zoomed out to work and called, ‘Live life to the fullest, Ern!’  And each morning Ernestine’s mother zipped out to catch the bus and said, ‘Make every moment count, E!‘”

Brief synopsis: Ernestine’s parents want her to have every experience she can, so they pack her days with sculpting and tuba,  yoga and yodeling.  It takes Ernestine to show them that one thing she absolutely shouldn’t miss is having time to just play.

Links to resources:  What I really should say here is, “No resources!  Just go play!”  But here are some resources that are also playing: Coloring Page, and for activities, try making a daisy crown (or any kind of outdoorsy crown), or make clouds out of cotton or shaving cream and see what shapes you see in them, or build a fort out of sticks, or blocks, or an empty cardboard box.  Use your imagination!

Why I Like This Book:  Kids will enjoy Ernestine’s ridiculous schedule, her amusing list of lessons, her teachers’ funny names, the bold bright colors of the pictures, and Ernestine’s inspired solution to her problem.  As a grown-up, I appreciate Ernestine’s message that while organized activities arranged and taught by adults have their place, so too does the unstructured time to be a child and simply play.

Click here for Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog post and comments.

Midwest Book Review on The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister

written by Linda Ravin Lodding, illustrated by Suzanne Beaky

The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister
Linda Ravin Lodding, author
Suzanne Beaky, illustrator
Flashlight Press/IPG
527 Empire Blvd, Brooklyn, NY 11225
9780979974694, http://www.ipgbook.com

The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister is a paean to play, especially for kids. Well-meaning adults end up pressuring children to fulfill busy schedules of performance expectations without realizing that one of the most precious experiences only children will have is free time to play, experiment, imagine, and just be. Ernestine’s busy life should be fully satisfying, with sculpting, water ballet, knitting, tuba lessons, yodeling, karate lessons, and yoga. But something is missing, even though the Buckmeisters hire Nanny O’Dear to help keep Ernestine on schedule. Ernestine begins to look pale and tired. What Ernestine would really like to do is just spend some time playing ball outdoors with Hugo, her neighbor. Ernestine decides to schedule something new for herself. This alarms her parents, who are unable to find her at any of her exhausting, scheduled activities. Finally they find her on top of a big hill, just looking at clouds and inhaling, enjoying the view, with Nanny O’Dear. All adults gradually see the light, and though Ernestine continues to do some of her scheduled activities, sometimes she just plays! The vibrant, colorful illustrations help lift each page of spunky narration. The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister will appeal to overachieving kids of all ages, or 4-8.

Original review can be found here.