Dig Deeper - How Pictures Tell A Story

Denise Brunkus, illustrator for the Junie B. Jones series, has spent her life helping bring stories to life with pictures.  Her page at Random House provides a behind-the-scenes look at how she develops ideas for her artwork.  All aspects of stage adaptations of children's literature, especially sets, lights, props, and costumes, are heavily influenced by these important artists.  Check out the illustrations for Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells before you come to our show and see if you can spot our inspirations! Here Brunkus describes how she got a little help with the illustrations for Junie B. Jones Has a Peep in Her Pocket...

"I needed to show Junie B. and her classmates with their farm drawings.  I had no idea how a kindergartner would draw a flamingo, let alone a

flamingo

rooster trapped under a fallen tree.  So I  hired my five-year-old niece to help me.  Her drawings provided the perfect inspiration I needed to get the illustration done."

rooster

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Dig Deeper - Honoring Barbara Park

Barbara Park Photo We were all saddened to hear about the passing of Barbara Park - author of the wildly popular Junie B. Jones early chapter book series.  We wish to honor her memory by sharing some of her thoughts.

Park described her famous first grader to Publisher's Weekly last year: "Within the first four sentences, I discovered I had a character who hated her middle name...By the second page, I knew she was a wild child, who — big surprise — had not yet mastered the Queen’s English. And when I finally finished the book, I thought maybe I could write one or two more. I was a little low with my expectations, apparently."  Low expectations indeed!  The Junie B. series comprises more than 30 books, has celebrated its 20th anniversary, has sold over 55 millions copies in North America, and has been translated into a dozen languages.

Park loved to share her life and thoughts with her young readers - she answered dozens of questions at the Random House website.  Her are just a few of her words of wisdom...

ReaderWhat would you say if someone asked you, “How can I become an author? Park: I would say, 1) read, read, read, read; 2) write, write, write, write; 3) rewrite, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite; 4) and love what you’re doing.

ReaderDoes it take patience to write a book? Park: Sure. But, then again, I can’t really think of a job that doesn’t take patience.

ReaderDo you have a hero? Park:  To me, heroes are everyday people who reach out to others in extraordinary ways with no expectation of payback or recognition. I am in awe of people like that.

Announcing the cast of "Junie B. Jones"!

ComingSoon_JunieBJonesWe are thrilled to announce the cast of Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, which opens on December 7, 2013. A huge thank you to everyone who auditioned! Junie B. Jones: Janie Bender May: Kelly Houlehan Lucille: Jessica Scott Herb: Nate Otto Sheldon: Joseph Rand Jose: Joseph Black Mr. Scary: Dan Maertens Grandpa Miller/Phillip Johnny Bob: Rick Gabriel Elf Ellen/ Mr. Toot: Deborah Schee