Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shrek + Monsters and Miracles: A Journey Through Jewish Picture Books = Kids Off The Couch

Most kids haven't a clue that the green and stinky ogre that has clumped his way through their childhood sprung from a spare and pithy children's book. Chances are, your kids have seen (or will soon see) Shrek Forever After -- the fourth and final sequel to Shrek that is currently ruling the box office. What better way to kick off discussion about summer reading lists than to remind the kids that some of their favorite on-screen heroes sprung from the pages of books? From Shrek to Harry Potter, to Twilight and The Bourne Trilogy, literature is the source of many wonderful screen experiences and these days, a love of reading starts with great book illustation. A new show, Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books, offers Shrek-lovers the chance to meet the ugly, but confident, ogre drawn by author and illustrator William Steig. The show, which is open in Los Angeles at the Skirball Cultural Center through the summer and travels to the Eric Carle Museum of Art in Northampton, MA from October 2010 to January 2011, includes seminal artwork from Maurice Sendak, Eric Carle, Mordicai Gerstein, as well as illustration from contemporary authors, such as Lemony Snicket and David Goldin. With iPod Touch stations around the exhibit, and ceiling-sized book spines that cleverly divide the galleries, you'll think you're in book heaven. (Click here for Summer Reading Tips, more about author and illustrator William Stieg, and details about two of our favorite museums).