Tuesday, July 26, 2011


It's the 40th Anniversary of the 1971 WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY movie. I turned 40 this year, too. So to celebrate, we're producing WILLY WONKA THE MUSICAL with Wellington Children's/Community Theater. I'm knee deep in Oompa-Loompas, and loving it!

I have to confess that I'm having more fun than a director ought to have, because these kids have SO much talent and energy! And there are so many cool effects and fun sets involved.

But let's talk about Roald Dahl, the author of CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. As a writer, he broke all kinds of bounds and he broke some rules, too. I mean, alliterative characters (Grandpa George, Grandma Georgina??) and obvious morals, to name a couple. But who doesn't love it? I sure do.

So look out for some fun film facts and production updates in the upcoming weeks. If you could play any character from the show or book, who would it be? (I cast myself as Mrs. Gloop. My husband is playing Wonka.)

What's your favorite Roald Dahl book?

Did you know that the girls playing Veruca and Violet in the '71 version both had a crush on the kid who played Charlie? You can see a little fight between them on the boat ride. Check out Charlie's look of surprise. He was clueless.

Fred Astaire wanted to be Wonka in that movie. Can you imagine how different it would have been? Astaire was much closer than Gene Wilder to the proper age for a retiring chocolate factory owner, but I love Gene Wilder's performance.

Okay, your turn!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


IT'S LU'S BIRTHDAY TODAY! Wish her Happy Birthday, please!

I think CHILDREN'S LIBRARIANS are just about the greatest people on earth. I'm blessed to be friends with a few, and if you want to know what's hot off the press and a really good read, just ask your local librarian. Meet Lu, Children's Librarian Extraordinaire and all-round lovely person!

How long have you been a children's librarian?
I've worked in libraries for a long time! I started out in junior high as a student library aide. (3 years) I worked as an aide in the children's department of a public library for 2 years. I've been a school librarian for 20 1/2 years.
What's your favorite thing about your job?
Getting students excited about reading or a particular author. It's great when they ask for a book that I've reviewed or read to them. The second thing I like is reading children's literature. I've always have a book going.
What was your favorite book growing up?
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I wanted to be Jo, the main character. She was a tomboy who wanted to be a writer. I was a tomboy that didn't know I wanted to write until high school. My favorite books now are by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I love her "Missing" series.
What good book(s) have you read lately?
The latest children's book I've read is Operation Yes. I've also read a fantasy by Mercedes Lackey recently and I'm currently reading a mystery based on Jane Austen's books. I prefer science fiction/fantasy or mysteries.
You're also a writer. Tell us about what you're writing at this time.
Currently I'm working on a middle grade science fiction/fantasy called Saving the Light. It's about a boy that learns to deal with the death of his father while learning to be a Thought Bender, someone that can manipulate energy and matter. Since at an atomic level that's what everything is made of, the possibilities are endless.

Have a Burning Question for Lu about books (hers or others), the ins and outs of a library, what kids are reading or what's trending? Ask away! Thanks, Lu!

Friday, July 1, 2011


The penguins have drawn a name, and the lucky winner of the MR. POPPER'S PRIZE PACKAGE IS:  Small Town Shelly Brown! Congratulations, Shelly! Please send an email with your mailing address to mlbrown90 @ att dot net. WOO HOO for you! Thanks to all who entered!