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The Order of Oddfish

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90-Second Newberys From NYC: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, The Westing Game, and The Whipping Boy

October 14, 2011

The 90-Second Newbery Film Festival APPROACHETH! The deadline for entries is October 17, and so they’ve been coming fast and furious lately. Today I’d like to share three from the New York City area―and remember, New Yorkers, the 90-Second Newbery screening is November 5 at the NYPL main branch!

The first one is another great Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Grace Lin’s Newbery Honor book of 2009. 90-Second Newbery watchers will remember the shadow-puppet version we’ve already received from Bookie Woogie and the paper-puppet version from Orrington School in Evanston, IL. Here’s the first LIVE-ACTION version, by Felix Chen’s third grade (and some junior high school students) from Abington Friends school in Queens (EDIT: Actually, not Queens, but Jenkintown, Pennsylvania! That’s two hours away! I don’t know how I made that mistake).

I love the title card, the music throughout, and the attention to detail―look how they animated the goldfish’s mouth, and the dragon costume is exquisite! The fake beard on the Old Man in the Moon is also choice. A great entry, and I look forward to meeting the cast if they come to the screening on November 5! (They blog about working on the movie here.)

Next up is The Westing Game, the 1979 Newbery Medal winner by Ellen Raskin, done by Brooklyn Friends School (which I’ll be visiting while I’m in NYC!) It was organized by 11-year-olds Chloe Levine, Michelle Lowe, and Sophia L., advised by Angela Ungaro. (This video begins with a gag reel, so if you want to skip straight to the story, go to the 2:15 mark):

A very enjoyable 90-second version of The Westing Game! This book is particularly challenging for our film festival because of how insanely complicated it is―I’m glad they were able to pull it all together! I’m looking forward to meeting Chloe and everyone at Brooklyn Friends. (They may even have a live act for between the films at the film festival . . . )

Next up: The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (Newbery Medal, 1987). It’s by Melissa Ferraro and her kids at Camp Mel, a summer camp in Central Park. Look closely and perhaps you can recognize some familiar parts of Central Park in the background:

The kids were all clearly having a ball, especially Prince Brat at the beginning. Loved the way the line “Now both of you take a shower, you’re very stinky. Off you go!” is delivered at the end, too. I looked at the website of Melissa’s camp―sounds like a great time.

Thank you, New Yorkers, and see you at the film festival on November 5!