William Steig's Creative Work Continues to Inspire Both Young and Old
Kingwood High School Theatre arts program will be presenting a musical production of Shrek later this month. Before Shrek huge success on the silver screen, or adapted into the musical play, there was William Steig's SHREK!.
So, I thought it would be fun to highlight the book that started it all, as well as, other fabulous stories by this beloved and extremely talented author. If you happen to be by the Atascocita Branch Library, I currently have a small display for our costumers. I am sure that these items will check out quickly; so, if you need help requesting items please ask a staff member for assistance.
This is the story about an ordinary ogre who leaves his swampy childhood home to go out and see the world. Ordinarily, that is, if a foul and hideous being who ends up marrying the most stunningly ugly princess on the surface of the planet is what you consider ordinary. SHREK! can be found in this collection of six modern picture-book classics by Steig, along with stories concerning creatures ordinary and extraordinary-from Irene, a brave and loving little girl who must battle a howling blizzard, to Spinky, a boy who is so completely annoyed by his family that he no longer has any use for the human race. Gathered together for the first time, these entertaining stories will delight fans of Steig, both old and new.
On a rainy day, Sylvester finds a magic pebble that can make wishes come true. But when a lion frightens him on his way home, Sylvester makes a wish that brings unexpected results. How Sylvester is eventually reunited with his loving family and restored to his true self makes a story that is beautifully tender and filled with true magic. Illustrated with William Steig's glowing pictures, this is a modern classic beloved by children everywhere.
Amos the mouse and Boris the whale: a devoted pair of friends with nothing at all in common, except good hearts and a willingness to help their fellow mammal. They meet after Amos sets out to sea in his homemade boat, the Rodent , and soon finds himself in extreme need of rescue. Enter Boris. But there will come a day, long after Boris has gone back to a life of whaling about and Amos has gone back to his life of mousing around, when the tiny mouse must find a way to rescue the great whale. The tender yet comical story of this friendship is recorded in text and pictures that are a model of rich simplicity. Here, with apparent ease and concealed virtuosity, Caldecott medalist William Steig brings two winning heroes to life. Amos & Boris was a 1971 New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year, Notable Children's Book of the Year, and Outstanding Book of the Year.
Abel's place in his familiar, mouse world has always been secure; he had an allowance from his mother, a comfortable home, and a lovely wife, Amanda. But one stormy August day, furious flood water carry him off and dump him on an uninhabited island. Despite his determination and stubborn resourcefulness - he tried crossing the river with boats and ropes and even on stepping-stones, Abel can't find a way to get back home. Days, then weeks and months, pass. Slowly, his soft habits disappear as he forages for food, fashions a warm nest in a hollow log, models clay statues of his family for company, and continues to brood on the problem of how to get across the river, and home. Abel's time on the island brings him a new understanding of the world he's separated from. Faced with the daily adventure of survival in his solitary, somewhat hostile domain, he is moved to reexamine the easy way of life he had always accepted and discovers skills and talents in himself that hold promise of a more meaningful life, if and when he should finally return to Mossville and his dear Amanda again. Abel's Island was a 1976 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and Outstanding Book of the Year, and a 1977 Newbery Honor Book.
It's a bright and beautiful spring day, and Pearl, a pig, is dawdling on her way home from school. Most unexpectedly, she strikes up an acquaintance with a small bone. "You talk?" says Pearl. "In any language," says the bone. "And I can imitate any sound there is." (Its former owner was a witch.) Pearl and the bone immediately take a liking to each other, and before you know it she is on her way home with the bone in her purse, left open so they can continue their conversation. Won't her parents be surprised when she introduces her talking bone!But before that happy moment comes, the resourceful bone must deal with a band of highway robbers in Halloween masks and, worse, a fox who decides that Pearl will be his main course at dinner that night. And deal it does, with gambits droll and thrilling.William Steig, incomparable master of the contemporary picture book, has never been better than in The Amazing Bone. The Amazing Bone is a 1976 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and Outstanding Book of the Year, a 1977 Caldecott Honor Book, and a 1977 Boston Globe - Horn Book Awards Honor Book for Picture Books.
"Doctor De Soto, the dentist, did very good work." With the aid of his able assistant, Mrs. De Soto, he copes with the toothaches of animals large and small. His expertise is so great that his fortunate patients never feel any pain. Since he's a mouse, Doctor De Soto refuses to treat "dangerous" animals that is, animals who have a taste for mice. But one day a fox shows up and begs for relief from the tooth that's killing him. How can the kindhearted De Sotos turn him away? But how can they make sure that the fox doesn't give in to his baser instincts once his tooth is fixed? Those clever De Sotos will find a way. Doctor De Soto was a 1982 New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of the Year and Outstanding Book of the Year, a 1983 Boston Globe, Horn Book Awards Honor Book for Picture Books, and a 1983 Newbery Honor Book.
In The News
According to UPI NewsTrack, October 11, 2013, 'Shrek the Musical' producers donate $50K for school music programs.
"William Steig." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2007. Biography In Context. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.
"WILLIAM STEIG 1907 - 2003." St. Petersburg Times [St. Petersburg, FL] 12 Oct. 2003: 8D. Biography In Context. Web. 16 Oct. 2013.