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The Story Of Weston Woods

The Story Of Weston Woods

by John Cech

A stunning, informative pictorial tribute to the leading creative force in the production of films for children--Weston Woods Studios and its founder, Mort Schindel

Please see extended summary on next page.


A stunning, informative pictorial tribute to the leading creative force in the production of films for children--Weston Woods Studios and its founder, Mort Schindel

Please see extended summary on next page.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Jody Little
Part reference book and part coffee-table book, this history of the Weston Woods film studio and its dynamic creator, Morton Schindel, offers richly detailed text and brilliant photos that librarians, teachers, writers, and anyone with an interest in children's books will enjoy. The idea for this studio came to Schindel during his long bout with tuberculosis after finishing college. His vision was to bring great literature into the lives of millions of children around the world. His first films included, "Andy and the Lion" by James Daugherty, "Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey, and "Millions of Cats," by Wanda Gag. Schindel developed a filming technique which he called iconographic filming, in which the camera is still and the picture moves. Schindel's desire to preserve the integrity of the illustrations of the books led to the development of iconographic filming. As the studio's success grew, Weston Woods's films began to air on the popular television series, "Captain Kangaroo." In 1964, Weston Woods produced its first animated film of the Ezra Jack Keats, Caldecott winning picture book, "A Snowy Day." As the studio's success grew, Schindel never stopped dreaming of new ways to get his films viewed by children. He developed "Children's Caravans" that showed Weston Woods films to children after school. Weston Woods's films later inspired the long-running PBS show, "Reading Rainbow." Today the studio is owned by Scholastic, but Weston Woods continues to produce quality materials including videos, play-away devices, and CD packages for libraries and schools. Reviewer: Jody Little
School Library Journal
This is a fascinating look at Weston Woods and its creator, Morton Schindel. Rich with full-color archival photographs, detailed production notes, animation cels, and first-person accounts, the book gives readers a personal, behind-the-scenes look at the man and the studio that has animated most of the great works of children's literature from the mid-20th century to the present. As Maurice Sendak writes in the introduction, "It was nirvana in Weston Woods—there was such great freedom. Looking back on it, you can hardly believe it existed." Luckily for us, it did. Buy this book for your library, yourself, and your students. It's sentimental, inspirational, and informational.—Renee McGrath, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY
Publishers Weekly
This expansive book gives laurels to the children’s film studio (now owned by Scholastic) that has adapted works by Tomi Ungerer, Simms Taback, and Mo Willems, among many other writers/artists. Cech’s text documents Morton Schindel’s development of the studio, beginning with its establishment in the 1950s with such early films as Make Way for Ducklings and Stone Soup. Classic picture book images, photographs of work on early productions, and stills are featured throughout. Goodies like early storyboards for the first film version of Where the Wild Things Are will fascinate those intrigued by the page-to-screen process, while reflections on Schindel and his collaborators offer a unique glimpse at a bygone era in children’s literature and film. Ages 12–up. (Dec.)

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Imagination And Innovation Series
Product dimensions:
10.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

Meet the Author

John Cech is an award-winning author of fiction, prose, poetry, and criticism for adults and children. He is a Professor of English on the faculty at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he is the director of the international, interdisciplinary Center for Children’s Literature and Culture. Cech is the creator and host of the nationally distributed, public radio program “Recess!” He is the author of a book about Maurice Sendak, ANGELS AND WILD THINGS, and he is the editor of the DICTIONARY OF LITERARY BIOGRAPHY'S AMERICAN WRITERS FOR CHILDREN, 1900-1960.

Cech is a frequent contributor of articles, essays, and reviews to such publications as The New York Times Book Review, Washington Post Book World, USA Today, Child, The Horn Book, Children’s Literature, and The Lion and the Unicorn. Cech has also contributed commentaries on children’s culture to National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered.” He is a past president of the Children’s Literature Association, and currently serves on the advisory boards of the Weston Woods Institute, the Institute for Childhood and Adolescent Research and Evaluation, and the Chicago Children’s Humanities Festival.

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