From the start I thought the idea of asking kids to come up with 90 Second Newbery films was a brilliant one. Originator James Kennedy kept the energy going by posting submissions on his blog so I’d seen a few before I arrived at the packed auditorium yesterday at the New York Public Library’s 42nd Street building. James and fellow MC Jon Scieszka kept up lively banter* throughout and further entertainment was provided by others who did skits about certain Newbery winners, musicals about the creation of the award, interviews, a game show (with special guest Rebecca Stead), and a very heartfelt song by one local school group. Oh, and the films themselves were delightful, every single one. I’ll leave it to Betsy Bird who helped organize the event to give you the true lowdown, but here’s one video that had a particular resonance to me as a member of the 2008 Newbery Committee:
*During one interlude Jon and James were providing quotes (some a bit…er …doctored) for audience members to guess whether they were from Newbery books or…er… Snookie’s. One quote was from The Tale of Despereaux with the addition of one word causing great consternation among a group of girls in front of me. I assured them that bedonk was not one of Kate DiCamillo’s words and they relaxed.