Jeff Kinney and Brady Noon Discuss Bringing ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ to Animation

Jeff Kinney’s long-running Diary of a Wimpy Kid children’s novel series went through four different live-action film adaptations in the past decade. But its latest iteration takes a much more animated approach that stays true to the visual styles of the source material. Disney relaunches the franchise by turning Diary of a Wimpy Kid into an all new animated adventure that centers on middle school student Greg Heffley (Brady Noon) who illustrates his life in a diary – which he tells himself is a journal in order to avoid bullying from older kids.

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Izaac Wang’s Mom Was Excited to Meet Russell Wong on ‘Clifford The Big Red Dog’

Actor Izaac Wang reminds us that he wasn’t even born when actor Russell Wong first appeared in Joy Luck Club and Romeo Must Die. But, Wang knew of the Wong’s work and became a fan through his mother.

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Interview with ‘Batman and Robin and Howard’ Author Jeffrey Brown

Damian Wayne has many fans. The popular Arab American character, son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al-Ghul, is an adorable crime-fighting — and previously murderous kid — whose fundamental charm and sincere desire to do good has captured the hearts of many DC fans, so much so that he has a current ongoing series. But we don’t see enough of Damian’s school life. When does he get to be a regular pre-teen who gets to have fun at school and make friends?

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Kickstart This: Robert Liu-Trujillo Discusses His New Art Book

Robert Liu-Trujillo is an artist looking to craft change.

He knows how powerful art can be to inspire and make social change, especially for younger consumers of his and others’ work. With a new Kickstarter project out now, we sat down with Robert to talk about his art, how social justice informs his work, navigating the picture book industry, and so much more.

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The Middle Geeks Interview: Reem Faruqi and Fahmida Azim of ‘Amira’s Picture Day’

In the second of our interview series, author Reem Faruqi and artist Fahmida Azim join us to discuss their new book, Amira’s Picture Day, out now! We discuss the impetus for this delightful children’s book that takes place on the Muslim holiday Eid-Al-Fitr, celebrating the end of Ramadan, and what else inspired them in the creation of this wonderful story, from the beautiful art to the deeply embedded cultural elements Enjoy listening and buy your copy of Amira’s Picture Day today!

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Hard NOC Life 212: Mandy Gonzalez is ‘Fearless’

In the first of two episodes of Hard NOC Life releasing this week, Keith sits down with Broadway superstar and now, children’s book author, Mandy Gonzalez to talk about her new middle grade novel, Fearless. They also talk about her career — from originating the role of Nina for In the Heights to replacing Renee Elise Goldsberry as Angelica in Hamilton — and why being fearless has helped her cope while Broadway is shut down.

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‘Hamilton’ Star Jordan Fisher Talks Netflix Series ‘Archibald’s Next Big Thing Is Here’ and More

Netflix’s newest animated series, Archibald’s Next Big Thing Is Here, premieres February 18 and I had the opportunity to sit down with Hamilton star and quadruple Hollywood threat, Jordan Fisher (Dancing with the Stars), to talk his experience working on the show as well as his many other goings on.

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NOC Review: Optimistic ‘Flora and Ulysses’ Will Charm Even The Most Cynical

I gotta say, the cynic in me considers many family comedies to be easy cash grabs of slapstick energy designed to pull in a few bucks for multi-billion dollar studios targeting the wallets of easily amused kids and their parents … Continue reading NOC Review: Optimistic ‘Flora and Ulysses’ Will Charm Even The Most Cynical

Director Lena Khan on Disney+’s ‘Flora & Ulysses’ and That Ms. Marvel Question We’ve Been Dying to Ask Her

Here’s my interview with Lena Khan, the director of the new Disney+ original movie, Flora & Ulysses. We talk about the movie and what she might have done with another upcoming Disney+ original, Ms. Marvel!

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The Inspiration Behind the Story of Disney’s ‘Flora & Ulysses’

When you first hear about the upcoming Disney+ film, Flora & Ulysses, you wonder just how Newbury Award-winning author and executive producer Kate DiCamillo came up with the idea of a girl and her superhero squirrel. The film, which premieres this Friday, tells the story of Flora, an avid comic book fan and self-avowed cynic, whose parents have separated. After saving a squirrel after being sucked up by an out-of-control vacuum, Flora names her new furry friend, Ulysses. She discovers, like the comic books, that Ulysses possesses unique superhero powers that help change Flora’s outlook on life for the better.

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NOC’s Preeti Chhibber Launches ‘Star Wars’ Children’s Book: ‘A Jedi You Will Be’

Heyyy! It’s Kuya P and I recently sat down with NOC’s own, Preeti Chhibber of Desi Geek Girls to discuss her latest Children’s Book release, Star Wars: A Jedi You Will Be! ENJOY!

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Bonus Hard NOC Life | Drawing Marvel: Representation in Pop Culture, Presented by Scholastic

Hard NOC Life is still on hiatus; however, we have an exciting bonus episode to bring you!

Last week, Keith was asked to moderate a panel as part of Scholastic’s “Power of Story” speaker series. Two artists, Eric Wilkerson and Pablo Leon, speak about the important of representation in comics and children’s lit. You can also watch the original panel on Scholastic’s YouTube channel and Facebook.

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How Disney+’s ‘The One and Only Ivan’ Reflects Life in Quarantine

This is the first of many virtual press conferences the cast and creatives of Disney+’s upcoming film The One and Only Ivan had to deal with in the new age of COVID-19. Veteran actress Dame Helen Mirren, who voices Snickers the talented Poodle in the film, said in the virtual press conference of this new experience, “That’s the amazing thing about our job is that we’re always constantly exposed to completely new experiences, as this is this digital press junket. It’s a first for all of us.”

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Southern Fried Asian: Soman Chainani

Southern Fried Asian returns with a brand new episode! Keith is joined by Soman Chainani, the New York Times-bestselling author of the hit children’s fantasy series, the School For Good and Evil. The fifth book in the series, A Crystal of Time, is available now wherever books are sold.

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KidLit: Recommended Reading on Justice and Understanding

Originally posted at The Writer’s Block

At a time of great unease and injustice, those of us who are parents of children have a challenge ahead of us. Most of our kids will be exposed to the happenings of the world, and well they should. At the same time, what books can we read to them that will help them understand, and provide tools they will need to survive, thrive, and engage? We reached out to several Minnesota writers with children to compile this list of suggestions. This is by no means definitive, nor complete.

This list was compiled by Kurtis Scaletta, Shannon Gibney, Lana Barkawi, Kathryn Savage, Molly Beth Griffin, Sarah Park Dahlen, Bao Phi, and Lorena Duarte Armstrong.

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Modern Filipino Children’s Stories Gets a Kickstart

The Philippines has 181 languages yet most children’s stories in the Philippines are written in only 2 languages, Tagalog and English. Sari-Sari Storybooks has Kickstarted a project to bring those under-represented Philippine language groups life through children’s stories. We interview Christina Newhard about the project.

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To Black Parents Visiting Earth: Letter #2 (#WeHaveDiverseBooks)

In line with the book review I posted yesterday, I thought this piece by my wife (Janet Mendoza-Stickmon) over at Mutha Magazine would be the perfect companion.

As parents of color, especially Nerdy Parents of Color, it is so difficult to find books that reflect our children’s racial and cultural backgrounds, as well as other aspects of their social realities. Please read this, as well as Letter #1, to see some of the strategies we’ve taken to address this and other issues affecting our Children of Color. Continue reading “To Black Parents Visiting Earth: Letter #2 (#WeHaveDiverseBooks)”

#DiverseChildrensBooks: El Primer Corte de Mesita de Furqan (Furqan’s First Flat Top)

As a parent of color it is very difficult to find children’s books that reflect how diverse our world actually is. When we do find books, many of them are about historical figures, historical events, or rooted in surviving tragedies. This is what makes El Primer Corte de Mesita de Furqan (Furqan’s First Flat Top) such a wonderful addition to the POC children’s book canon.

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Coming Soon: MaeJay and the Mech

Close to a decade ago, I met a Blaxican artist at Dr. Comics and Mr. Games in Oakland, CA. We had mutual geek interests, as well as an undying love and connection to hip-hop culture — the vibe was pure fiyah. He was already a parent, and I was about to be one. We became friends. He’s a visual artist, toy maker, animator, and filmmaker. I’m a writer, marketing guy, pop culture scholar, and performer. Match made in geek heaven. We bandied about ideas on how best we could work together, but nothing really panned out. Then, something happened. I don’t know what his catalyzing agent was, but mine was WonderCon. Continue reading “Coming Soon: MaeJay and the Mech

Kickstart This: The Princess Who Saved Herself

Two years ago, comics writer and filmmaker (and familiar name to NOC readersGreg Pak, known for his work on several Hulk and X-Men titles, including the current Storm book, and his current runs on Action Comics, Batman/Superman, and Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, among others (like Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology), was raising funds on Kickstarter for a graphic novel based on beloved geek culture singer/songwriter Jonathan Coulton‘s Code Monkey character. As a reward for meeting a stretch goal, Pak and his collaborators promised an original children’s book based on Coulton’s popular twist on children’s fairytales, “The Princess Who Saved Herself.”

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