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One of the most successful animated films of all time, Shrek is based on an endearing upside-down fairy tale by illustrator and author William Steig. In the final sequel, Shrek Forever After, (currently in theaters) our warty hero finds himself in an alternate universe (think It's a Wonderful Animated Life) where he struggles to be reunited with his family, and his beloved Princess Fiona. Shrek, which leapt from book to screen in 2001, wins our hearts by telling the truth about romance, giving ugly a good name by teaching that true beauty lies within. Celebrity voices from Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow and Eddie Murphy (as a motormouth donkey) put the movie on the map -- all return in Shrek Forever After -- but the savvy modern sensibility will keep the lovable ogre in our hearts forever.
Most kids haven't a clue that Shrek sprang from the pages of a picture book, and but a wonderful new show at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles offers families the chance to know the green star's first incarnation - a belching, stinky (and very, very cranky) ogre in a story by author and illustrator William Steig. A simple illustration of a fat green ogre on a donkey hangs quietly in the gallery, and it's incredible to think how big an empire was created from this single image. Other seminal works hang inconspicuously nearby: drawings by Maurice Sendak, Eric Carle, H.A. Rey, Mordicai Gerstein and many others. Monsters and Miracles: A Journey through Jewish Picture Books is presented in galleries that have been divided up by huge, ceiling sized book covers and each little nook and cranny of the clever space has a station that will intrigue kids -- from dressing up your own monster, to drawing your own illustration to listening to celebrities read books on one of the many iPod Touches that are situated around the gallery. Shrek isn't the only monster in the show; the show traces scary picture book demons back to Jewish golems and dybbuks - suddenly, the monsters in Where the Wild Things Are seem less random. Best of all is the chance to meet hilarious characters from contemporary authors such as Lemony Snicket and David Goldin. With iPod Touch stations around the exhibit, and gallery-sized books that cleverly divide the space, you'll know you're in book heaven. (Show travels to the Eric Carle Museum of Art in Northampton, MA from October 2010 to January 2011).
Our Buttery Bits of Wisdom about this Film;
Our Tips for Talking with your kids about this Film:
Monsters and Miracles: A Journey Through Jewish Picture Books
Exhibit ongoing at the Skirball Cultural Center through August 1, 2010
2701 N. Sepulveda Boulevard, LA 90049
Exhibit travels to the Eric Carle Museum of Art from October 2010 to January 2011
125 West Bay Road, Amherst, MA 01002
Time Allotment: an hour
Age Recommendation: 6 and up
Our Buttery Bits of Wisdom about this Adventure:
Our Tips for Making this a Reading Summer: