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14 August 2010 ·

Princess and Panthering in Minnesota and British Columbia

Home again from a wonderful trip. We stopped quickly in LA to catch up with film production friends, and then on to Minneapolis to meet Lauren Stringer, the illustrator of The Princess and her Panther, and her composer husband Matthew Smith. He composed the music for the DVD which Lauren produced using my recording of the story with the pictures from the book. We presented the DVD at our talk at the Kerlan Collection, and again at the Hamline University Master of Fine Arts Program. I hadn’t seen the finished DVD before, and was amazed at how moved I was; it seemed to take the story into another dimension.

We don’t know yet how much we’ll be able to share this, but I’m excited by the possibilities (especially after exploring my daughter’s iPad). DVD’ can never replace a parent reading to a child, but they can add to the experience.

However in the book stores we were very traditional – if you can call it traditional to construct a red ‘silk tent’ in a bookstore, and for the illustrator to use shadow puppets behind it while the author reads, and then run out with Folkmanis puppets when the story reveals what the shadows really were… Anyway, whatever it was, everyone seemed to enjoy it.

The incredible cake at The Red Balloon Bookstore!

and at Wild Rumpus/

And at Fables Cottage on Salt Spring Island (unfortunately I couldn’t take Lauren with me for that one, but the irrepressible Sue King did a wonderful job with the puppets!)

(There are more pictures on my facebook page, as well as the Red Balloon & Fables Cottage own sites)

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Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born Australian writer. Her books for children and adults have been published in 27 countries and won awards around the world. Nim’s Island and Nim at Sea have also become feature films, starring Jodie Foster and Abigail Breslin (Nim’s Island) and Bindi Irwin (Return to Nim’s Island.) Her latest book is Cuckoo’s Flight, a companion to the highly acclaimed Bronze Age novels Dragonfly Song and Swallow’s Dance. Read full bio