Online Consumables

 

Online Consumables

“Lilly’s Backward Dream” (10-15 minute)

Lilly may be very young, but she’s smart.  In this series opener she tells her friends about a special place that really exists where all the cars are driving backwards, and she lures the older kids into going for a walk to figure out where that place  can be.

This calls on Jack’s Safety Council background, in this case to teach kids to beware of the “backing” car.

“Friends” the Elephant Who Loved an Ant (5-10 min)

When an elephant falls in love with an ant there are bound to be problems, and a lot to smile about. This story is in poetry.

“Pumpkin Giant” (approx 15 min)

This is a story about kindness.  When a boy unkindly carves an ugly pumpkin for his sister, he never dreams that there will be consequences.  This tall tale has been used as readers theater and sold as a booklet.  A great scary Halloween story with a “kind” ending.

“Franklin Fudgemaker” (approx 5 min)

One of the “Getting Ready to Read” stories that Jack wrote for Britannica’s Young Children’s Encyclopedia.  We have the rights to this story for animation purposes.  A story about sharing and not being greedy.

“Ned and the Nightingale” (approx 5 min)

    Another “Getting Ready to Read” story that Jack wrote for Britannica’s Young Children’s Encyclopedia.  We have the rights to this story for animation purposes, too.  In jail for stealing a nobleman’s horse, Ned whistles a sad tune.  Outside the noose is being put in place.  A nightingale flies in and asks Ned to teach him the tune.  Ned says it should build its nest first and asks the bird to get him ninety-nine strands from the noose rope. 

    The nightingale agrees but asks Ned to keep whistling the tune so he can learn it while he works.  So all night long Ned and the bird whistle the tune.  Next day, Ned expects the rope to break, but, before it can, the tune has reached the people and they plead for Ned’s life.  The nobleman lets him go, and the nightingale decides he has learned the tune and had better go get the strands as he had promised.

“Kadeé” (approx 30 min)

This is a story about the fascination between a boy and a fish.  This realistic tale has no talking fish and only the kind of communication that many of us have experienced when we sense that we are somehow communicating with a member of another species.  For the fish’s part, Kadeé’s fascination with the boy almost costs her her life. 

“Moon Reader Song Cycle”

(10 songs and a poem 3+min each)

This eleven song and one poem song cycle, mainly about libraries and winter, also has a song about “freedom” and one about “the winter solstice” called When the Sun Runs Away, written in native style.  The poem is about a child and the moon “reading” each other as the moon climbs the night sky.  “Moon Reader” has been performed at libraries in Oak Park and Evanston, Illinois and in Maine by Chicago Children’s Choir and the Washington County Children’s Chorus.

“And Everything Nice” a song cycle

(in works approx Moon Reader)

This is a new song cycle about spices, herbs and condiments.  It has songs about some of the colorful — and maybe flavorful — stories about how they are grown, were discovered, used or understood, and will include some of the interesting characters involved with these tasty ingredients.  That will work much as Moon Reader will. Lots of fun and with a tidbit of learning.

“Teacher Tomato” (15-30 min)

When Billy-Bob Hunter moves to a new school, he comes with a very large “chip on his shoulder.”  He is ready to cause trouble and to fight with everyone who tries to be his friend.  If you’re wondering how a tomato plant could play a role in this drama, you’ll enjoy meeting Freda who owns the plant and who doesn’t give up easily. 

No one likes a bully, and sometimes the bully doesn’t really like him or herself.

the “Littlest Blimp” (15-30 min)

This story was “sold” to a major publisher, if we would rewrite the story to “let the blimp succeed in the end.”  We felt “the little train that could” had already been written, and so declined.  It’s a story for all of the kids who may never “win” but who care and who try and because they do are truly “okay” anyway.

the “Unmagic Wand” (15-30 min)

When the little good fairy who wears glasses sets out to help people, she worries that her glasses might damage her credibility.  And so she hides them under the acorns in a hole in a tree in a favorite apple orchard.  Imagine what happens when Little Good climbs down and, with her poor eyesight, picks up an old stick instead of her magic wand.

The adventure, as her magic takes somewhat longer, is filled with problems to solve.  But when she tries to help a tutor who is in love with the Duke’s daughter to get back into the Duke’s good graces, Little Good fails miserably and discovers that her wand is just an old stick.  You’ll be surprised at how the problem works itself out.

“The Boy Who Could Not Fly” (half hour plus)

Into a world where everyone has wings and can fly, a wingless boy is born.  This is the story of his life as he tries to get the attention and friendship of his sister and their “friends” who are not always as considerate as they might be.  It is the story of his attempt to win the acceptance of Peter, the best of the flyers.

“Boy” was written as a book after Dr. Jerome Schulman, head of psychiatry at Chicago Children’s Hospital, asked John Dennis to create something to help unchallenged children appreciate their challenged counterparts. 

“Runaway Elephant” a Christmas Fantasy

   (half hour plus)

When Baby the Elephant overhears kids talking about Santa’s helpers and the funny clothes they wear, he mistakes the phrase “elf pants” for elephants.  Excited by the idea of helping Santa, he heads for the North Pole.  He arrives in the middle of the night and creates quite a stir and, over the next few days, one big mess. 

With the help of Big E the boss elf, the reindeer, and a hot air balloon, Baby’s adventure ends on a happy note.

“Quacky Duck’s Big Lesson” (half hour plus)

When the boy visits his grandma and grandpa on the farm for spring holiday, one of the farm hands puts a fertile duck egg on top of the candy ones in his Easter basket.  The tapping of the emerging duckling awakens the boy and she follows him into the kitchen and then everywhere, imprinting on the city kid.  When the boy goes back to the city, Grandma returns a very unusual and quacky young duck to her mother and siblings.

When Quacky leads a “bird barn revolution” to take the egg coloring and decorating jobs away from the bunnies, she gets more than she bargained for from a very understanding Mr. Bunny.  When she hires Harry the Chicken Hawk to protect their chicken scratchings, only the outcast mama, Old Crow, can help her bring peace to the barn.

“Kids Concert” (approx 60 min)

Kids Concert is a musical story about a boy who just doesn’t want to grow up and what happens to him as he visits an imaginary kids castle, where he meets Tick-Tock Time, a girl named Hello and several other colorful characters.  During their adventures, we learn about wearing seat belts, brushing and flossing, exercising, and not eating junk food, among other things.

“The Boy Who Swallowed the Rainbow” (full length)

This is our next musical.  It is an “allegory for our time” about a boy who can no longer communicate because he has swallowed “the illusion” and now can only “talk” rainbow.  It is loaded with good humor, poking fun at all of the “professionals” who try to sound cool while explaining how such a thing could happen.  And it is a friendship story in which the girl down the road, with whom the boy always fought and disagreed, is the one who cares enough to follow the boy, ultimately to learns to “read” his rainbowing, and to rescue him from Mr. Cutely Clever.

“Woolly” (full length feature)

When a meteor plunges into a frozen hillside in the Aleutian Islands, its intense heat just misses a baby woolly mammoth that has been buried there with its mother for eons.   This feature video follows the adventures of this lonely and confused creature and the young Aleut high school teacher who, with a young French student, heads for the United States as they try to keep Grampa and Big Sar from finding and killing Woolly.

Our mammoth does not speak or think, in a human sense, but more realistically is treated non-anthropomorphically.  This video about endangered species gives young viewers a sense of how important it is for humans to care about this subject and about our fellow creatures.

“Pixilated Driver” (Student animation)

Pixilation with people moves them in little animated stories.  Adam had finished his drawn paper animation and was looking for a challenge.  SEE the PIXILATION that came out of that.  




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©Dennis 2008

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