Who among us children’s book creators doesn’t wonder if our work might find a second life somewhere beyond the page? Sure, a movie deal would be amazing—pardon me while I fantasize about a second home with an ocean view—but in reality, it rarely happens. More commonly, that second life comes in a smaller, more intimate form. So it was with great pleasure that I traveled up to Maine last week to witness something really special.
For the past three years, the Portland Stage Company has been performing A BIG SURPRISE FOR LITTLE CARD by Charise Harper as part of their educational outreach into public schools. Their PLAY program brings children’s literature and poetry to life in front of students, grades K–5. Here’s a quote from their website:
“The goal of PLAY is to connect theater with literacy by making literature performative and encouraging reading fluency, character recall, understanding of themes, emotional recognition, physical storytelling, and vocal characterization.”
I really didn’t know what to expect, but the performance was delightful and the actors were wonderfully engaging. Best of all, the students really loved it. LITTLE CARD is a plucky, enthusiastic guy who show great perseverance even in the most challenging situations, so he seems like an excellent choice.
So while this may not be a movie deal—or something that has any financial payoff—it still makes me feel pretty good. Look at these lovely people. Thanks, Portland Stage! 💜