Archive for December, 2014

Two Boise Children cast in upcoming touring broadway production of CAMELOT

Boise, ID – Fred Meyer Broadway In Boise is pleased to announce that Edsel Christensen (5th grader at Challenger School) and Mason Price (4th grader at Christine Donnell School of the Arts) have been cast as Tom of Warwick in the upcoming Boise engagement of the 2014/2015 National Tour of Lerner & Loewe’s CAMELOT at the Morrison Center.

Tom of Warwick is a young boy destined to be a Knight. He wants to fight for what is right and gives Arthur hope for the future.

Edsel Christensen is a 5th grade student at Challenger School in Meridian. He will be performing the role of “Tom of Warwick” on January 5th and 7th. He got his start on the stage in Boise Music Week’s 2012 Production of The King and I as one of the King’s children. Then, in the 2013 production of South Pacific, he played the role of Jerome.  Most recently, Edsel played the role of Louise in Opera Idaho’s 2014 Production The King and I in Concert.

Mason Price is a 4th grade student at Christine Donnell School of the Arts. He will be performing the role of “Tom of Warwick” on January 6th. In the last 4 years he has been cast in Character Matters as baby bear, Wizard of Oz (twice) as a Flying monkey and munchkin, Christmas play as an engineer, Three as the Big Bad Wolf.

Both Edsel and Mason have participated in the Morrison Center Summer Performance Camps for the past three years. Both have had lead and featured roles in some of the productions.

“Providing children from our community with an opportunity to perform in a national touring production of this caliber is unique,” said James Patrick, Executive Director of the Morrison Center. “We are always looking for new and exciting vehicles to engage children in the performing arts. Whether it be our annual Summer Performance Camps, Family Theatre Series or a chance to perform with professional actors in a Broadway musical like Camelot, involvement in the performing arts can change young lives and have a positive impact on their education and development.”

The 2014/2015 National Tour of Lerner & Loewe’s CAMELOT reimagines the classic tale of King Arthur, Guenevere and Lancelot and Boise can fall in love all over again with this beloved musical January 5-7, 2015 at the Morrison Center.

Tickets for CAMELOT are on sale now and start at $37.50. Tickets can be purchased at the Morrison Center Box Office, by visiting, or by calling 426-1110. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more by visiting  or call 426-4103.  

Broadway’s sweeping tale of passion, pageantry and betrayal is the winner of 4 Tony Awards®, 3 Academy Awards® and has never been more enthralling than in this new production. Intimate and fresh, CAMELOT’S celebrated score includes the classics “If Ever I Would Leave You,” “The Simple Joys of Maidenhood,” and the title song, “Camelot.”

CAMELOT features a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe and is based on the King Arthur legend adapted from the T.H. White novel The Once and Future King. This all-new production is directed by Michael McFaddenand features Scenic Design by Kevin Depinet, Lighting Design by Mike Baldassari and Sound Design by Craig Cassidy.

Taught well by Merlin, King Arthur, with his beautiful new queen Guenevere, rule the kingdom of CAMELOT with new ideals, bringing peace to a troubled land. With the addition of the dashing Sir Lancelot to the Knights of the Round Table, one of the most fabled love triangles of all time ensues. Mordred, King Arthur’s illegitimate son, catches on and sees a kingdom in chaos and attempts to destroy all that is CAMELOT!

The original 1960 production ran on Broadway for 873 performances and spawned several revivals, foreign productions and the 1967 film. The original cast album was America’s top-selling LP for 60 weeks.

The CAMELOT tour for North America is produced by Phoenix Entertainment by special arrangement with Tams -Witmark Music Library, Inc. or

For more information, visit


Located on the campus of Boise State University, the 2,037-seat Velma V. Morrison Center for the Performing Arts is Idaho’s premier performing arts center. Nestled on the banks of the Boise River, with a panoramic view of the city, parks and foothills, the Center’s 10-story stage house is a recognizable fixture of the Capitol’s picturesque skyline. The realization of a life-long dream of Harry W. Morrison, and championed by his widow, Velma, the Center opened its doors on April 7, 1984. Today the Center is recognized as a major destination for arts and culture, annually hosting hundreds of live entertainment and arts education offerings that serve to enrich the lives of patrons of all ages. As a Boise State affiliate, the Center is a non-profit organization supported by ticket sales, facility rentals, donations and the generous support of the Morrison Center Endowment Foundation, Inc. For more information on our programs, or to find out how you can play an active role in our ongoing success as a donor or volunteer, please visit us at: 

Mary Englebreit’s Nutcracker is a Sweet Delight to Read

 The Nutcracker is one of the world’s favorite holiday stories, and Mary Engelbreit offers her vision of that joyful night, creating a picture book filled with movement and vibrant detail that even the youngest child will enjoy.–From the Back Cover
In Mary Engelbreit’s Nutcracker, Marie, the NutcraNutcrackercker Prince, and the Sugar Plum Fairy will enchant readers in this freshly imagined holiday classic by New York Times bestseller Mary Engelbreit, now in paper-over-board format for the first time. On Christmas Eve, Marie receives a wooden nutcracker from her beloved uncle. Then something magical happens . . . her toy nutcracker transforms into a handsome prince and whisks Marie off to the fantastical Toyland on a winter adventure she’ll never forget. Mary Engelbreit’s delightful interpretation of the timeless Christmas story makes this Nutcracker truly beautiful to behold
YPP Reviewer Quinn writes:
Mary Engelbreit’s Nutcracker is a keeper.  Mary’s Nutcracker is filled with her well-known and  beautifully drawn, detailed pictures.   I love the details Mary puts into her pictures, from the beautiful patterns on the clothing, furniture, and wallpaper, to the variety of things to be seen in each picture.   The best part of her pictures is that no one pattern or piece of the picture overwhelms the others; which makes it a pleasure to stop and examine each picture.  Each picture tells a story by itself, while also contributing to the overall story.   I enjoyed the flow of the story in this book as well with just the right amount told on each page.  Mary tells the story in a way that children will understand and appreciate.  I believe this story will appeal not only to children, but to people of all ages.

Make a Date to Read: When Otis Courted Mama

“This excellent take on modern, blended families melds a believable, resonant story arc and winsome, child-appealing illustrations.”—Kirkus, starred review
    OtisIn When Otis Courted Mama, apart from sticker burrs and sand fleas, Cardell’s life is mostly wonderful. He knows he’s loved through and through by his perfectly good mama and his perfectly good daddy. They live in different parts of the desert, but that’s okay—Cardell is mostly used to it.
Then Otis comes calling, and Cardell feels a grrr form in his throat. Otis can’t make jalapeño flapjacks or play Zig-the-Zag anything like Cardell’s daddy. And so Cardell waits for Mama to say “Adiós, Otis.” But what will happen if she doesn’t?
When Otis Courted Mama  is a fun little story about a little cayote who feels threatened when Otis comes courting his mama….and Mama isn’t saying”Adiós, Otis”. In this bright and lovely book, children can learn along with Cardell  that new people in our lives can be a good thing.  — Quinn, YPP Reviewer
Kathi Appelt is the author of many books for children and young adults, including When Otis Courted Mama, illustrated by Jill McElmurry; Oh My Baby, Little One, illustrated by Jane Dyer; and the story collection Kissing Tennessee. Her novel The Underneath was a Newbery Honor book and a National Book Award finalist. She lives in Texas.

Positive: One Girl’s Triumph Over HIV and Bullying

”This realistic and honest biography of a young woman living with HIV will draw readers in, shedding light on this difficult topic . . . Through short chapters, teens will get a sense of the girl’s life, including her happy childhood, the strong bond between her and hePositiver mother, and the difficulties she faced, as well as gain accessible information on HIV/AIDS.” –Library Journal

In Positive A Memoir by Paige Rawl  an astonishing memoir for the untold number of children whose lives have been touched by bullying. Positive is a must-read for teens, their parents, educators, and administrators—a brave, visceral work that will save lives and resonate deeply.

Paige Rawl has been HIV positive since birth, but growing up, she never felt like her illness defined her. On an unremarkable day in middle school, she disclosed to a friend her HIV-positive status—and within hours the bullying began. From that moment forward, every day was like walking through a minefield. Paige was never sure when or from where the next text, taunt, or hateful message would come. Then one night, desperate for escape, fifteen-year-old Paige found herself in her bathroom staring at a bottle of sleeping pills.

That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning. Paige’s memoir calls for readers to choose action over complacency, compassion over cruelty—and above all, to be Positive.

Includes twenty-five photos from Paige’s personal collection throughout.

Supports the Common Core State Standards


YPP reviewer Quinn wrote:

Positive is a well-written account of the painful experiences of a young girl who is bullied because she was born HIV positive.  It is saddening to discover the amount of ignorance and prejudice that still exists today.  The people who should have educated themselves and acted to support Paige and influence her fellow students, did nothing and as a result the bullying that was allowed to persist in her school was heart-breaking and cruel.  Positive is a thought-provoking and compelling tale  truly worthwhile reading.

Jump into fun with Sky Jumpers The Forbidden Flats

The town of White Rock has always lived in fear of the deadly gas known as “Bomb’s Breath,” but now it’s up to Hope to find the one thing that may stop the danger for good. SLJ said of the first book, “[readers] not ready for the violence of ‘The Hunger Games’ will enjoy the book’s adrenaline-rushed daredevil adventures.” – School Library Journal   Sky Jumpers
Escape one danger. Jump into another. . . . In Sky Jumpers The Forbidden Flats (book 2)  by Peggy Eddleman, twelve-year-old Hope has always felt a little different from everyone else who lives in White Rock. She tries hard, but she doesn’t always think before she acts. She takes big risks. Sometimes her risks pay off, but sometimes they fail. Sometimes she fails. Hope knows that the most dangerous thing about living in White Rock is that it’s so close to the deadly Bomb’s Breath—the invisible, fifteen-foot-thick band of compressed air that’s hovered over the earth since the Green Bombs of World War III.
The citizens of White Rock live in fear of the Bomb’s Breath. Only Hope has figured out a way to go through it—and lived to tell the tale.But when a massive tremor rips across the earth, the Bomb’s Breath begins to lower over White Rock. It’s up to Hope and her friends Brock and Aaren to make the dangerous journey far from home, across the bandit-ridden Forbidden Flats to the wilds of the Rocky Mountains, and obtain the one thing that may be able to stop it—before the Bomb’s Breath sinks too far and destroys them all. This time, Hope can’t fail.
YPP reviewer Quinn wrote:
In this second book by Peggy Eddleman, the main character, Hope, finds her community once again in danger and sets out with others to find the solution in saving them.  I enjoyed the journey with the characters in the world woven for them by the author.  My daughter and I recommend checking out the Sky Jumper books if you are looking for a good story.

OLIVIA and the Ice Show: A Lift-the-Flap Story (Olivia TV Tie-in)

 cvr9781442420830_9781442420830_lgJoin Olivia as she practices for an ice skating spectacular in this charming storybook with flaps.

Cinderella on Ice is coming to Olivia’s town, and she can’t wait to be the lucky girl chosen to skate side by side with the star of the show, Sonya Spencer. But first, Olivia needs to practice. Lift-the-flaps of OLIVIA and the Ice Show: A Lift-the-Flap Story (Olivia TV Tie-in) to see Olivia transform into a show skater!

The Olivia book series was inspired by Ian Falconer’s niece, Olivia. “I was just entranced by her,” he stated. “I wanted to make a little present for her, so I started working on the Olivia book.” Although the inspiration for the Olivia series originally came from the author’s niece, Falconer drew his ideas for the design of the pig from a different Olivia; Olivia Babcock. When first asked about the source of this illustratory inspiration at the “Kidz book buzz”

Children’s Book Tour in Wisconsin, Falconer was quoted as saying: “As all artists, I find it easier to create illustrations when I base them on my surrounding reality, rather than to draw something pulled fully out of the imagination. I revised the design for Olivia the Pig for several weeks until I incidentally met a girl on whom I could base the design with minimal alterations even necessary. The fact that her name was also Olivia was purely coincidental” Falconer laughed.

The series is different from many children’s picture books because of its stark minimalism. Inspired by the style of Dr. Seuss, Falconer chose to draw uncluttered images in black and white with the occasional splash of red, along with the insertion of real artwork by famous artists-Degas and Pollock, for example. Each book in the series explores the use of another signature color in addition to the original black, white and red images.

Tina Gall is an award-winning author who has worked in children’s publishing for twenty years. She has written more than sixty children’s books and currently resides in Throggs Neck, New York.

Uncle Si the Christmas Elf Work Hard, Nap Hard

Duck the halls! This boouncle-si-the-christmas-elf-9781481418218_lgk and doll set starring Uncle Si of Duck Dynasty® captures the true message of Christmas and makes for a perfect present—to either give or receive!

In Uncle Si the Christmas Elf Work Hard, Nap Hard, Uncle Si plays the part of an elf in order to help Santa Claus to save one little boy’s Christmas. This humorous, heartwarming picture book is told in verse that’s true to Uncle Si’s unique way of spinning a tale. And kids will love displaying their doll of Uncle Si, the Christmas elf—who is dressed in his own special elf costume!

Si Robertson, one of the stars of A&E®’s Duck Dynasty®, has worked and hunted for Duck Commander since retiring from the United States Army in 1993. When he’s not napping, Si spends his time overseeing the quality of the reeds that are made for the Duck Commander calls and working with his brother Phil to prepare for the next duck season. Si lives in West Monroe, Louisiana, with his wife, Christine.
Just got our Si Elf and looking foward to making this a fun part of our family Christmas tradition. Thank you Si for making this book and thank you for taking the stand to share the true reason for the season! We love it!
As soon as I saw this I knew I had to have it. My granddaughter loves her Elf On The Shelf and we have such fun with it from Thanksgiving until after Christmas that I know I will be able to create all kind of Elf magic using the Uncle Si Elf along with her beloved Sweetie Pie!Imagination is a wonderful thing.
This is hysterical. We are an avid “Elf on the Shelf” House so Uncle Si was a natural. I took the book with me the afternoon it came, so I could read it while waiting for the dentist. My dentist had to order his set right then and there. Well worth it.

“Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.”

–Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

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