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Imagination and Innovation: The Story of Weston Woods Hardcover – December 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

This is a fascinating look at Weston Woods and its creator, Morton Schindel. Rich with full-color archival photographs, detailed production notes, animation cels, and first-person accounts, the book gives readers a personal, behind-the-scenes look at the man and the studio that has animated most of the great works of children's literature from the mid-20th century to the present. As Maurice Sendak writes in the introduction, "It was nirvana in Weston Woods—there was such great freedom. Looking back on it, you can hardly believe it existed." Luckily for us, it did. Buy this book for your library, yourself, and your students. It's sentimental, inspirational, and informational.—Renee McGrath, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY
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From Booklist

Imagination and Innovation is the perfect title for the Weston Woods story, because the company was built on just that. Mort Schindel, the heart and founder of Weston Woods, came from a privileged background in the 1920s. Destined for a career in economics, Schindel was sidelined with tuberculosis. While Schindel was recuperating, his doctor suggested that he pursue a career in art, which led him to film and a whole new world of children’s media. Cech, a writer, critic, and teacher of children’s literature, has the background to write Weston Woods’ story, and he fills the narrative with portraits of authors, artists, and Schindel himself. The picture books that have been filmed with the studio’s iconographic technique (a process by which the cameras create a sense of movement by panning and highlighting details in the book’s original illustrations) are some of the most recognized, including titles such as Make Way for Ducklings and The Man Who Walked between Towers. Cech has included animation cells, archival photographs, storyboards, advertisements, and pictures of mementos of the films as well as a chronology of the company and a filmography. Throughout his career, Schindel and Weston Woods have changed with the times, moving from film to filmstrips to videos to DVDs, and have expanded their business to include a mobile cinema, international productions, and a museum to house all of their artifacts, but throughout it all, they have stuck to their mission of quality and integrity. Cech’s book is a fine tribute to both the company and its founder and will be popular with anyone with a fondness for film or children’s literature. --Candace Smith
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; 1 edition (December 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545089220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545089227
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 10.2 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,209,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sammy Aylward on April 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have had the pleasure of being taught by Dr. Cech, and I must say that the man has changed my life for the better in every way possible. His presence is not only captivating, but the care and time he puts into each of his students shows how much he truly cares about his life's work, educating future writers of America. The amount of time, effort, and love that Dr. Cech puts into teaching, is displayed here in his story of Weston Woods. I had the pleasure of being in Dr. Cech's class almost every semester for the past four years, and because of this I had the pleasure of watching his story of Weston Woods unfold. I encourage all readers, young and old to immerse yourself in Cech's Imagination and Innovation: The Story of Weston Woods and fall in love with his writing, the way that I feel in love with his teaching years ago. I owe my English degree to this man, and I believe his book will inspire you to fall in love with English and the history of this studio as well.
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By Oscar Solis on April 23, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Inspirational and imaginative. It makes a person want to start animating.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By romanbruni on December 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
very well illustrated book, nice storytelling of the storical evolve of Weston Woods animation center.
a bit focused into Schindel creator. very sparse knowledge teaching of animation essentials,
the author is not an animator. included storyboard for Sendak masterpiece book adaptation
into animation is a highlight. directed to librarians and teacher minded,
reinforcing the 'book adapter' mentality of weston woods production.
brilliant exposition of comercial processes and literary qualities of storytelling for children
within educational context. also an important review of edutainment industry evolution in USA
since 1940 to 2008. i really liked the book and the insights were enlightining.
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