Author(s): Mark Twain; Phillip Stead; Erin Stead (ILT)
A never-before-published, previously unfinished Mark Twain children's story is brought to life by Caldecott Medal winners Philip Stead and Erin Stead. a In a hotel in Paris one evening in 1879, Mark Twain sat with his young daughters, who begged their father for a story. After the girls chose a picture from a magazine to get started, Twain began telling them the tale of Johnny, a poor boy in possession of some magical seeds. Later, Twain would jot down some rough notes about the story, but the tale was left unfinished . . . until now. a Plucked from the Mark Twain archive at the University of California at Berkeley, Twain's notes now form the foundation of a fairy tale picked up over a century later. With only Twain's fragmentary script and a story that stops partway as his guide, author Philip Stead has written a tale that imagines what might have been if Twain had fully realized this work- a Johnny, forlorn and alone except for his pet chicken, meets a kind woman who gives him seeds that change his fortune, allowing him to speak with animals and sending him on a quest to rescue a stolen prince. In the face of a bullying tyrant king, Johnny and his animal friends come to understand thatagenerosity, empathy, and quiet courage are gifts more precious in this world than power and gold. a Illuminated by Erin Stead's graceful, humorous, and achingly poignant artwork, this is a story that reaches through time and brings us a new book from America's most legendary writer, envisioned by two of today's most important names in children's literature.
Ã¢ "Completing a story penned by arguably America's greatest author is no easy feat, but the Caldecott-winning author-illustrator (and husband-wife) team proves more than equal to the task. . . . A pensive and whimsical work that Twain would applaud."--Kirkus, starred review Ã¢ "a cast of eccentric characters, celestially fine writing, and a crusade against pomp that doesn't sacrifice humor."--Publishers Weekly, starred review Ã¢ "Samuel Langhorne Clemens himself would be proud."--Booklist, starred reviewÃ¢ "The combination of Twain's (often sarcastic) humor and "lessons of life," a touch of allegory, and Stead's own storytelling skills result in an awesome piece of fantasy."--School Library Journal, starred review"bound to become a reading staple for all ages."--RealSimple.com
MARK TWAIN (1835-1910), considered one of the greatest writers in American literature, was born Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri. As a young child, he moved with his family to Hannibal, Missouri, on the banks of the Mississippi River, a setting that inspired his two best-known novels,aThe Adventures of Tom SawyeraandaThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.aTwain and his wife, Olivia Langdon Clemens, had four children-a son, Langdon, who died as an infant, and three daughters, Susy, Clara, and Jean.aPHILIP STEAD is the author of the Caldecott Medal-winning bookaA Sick Day for Amos McGee. With his wife, illustrator Erin Stead, he also created the acclaimedaBear Has a Story to TellaandaLenny & Lucy.aPhilip has also written and illustrated his own books, includingaHello, My Name Is Ruby; Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat;aandaA Home for Bird.aPhilip and Erin live in northern Michigan. Visit Philip online at philipstead.com.aERIN STEAD is the illustrator of seven picture books, including the Caldecott Medal-winningaA Sick Day for Amos McGee.aAnd Then It's Springawas named a 2012aBoston Globe-Horn BookaHonor Book and a Best Children's Book of 2012 byaKirkusaandaPublishers Weekly, andaBear Has a Story to Tellawas named a Best Children's Book of 2012 byaKirkus.aErin's 2016 bookaThe Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, written by Michelle Cuevas, was named a best book of the year byaTime,aPeople Magazine, theaBoston Globe, andaSchool Library Journal. She lives in northern Michigan with her husband, author/illustrator Philip Stead. Visit Erin online at erinstead.com.