Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Smurfs and Sherlock Holmes: An Interview with Jason Lethcoe

With summer break now in full swing, you can gurantee that we will be spending lazy days reading and hot days in the comfort of a cool air-conditioned movie theater! I recently talked with Jason Lethcoe, who is an animator and author. Jason has worked with Disney, Sony, Warner Brothers, and Dreamworks!  His work can be seen in films like The Tigger Movie, Pagemaster, and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. His latest film, The Smurfs is being released on July 29th and stars Neil Patrick Harris.

Jason says that it was a nice throwback to work on the Smurf's movie, because he grew up with it on TV and now as a dad, will be able to share The Smurfs with his kids.  I know exactly what he means! I was addicted to that cartoon!

Jason has also penned several children's books and we talked about his latest project, "No Place Like Holmes." He says on a trip to London, he visited Sherlock Holmes' famous address, 221B Bakerstreet. It got him wondering where 221"A" was...so he created a character who he thought would live there and a story to go with it. It turns out that another detective lives there, but one who is not as good as Sherlock Holmes. He has a nephew that is a really good detective, however, who comes to live with him and the story picks up from there.

The book is geared toward 9 to 12-year-olds, but Lethcoe thinks the book could really be for anyone. At this point, I am still reading chapter books to Jonathan, because he is just learning to read, so I can appreciate books that I find engaging too. And I love it when they engage my little guy's mind! Jason thinks that mystery books are good for doing just that, because it gives kids something to focus on, sort of like a puzzle, but are also fun.

Lethcoe suggests that parents find a subject matter that kids are interested in to get them to pick up books this summer. He says he knows he "wouldn't have loved reading" if he was forced to "read things that I didn't like already, or subject matters that I wasn't interested in." Jason also points out that some boys get more into "science" books. He says his son likes to read thinks about the weather, so he tries to find as many weather books that he can for him to read. I know that I try really hard to instill a love of reading in my boys and I think Jonathan would really like Lethcoe's current series. You can find "No Place Like Holmes" on his website.

*I did NOT recieve a copy of the book in exchange for this post, nor any free movie tickets.

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