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The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain & Philip C. Stead
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The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine

$11.20 USD

Length 1 hours 10 minutes
Language English
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A never-before-published, previously unfinished Mark Twain children’s story is brought to life by Caldecott Medal winners Philip Stead and Erin Stead.
 
In a hotel in Paris one evening in the 1879, Mark Twain sat with his young daughters, who begged their father for a story. Choosing 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, who finds himself on a quest to rescue a stolen prince. Later, Twain would jot down some rough notes about the story, but the tale was left unfinished . . . until now.
 
Plucked from the Mark Twain archives at the University of California, 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. This is a story that reaches through time and brings us the debut children’s book of America’s most legendary writer, envisioned by one of today’s most important names in children’s literature.
 
Read by Keegan-Michael Key and Philip Stead, with Mark Bramhall as the voice of Mark Twain, Julia Whelan as Susy Clemens, and an Editor’s Note read by Frances Gilbert.

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, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain and his wife, Olivia Langdon Clemens, had four children—a son, Langdon, who died as an infant, and three daughters, Susy, Clara, and Jean.
 
PHILIP STEAD is the author of the Caldecott Medal–winning book A Sick Day for Amos McGee. With his wife, illustrator Erin Stead, he also created the acclaimed Bear Has a Story to Tell and Lenny & Lucy. Philip has also written and illustrated his own books, including Hello, My Name Is Ruby; Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat; and A Home for Bird. Philip and Erin live in northern Michigan. Visit Philip online at philipstead.com.

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Reviews

School Library Journal Best Book of 2017

A Bank Street College of Education 2018 Best Children's Book of the Year

"will capture the imaginations of readers of all ages"—USA Today, ★ ★ ★ ★ (out of four stars) 

★ "Samuel Langhorne Clemens himself would be proud."—Booklist, starred review

★ "a cast of eccentric characters, celestially fine writing, and a crusade against pomp that doesn't sacrifice humor."—Publishers Weeklystarred review

★ "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."—Kirkusstarred review

"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

★ "Beautifully understated and nuanced illustrations by Erin Stead add the finishing flourishes to this remarkable work."—Shelf Awareness, starred review

“drawn with a graceful crosshatched intelligence that seems close to the best of Wyeth.”—Adam Gopnik, The New York Times

"Twain and the two Steads have created what could become a read-aloud classic, perfect for families to enjoy together."—The Horn Book

"artful and meta and elegant”—The Wall Street Journal

"should inspire readers young and old to seek further adventures with Twain."The Washington Post

"Johnny is destined to become as much a part of Twain lore as Tom, Huck, Jim and The Mysterious Stranger."—Hartford Courant

"bound to become a reading staple for all ages."—RealSimple.com

"Philip Stead brilliantly captures Twain's style, his homespun humor, his wordplay, his biting wit, his sympathy for the powerless and his disdain for the mighty."—The Buffalo News Expand reviews