Children all over the world have been lulled to sleep or giggled along to Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd’s most famed picture books Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny.
On Sunday, Nov. 27 at 3 p.m., Vernon and area preschoolers will be awakened to Mermaid Theatre’s stage adaptations of these two children’s classics.
Known in Vernon for their recent performance of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Mermaid uses puppets to bring well-known stories to life. The double bill is part of the Vernon Performing Arts Centre society’s First Stages series, designed for ages two and up.
“Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny will gently introduce young children to theatre,” said Brian van Wensem, audience development coordinator with the Performing Arts Centre. “Of course, children and guardians of all ages are invited to share in the magic of these beloved tales.”
Mermaid’s staged adaptation of Wise Brown and Hurd’s classics will bring a new sense of appreciation to stories that have delighted several generations.
Goodnight Moon is a celebration of familiar nighttime rituals, while The Runaway Bunny’s pretend tale of leaving home evokes reassuring responses from his loving mum.
“With endearing rabbit characters, and the soothing rhythms of bunny banter and dream-like imagery, both stories infuse young readers with a reassuring sense of security,” said van Wensem.
Based in Nova Scotia, Mermaid Theatre has earned international acclaim for its unique interpretations of the works of Eric Carle (The Very Hungry Caterpillar), Leo Lionni (Swimmy, Frederick & Inch by Inch) and Sam McBratney (Guess How Much I Love You).
“These widely-travelled productions incorporate innovative puppetry, striking scenic effects, and evocative original music to provide very young audiences with an effortless introduction to the performing arts and the excitement of reading,” said van Wensem.
Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny feature these same elements.
Few writers have been as attuned to the concerns and emotions of childhood as Wise Brown (1910–1952). A former teacher, she believed that very young children could be fascinated by the simple pleasures of the world around them.
Few had previously attempted to write specifically for children ages two to five, and Brown created some of the most enduring and beloved children’s books of all time as well as developed the concept of the first durable board book.
Hurd (1908–1988) graduated from Yale University and studied painting in Paris in the 1930s with Fernand Léger and others. His engaging semi-abstract style became world famous with the publications of The Runaway Bunny in 1942 and Goodnight Moon in 1947. These collaborations with Wise Brown became two of the 20th century’s best-known children’s books.
Tickets are $18 for all seats. Call the Ticket Seller at 250-549-7469 or visit ticketseller.ca .