Several Santa Rita students participated in the Kranky Kids after-school program last spring, collaborating on a videotaped comical improvisation of "An Undone Fairy Tale" (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishers, 2005) by Ian Lendler.
Through the Kranky Kids program, centered on radio, theater and video, the students re-created the story of a traditional fairy tale turned loopy as the story's narrator/creator, Ned, struggles to keep up with the readers. Because Ned can't keep up as the page turns, knights are wearing tutus, the king's crown is a donut and gleeful absurdity ensues.
The students posted their video on the Kranky Kids Web site and someone informed Lendler, who lives in San Francisco.
Not only was the author pleasantly surprised, he said he admired the students' creativity and offered to come to Santa Rita to discuss creative writing with the children, said Lishka DeVoss, creator of Kranky Kids.
Lendler talked with the Santa Rita students about his book Oct. 22, sharing what inspired him to write it. He explained how surrealism allows him to take ordinary things like parents and turn them into silly things like monkeys.
"(Surrealism) doesn't just work for fairy tales, you can do it for other things, too," he said. "How could you change the world to make it a more surreal place?"
The illustrated pages were projected as Lendler read his book. After the reading, the student video was shown.
For more information or to view the story improvisation, visit www.krankykids.com.