Contributed by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature
“William Joyce: A Guardian of Childhood” will be the summer exhibition at the NCCIL and will showcase 80 pieces of original artwork, including 35 new pieces from Joyce’s most recent books. Joyce is the creative partner, along with Brandon Oldenburg, of Moonbot Studios in Shreveport, La.
Joyce has a long history with Abilene. In December 1993, then-Mayor Gary McCaleb was reading William Joyce’s book “Santa Calls” to a group of elementary school children. Responding to the children’s favorable reaction to the book, McCaleb sought out William Joyce. When the two met in the spring of 1994, the topic of discussion was the opportunity to create a whole experience that would bring together the best of the worlds of libraries, museums, art and education for children and their families. From this idea, the NCCIL was born and Joyce continues to be an important ambassador for the museum.
A true luminary and creative spirit, Joyce has put his personal stamp on all types of children’s media. He wrote his first book in the fourth grade, and has since produced many award-winning, best-selling classics that are loved by both children and adults. From “Santa Calls” to “Rolie Polie Olie,” from “Dinosaur Bob” to “Bently & Egg,” Joyce has achieved world-wide recognition as an author, illustrator and pioneer in the digital and animation industry. In the past two years, he has also written seven hard copy children’s books, including “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” and “The Guardians of Childhood” book series.
Hailed by Newsweek as one of the Top 100 people to watch in the new millennium, Joyce’s distinct and striking drawings and imaginative story telling depict a world full of whimsy, fun and adventure. In 2012, he won an Academy Award for “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore,” an animated short film about the curative powers of story. He has lent his creative expertise to the feature film world by creating conceptual characters for “Toy Story” and “A Bug’s Life.” Joyce’s second television series, “George Shrinks,” aired daily on PBS stations across the country. He was also the producer and production designer for the acclaimed animated film “Robots” and was the executive producer of the Disney film “Meet the Robinsons,” which is based on his picture book, “A Day with Wilbur Robinson.” And, he has entered the world of interactive digital media with the app “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore” to accompany his short film.
Joyce will be on hand June 12-14 for several events and book signings during the Children’s Art & Literacy Festival. For details, contact the NCCIL at 325-673-4586 or check our website www.nccil.org. The “William Joyce: A Guardian of Childhood” exhibition will be on display from June 12 to Sept. 28. The NCCIL is open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday with family art activities on Saturdays from 1-4 p.m. Admission to the museum and family art is always free.