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Philip and Erin Stead: The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine

Literati is thrilled to welcome back Phil & Erin Stead for the launch of their new book The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine!

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About The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine:
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 1879, Mark Twain sat with his young daughters, who begged their father for a story. Twain began telling them the tale of Johnny, a poor boy in possession of some magical seeds. Later, Twain would jot down some rough notes about the story, but the tale was left unfinished…until now.

Plucked from the Mark Twain archive at the University of California at 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.

Johnny, forlorn and alone except for his pet chicken, meets a kind woman who gives him seeds that change his fortune, allowing him to speak with animals and sending him on a quest to rescue a stolen prince. In the face of a bullying tyrant king, Johnny and his animal friends come to understand that generosity, empathy, and quiet courage are gifts more precious in this world than power and gold.

Illuminated by Erin Stead’s graceful, humorous, and achingly poignant artwork, this is a story that reaches through time and brings us a new book from America’s most legendary writer, envisioned by two of today’s most important names in children’s literature.

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the acclaimed Bear Has a Story to TellLenny & Lucy, and The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, based on a previously-unpublished children’s story by Mark Twain. 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.

ERIN STEAD is the illustrator of eight picture books, including the Caldecott Medal–winning A Sick Day for Amos McGee; The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, illustrated by Philip Stead and based on a previously-unpublished children’s story by Mark Twain; And Then It’s Spring, a 2012 Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book and a Best Children’s Book of 2012 by Kirkus and Publishers WeeklyBear Has a Story to Tell, a Best Children’s Book of 2012 by Kirkus; and The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, named a best book of the year by TimePeople Magazine, the Boston Globe, and School Library Journal. She lives in northern Michigan with her husband, author/illustrator Philip Stead. 

Event date: 
Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
124 E. Washington St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
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The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9780553523225
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday Books for Young Readers - September 26th, 2017