The Nightmare Before Christmas Is Getting A Sequel (In Book Form)

Nightmare Book Sequel
(Disney)

There are Christmas movies and there are Halloween movies and they rarely intersect. There are a few Christmas horror flicks (Gremlins, Krampus), and a few horrifying Christmas flicks (Christmas with the Kranks), but they don’t overlap all that often.

Perhaps the best example is The Nightmare Before Christmas, the Henry Selick-directed (and Tim Burton produced) stop-motion musical about Jack Skellington and Halloween Town.

I’m not even going to get into whether or not it’s a Christmas movie or a Halloween movie or what; we can have that debate when the sequel comes out! In book form.

That’s right, a sequel to the beloved musical was just announced, in the form of a young adult novel to be written by Shea Ernshaw. It will pick up after the first movie. Jack and Sally are now married, and Sally gets Halloween Town in hot water when she accidentally releases a villain.

“This new book, written from the point of view of Sally, takes place shortly after the movie ends. It’s the yet-to-be-told love story of Sally and Jack. But it’s also a coming-of-age story for Sally, as we see her navigate her new royal title as the Pumpkin Queen of Halloween Town[. It] will hopefully give fans a long-awaited second dose of Sally, Jack, and all the familiar residents of Halloween Town, while introducing a new cast of grim, strange characters, that I hope readers will love.”

Ernshaw laid out the themes of the story in a Q&A on io9, explaining that he “really wanted to explore Sally’s identity, and better understand not only who she is now that she’s fallen in love with Jack and taken on the role of the Pumpkin Queen, but also understand how her past has affected her present desires, doubts, and dreams.”

Sounds like there’s a lot to work with, and perhaps a lot to make songs out of someday, if Hollywood decides to get involved and make another movie out of this universe. Hopefully, if they do, they bring back the same creative team that makes the first movie so beloved.

George Orwell’s 1984 Is Getting a TV Adaptation

1984 TV Series

Thanks to our political climate, people often turn to pop culture to make sense of what’s going on in the world. Things aren’t exactly peachy these days, and thus various dystopian movies, TV shows, and books are being referenced in relation to the pandemic and our political circumstances.

As social media continues to assert its dominance, both in driving conversations and shutting down particular voices, one particular work has been getting more and more play, and that’s George Orwell’s classic tale of totalitarianism, conformity, and disinformation: 1984.

It’s a great book, in which many parallels can be found with today’s climate, regardless of your own political persuasion, but unlike other dystopian works like Brave New World or Fahrenheit 451, it hasn’t gotten a pop culture makeover in quite a while (unless you’re a theatergoer). Until now.

1984 is getting a TV adaptation, but instead of adapting straight from the novel, the planned five-part miniseries will work off of the 2013 stage play from Robert Icke and Duncan Macmillan.

“As the world grapples with democracy and government in our divided age of surveillance, ‘fake news’ and truth decay, the urgency of Orwell’s masterpiece is undeniable,” the pair said in a statement (via Deadline) “The small screen feels like a natural home for his portrait of a society in which people trust their screens more than the world outside their windows.”

Apparently, that 2013 staged version has a bit of a reputation for its intense and bloody torture sequences (the book employed a very literal ‘rat in a cage,’ shouts to Billy Corgan), which caused some audience members to recoil – and made actress Jennifer Lawrence throw up during her visit to see Olivia Wilde in the Broadway production.

Whether the TV show will adhere to those levels of intensity is yet to be seen, but there’s no denying the show’s modern-day relevance, even if most of the people claiming we’re currently living under Big Brother’s watch haven’t actually read it.

Is HBO Max is Developing a Live-Action Harry Potter Series?

Harry Potter
(Warner Bros)

It was a big day for wizardry, as The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that HBO Max is developing a live-action Harry Potter series. The beloved book franchise has spawned 10 blockbuster movies appeared headed for the streaming world for a series set in the Harry Potter world.

We’re in a full-fledged era of streaming wars, as each service tries to one-up the competition and dethrone Netflix. NBC moved The Office to Peacock, Disney+ is releasing a million Marvel and Star Wars shows, and HBO Max is getting all Warner Bros movies the same day they are released in theaters. And now, HBO Max is working to add some magic to their offerings.

Rumors say the project is in the very early stages and that executives are deep in conversations with several different writers exploring TV possibilities, as the project is a high priority item for HBO Max. Yet, when The Wrap contacted HBO and Warner they got this response:

“There are no ‘Harry Potter’ series in development at the studio or on the streaming platform.”

But that may be because they haven’t committed to one of the pitches they’ve been soliciting.

Or maybe it’s all a bunch of Hogwarts hogwash!

There would still be plenty of speed bumps for a future series, including a complicated rights deal with NBC that doesn’t expire for several years. Another wrinkle is the involvement of author J.K. Rowling, who still has a say in any spin-off productions. Still, with the highly popular IP, and the clear efforts from the streamer to find an angle to return the Harry Potter world, it looks like only a matter of time before wizards will become cool again.

Another Game of Thrones Prequel Series May Be Coming To HBO

Tales of Dunk and Egg
(Jet City Comics/Bantam)

Game of Thrones fans are still waiting for George R.R. Martin to finish the last two books in the Song of Ice and Fire saga, and without the mega-popular HBO series to hold them over (even the bad seasons), they must be going crazy. But we have some good news.

Not only is HBO moving full speed ahead with the House of Dragons prequel series, which focuses on the Targaryen dynasty centuries before Daenerys arrived on the scene (the show has been adding to the cast and plans to start filming soon), now there is news of another prequel series in development.

According to Variety this series, still in the very early stages, will be based on George R.R. Martin‘s series of novellas, Tales of Dunk and Egg, which takes place a mere 90 years before the first HBO show that lit the world, and the ice zombies, on fire.

There have been three novellas in the “Tales of Dunk and Egg” series so far: “The Hedge Knight” in 1998, “The Sworn Sword” in 2003, and “The Mystery Knight” in 2010. They were collected and published together as “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” in 2015.

The series follows the misadventures of Ser Duncan the Tall (aka Dunk), and a young Aegon V Targaryen (Egg), two figures who end up becoming very important to Westeros. Dunk is the eventual Lord Commander of the Kingsguard, and Aegon eventually ascends to the throne as the future king of Westeros.

Whether this series actually makes it all the way to our TV screen is yet to be seen, but it’s clear the HBO wants to stay in the Game of Thrones business.

Blind 7-Yr-Old Has Heartwarming Reaction To Receiving Harry Potter in Braille

Blind 7-year-old gets braille Harry Potter
(Instagram/katescookieskc)

Reading is one of the purest, healthiest forms of escapism in existence. Opening a book can take you anywhere, on other-worldly adventures in places that don’t even exist. Given that none of us can do a whole lot of real-life exploring these days, books are even more valuable as tools to take a little vacation from reality.

Emrie, a 7-year-old from Missouri, learned to read braille at just four years old. Three years later, she’s reading at a level years ahead of many of her peers. Emrie fell in love with the Harry Potter series after reading the first few aloud with her dad. Once they reached the fourth book in the series, Emrie wanted to finish the final books on her own.

Unfortunately, the total cost of the series in braille would have been nearly $2,000, a staggering price to pay for a series that would cost a fraction of the price in regular print. Desperate to make Emrie’s Christmas wish come true, the family set up a GoFundMe. In just 24 hours, the family was floored by the generosity of strangers.

The GoFundMe page stated, “Thank you all so much! We have exceeded all goals and will be able to provide, not only Emrie will a full set, but we also raised enough to donate FIVE full Harry Potter braille series to local libraries and schools! I am speechless at the kindness we have received over the last 24 hours and I can’t thank each and everyone of you enough for contributing! Happy Holidays!”

In one of the most magical Christmas moments we’ve seen this year, Emrie’s aunt shared a video of the 7-year-old opening her gift. As soon as Emrie realizes the enormous book she’s holding is a braille Harry Potter, her excitement is tangible and her enthusiasm is contagious.

Watch the full video below, and unless you’re The Grinch himself, Emrie’s unbridled joy will warm your heart.

 

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A post shared by Katelyn (@katescookieskc)

“Goodnight Scranton” Puts Dunder-Mifflin Twist on Classic Children’s Book

Goodnight Scranton
(Amazon)

There are a lot of classic children’s books, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve read them all to your kids. It can get pretty old, even if you enjoy Dr. Seuss’s tongue-twisters and repeatedly saying the word “llama.”

Every once in a while, a book comes along that parents can enjoy too, and we recently caught wind of a new one that spoofs the old standby “Goodnight Moon” by putting a Dunder-Mifflin twist on it.

It’s called “Goodnight Scranton” and instead of yarn and porridge, it’s got Michael Scott‘s infamous George Foreman grill, and the sentimental teapot Jim gifted to Pam during the classic Christmas episode.

We spoke to Mark Cloud, the man behind the book, and asked him what inspired him.

“We are huge fans of The Office, obviously. Our first book about The Office, called ‘Fun At The Office!’ was pretty popular, so we thought why not just one more homage to the best show ever?”

Despite the fact that it’s only been off the air for a few years now, and can be found in syndication and on Netflix (and soon Peacock), Mark thinks fans are nostalgic for the show and nostalgic for the classic book from their childhood.

“We thought it would be the perfect combination for a parody,” he told us. “We filled the book with as many (G-rated) references as possible, so it includes Michael’s George Foreman Grill, Schrute Farms, Jim’s teapot for Pam, and we even created books for the bookshelf like ‘Somehow I Manage’ by Michael Scott and a book by Creed Bratton called ‘Cartwheels R Fun!’ There’s even a little nod to Japan’s number one heart surgeon Hidetoshi Hasagawa.”

A parent himself, Mark finds new ways to relate to The Office, despite the fact that it takes place at work and not at home.

“I routinely use the following quote from the show to remind me to remain present: ‘I wish there was a way to know you’re in “the good old days” before you’ve actually left them.'”

Wait. Parenthood has ‘good old days?’ MICHAEL!

You can order Goodnight Scranton, and spice up your bedtime reading with a little Michael Scott and co. shenanigans on Amazon for $15.

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.

Dad Wrote 650 Lunch Notes for His Daughter, and Even Turned Them Into a Book

Dad lunch notes
(Twitter/ChrisYandle)

Finding ways to be there for your kids is a constantly-evolving challenge. As kids grow up, they may start communicating with you less and their friends more. Even finding time throughout the day to sit down and talk becomes more difficult as kids’ schedules fill up with extracurriculars and plans of their own, making an already challenging aspect of parenting even harder. One dad named Chris Yandle found a unique way to share life lessons, advice, and love with his daughter during a time when her brain was already primed for learning – he did it through notes, small nuggets of wisdom that he slipped into her lunch box when she went off to school every day.

Dr. Yandle wanted to support his daughter through an especially difficult year, as Addison’s transition to fourth grade meant she’d attended four different schools in five years.

“It wasn’t how we planned it, but as someone who moved around a lot as a kid, I knew this school year was going to be tough,” Dr. Yandle explained on his website. “Every morning, I wrote my daughter a note about life, school, or growing up, and I’d slip it in her bookbag or her lunch box to find later in the day.”

For over three years, Dr. Yandle has been sending his daughter to school with his “#DadLunchNotes,” a hashtag he coined when he started sharing his notes on social media. Though the notes are written for his daughter, the wisdom this loving dad shares is universal.

“These words of encouragement and life lessons are my way of connecting with my daughter and offering her the advice and anecdotes I wish I received at her age,” Dr. Chris Yandle told The Dad.

Inspiring and motivating kids to be the best versions of themselves is something all parents hope to accomplish, but finding the right method is difficult. Fortunately for Dr. Yandle, his extremely efficient method of delivering words of wisdom has become something Addison (and her teachers) look forward to every day.

“With each passing day, parenting in the digital age is getting more and more difficult,” Dr. Yandle explained. “As a dad to a pre-teen junior high girl, I thought you and other dads might be interested in a non-digital way to connect with their kids in our heavily connected world.”

The desire to share his unique method of communication led Dr. Yandle to post his Dad Lunch Notes on social media, and recently, he even compiled them into a book called Lucky Enough.

“One of the notes I wrote to Addison during her fourth-grade year was a quote from Taylor Swift: ‘If you’re lucky enough to have something that makes you different from everybody else, don’t ever change.’ When I read that quote, I knew I found the right title,” Dr. Yandle explained on his website.

For years to come, Addison will be Lucky Enough to have a stockpile of dad wisdom when she needs it most. And undoubtedly, this unique method of building a dad-daughter connection will be treasured by both forever.

There’s a Dark ‘The Hardy Boys’ Series Coming and Here’s the Trailer

Hardy Boys Trailer
(YouTube/Hulu)

When I was a kid, I read a whole bunch of Hardy Boys books. They were easy-to-read adventures and mysteries that served as a nice bridge between the Bunnicula and Judy Blume books I read in elementary school and the Anne Rice and Stephen King books I read in high school.

They were fun and simple and I was a kid with brothers too. I also loved to pretend I was a detective and that something sinister was always afoot in my boring Connecticut suburb. It was kind of a more realistic Scooby-Doo, and I suspect a lot of guys my age read them, just as girls my age read Nancy Drew.

Well, now our kids can find out about the Hardy Boys, in a much darker and sexier way! Hulu is hopping on the teen soap strain, picking up the baton from the CW’s Riverdale and bringing the sibling detectives to the small screen.

Based on books created in 1926, the TV series follows Hardy brothers Frank, 16, and Joe, 12, as they move from NYC to Bridgeport, CT (I was right!) and quickly become suspicious that there’s a conspiracy in town – and that their parents may be involved.

Check out the trailer for the show, which hits Hulu on December 2nd:

Bindi Irwin Wrote a Book Honoring Her Family’s Conservation History and Legacy

Bindi Irwin wrote a book about her family's conservation history
(Instagram/bindisueirwin)

As if Bindi Irwin wasn’t busy enough with her recent wedding, her own conservation work, and preparing to become a first-time mom, she’s taken on another important task. Over the past 5 years, Bindi has been compiling her dad’s old photos, journal entries, and archives to document the history of the Australia Zoo, the Crocodile Hunter’s legacy. It’s been a priority for the Irwin family to keep Steve Irwin‘s memory alive over the 14 years since he passed away, and this touching book is the family’s most recent tribute.

The announcement was made on November 15, which coincides with Steve Irwin Day. Steve Irwin Day is a day dedicated to honoring Steve Irwin’s memory, along with everything he accomplished in the world of conservation. Though Irwin left this world far too young, his family has made it clear that they will proudly continue where he left off.

 

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A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin)

Bindi’s Book, titled Creating a Conservation Legacy, takes readers through a remarkable 50 years of history. The Australia Zoo’s website explains, “Join Bindi Irwin as she takes you on the amazing journey from humble beginnings through to where we are today – effecting change in our own backyard and around the globe. It’s a substantial story that includes hundreds of photos from the Irwin family archives – many that have never been seen before.”

Bindi shared the exciting news on Instagram, posting a picture of herself alongside her brother, mom, and husband – each holding a copy of Bindi’s touching book. The book’s cover contains a classic Irwin family photo, with Terri and Steve each holding one of their adorable kids when they were younger.

 

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A post shared by Bindi Irwin (@bindisueirwin)

The Instagram caption reads, “Almost 5 years in the making. Looking through countless archives, Dad’s old journals, Australia Zoo booklets and photographs tucked away in office corners. It’s finally here. I wrote this book to capture the very essence of our extraordinary 50 year history. Now, I’m sharing this journey with you.”

Bindi’s husband Chandler was quick to show support to his wife, thrilled to see the culmination of years of effort. “Your hard work and dedication to writing this book was amazing,” he commented. “Congratulations sweetheart.”

Spice up Your Holiday Cooking With the Cheetos Cookbook

Cheetos Cookbook
(PepsiCo)

This has been a great year (stick with me) if you are a Cheetos fan. First, you got Cheetos officially jumping into the Mac and Cheese game, and now you have the very first Cheetos Cook Book, just in time for the holidays.

While many celebrate at home this year (grrr, 2020), at least we have some new delicious ways to do it, like with DIY Dunkaroos or an entire cookbook based on snack food. “BON-APPE-CHEETOS: A Holiday Cookbook by Chester and Friends” is in stores now and features 22 Cheetos-adjacent meals. The cookbook leans on the “friends” heavily, drawing inspiration and assistance from more than a handful of celebrity chefs.

 

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A post shared by Chester Cheetah (@cheetos)

According to the press release from PepsiCo, the cookbook focuses on holiday courses with “cheesy inspiration.” It includes appetizers, side dishes, entrees, desserts, and even one-of-a-kind cocktails (I bet you never considered dumping Cheetos into your booze before). Some of the dishes they are already touting as the standouts include the ‘famous Flamin’ Hot Friendsgiving Turkey’, ‘Chester’s Kickin’ Cornbread Dressing’, ‘Chester’s Cheesy Skillet Corn’ and ‘Good, Better, Best Pumpkin Pie.’

The brand is also raising money for the World Central Kitchen ChefsForAmerica COVID-relief fund with sales of the book. If you’re on the fence, Chester also threw a few recipes from the book online for you to try free, at More Smiles With Every Bite.

The online recipe hub is their way to help the 63 percent of Americans who are cooking at home more to get through the pandemic and are looking for unique recipes to try. A spokesperson said the ‘passionate fans’ of Cheetos have been using the snack food as an ingredient for years, so they wanted to return the favor with these special holiday recipes.

One thing is for sure, this holiday season will be unlike any other, so you might as well throw a Cheetos cocktail into the mix.

Horror Classic “Halloween” Is Becoming a Children’s Book

Legend of Halloween Children's Book
(legendofhalloween.com)

Growing up, I saw my fair share of inappropriate movies. I don’t just mean stuff like Basic Instinct and 9 1/2 Weeks – it was a different time! – but also horror movies. Not only did my parents bring me to the theater to see Aliens and The Lost Boys when I was 9 and 10 years old respectively, but I also grew up sneaking horror movies on cable and at sleepovers.

I loved Poltergeist and Child’s Play and the Nightmare on Elm Street series and more. My oldest is now 10 himself, and while I’ve shown him Poltergeist, slasher movies don’t seem like a good idea.

But what about slasher children’s books?

If you think I’m joking, then you haven’t learned about the new children’s book based on Halloween. No, not the holiday we’re celebrating this weekend, but the classic John Carpenter movie that invented the slasher genre and launched multiple sequels and reboots.

David Gordon Green, the director of the last version, which was both a sequel and something of a reboot combined, has released an illustrated children’s book adaptation of the movie, called The Legend of Halloween, and it looks bloody adorable!

“Joining this iconic franchise has been one of the most fulfilling artistic endeavours of my career,” David Gordon Green told Bloody Disgusting. “With this new chapter, we hope to share our own love for Halloween with a new generation of horror fanatics.”

Apparently, they’re coming for our kids! And for adults who are obsessed with the horror classic and just want a collectible. And something to read to their kids!

“I saw the original Halloween when I was about nine years old and it scared the wits out of me. I’ve seen it about fifty times since then and it continues to be my favorite horror film. The mask, the music, the indelible characters, the monologues of pure evil – to me it’s cinematic perfection,” said Onur Tukel, who illustrated the book “Collaborating with David on a children’s book adaptation of Halloween has been demented and surreal, kind of like being simultaneously possessed by Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein and the demon Pazuza.”

Sounds like the perfect bedtime story!

The book will be released in mid-November, and you can pre-order it now at LegendofHalloween.com

The Mandalorian Is Getting a Series of Books and Comics

Star Wars The Mandalorian Books
(Star Wars)

They say the universe never stops expanding, and we believe that’s also the case for the Star Wars universe. From novelizations to lackluster Christmas specials to game shows to high-end furniture to BBQ grills, there will never be a shortage of ways to get your Star Wars fix.

One of the most popular expansions to the Star Wars media empire has been The Mandalorian on Disney+, which is loads of fun and jam-packed with some truly dazzling production design. The series even launched a whole subgenre of memes in the form of Baby Yoda.

Earlier this summer, the official Star Wars website announced that it would continue Mandalorian world-building with a new series of published titles. One of those titles is The Art of The Mandalorian, and the cover art by Lucasfilm illustrator Doug Chiang alone makes it a worthy addition to any fan’s coffee table.

(Disney)

The series is also getting its own Marvel comic, as well as a coloring and activity book, magazine, and children’s storybook. Fans of Star Wars can expect The Art of the Mandalorian to hit shelves this December, with more releases slated for winter and spring 2021. Here’s what to look forward to:

  • The Art of The Mandalorian (Season One) by Phil Szostak; cover by Doug Chiang (Pre-order for 36.00 for delivery on December 1)
  • The Mandalorian: Original Novel (adult novel, Del Rey) by Adam Christopher
  • The Mandalorian: The Ultimate Visual Guide (DK) by Pablo Hidalgo
  • The Mandalorian: Allies & Enemies – Level Two Reader (DLP) by Brooke Vitale
  • The Mandalorian: 8×8 Storybook (title to be revealed later) by Brooke Vitale
  • The Mandalorian: Junior Novelization by Joe Schreiber

And for no reason, here’s Baby Yoda again.

We have spoken.

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Teacher Creates a Community Library in Her Garage Amid COVID

teacher creates garage library
(Facebook/MissMartin's Neighborhood Library)

An elementary school teacher in Texas had basically accumulated a personal library for her classroom over the years. Then earlier this year COVID-19 caused her school to move to remote learning. With the closest public library inaccessible for most of the community, she wanted to help fill that void and keep kids interested in reading. And that’s why she started a community library, with more than 2,000 books, in her own garage.

Teachers are amazing people. We see reminders of this constantly, as they go above and beyond for their kids. We see it in the teacher that carried a student confined to a wheelchair on a field trip. We saw it when teachers all over the state of Alabama donated sick days to a colleague caring for his infant with cancer. And we see it in the everyday actions teachers take to help kids learn.

In this case, Jennifer Martin had witnessed reluctant and nonreaders blossom into avid readers after having a positive experience with books, so that’s why she got to work on her garage library. A friend built the shelves and Martin moved in her massive collection of books for kids of all ages.

Since opening the library, they have had more than 60 kids check out books (they can get two at a time, on the honor system). More importantly, it’s a chance for her to connect with her students, and for kids to connect with each other (with masks and social distancing rules in place).

“During this challenging time, it’s even more important to provide opportunities for connection,” she told The Dad. “And there’s really nothing like seeing a student’s excitement about getting a new book!”

Martin has run into some hurdles, such as figuring out the best way to sort the books, but she has been blown away by the support from friends, colleagues, parents, and community members. She said she’s had students she taught 10 or 20 years ago who have been donating books through Amazon or even visited the library to make a donation. Some have even come back to help volunteer at the library.

The library continues to add new titles to the mix, including more Spanish books and continues to thrive. 2020 has brought unique challenges, but it’s also seen more than a few people rise to meet the challenge and help other people.

“Reading provides an adventure for the reader, and now, more than ever, we need adventures,” Martin said.