DreamWorks’ newest animated big-screen release, Rise of the Guardians, is based on a wonderful series of children’s picture books and novels by the very talented Academy Award winner William Joyce, some of my absolute favorites in contemporary children’s literature. It might have something do with his taking legendary figures most of us know from childhood (such as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy), and spinning original takes on their origins and the reasons behind what they do (apparently, it’s all connected!) or it could be because his illustrations are so whimsical and lovely!
Here are the books of his on-going The Guardians of Childhood series that inspired the film.
The Man in the Moon (or MiM, as he’s called) is the driving force behind the Guardians of Childhood, the one who brings all of them together. This book details how he first arrives on Earth (well, above Earth, the Moon arrived with MiM and is actually his golden butterfly-winged space ship and home), and his first battle with Pitch, who wants to destroy the innocence of children with darkness and nightmares.
Sandy is MiM’s first recruit into the Guardians of Childhood. In this book, it describes how Sandy first crashes to Earth in a shooting star (courtesy of Pitch, because shooting stars grant wishes and fulfill dreams). Sandy’s shooting star lands in the ocean and transforms into an island of Dreamsand, magical sand filled with his dreams, allowing him to bestow good dreams on children all over the world, fight nightmares, and turn bad dreams into even more golden Dreamsand. Dreamy awesomeness.
Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King tells the story of a dashing scimitar-wielding warrior who will later go on to become – did the name give you a hint? – Santa Claus. Hunting for treasure, Nick encounters more than he bargained for, battling the dark machinations of Pitch the Nightmare King for the first (but not last) time.
E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core tells the story of a definitely not cute or fluffy martial-arts expert and philosopher, E. Aster Bunnymund. Recruited to help fight against Pitch’s latest evil missions concentrated underground, he is the next recruit to the Guardians.
Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies introduces Her Serene Royal Highness, Toothiana; diminutive, lovely and fierce warrior queen. Not to mention The Tooth Fairy. This third novel explores the secrets of one of the most mysterious of the Guardians (what does anyone really know about her beyond the whole tooth-gathering thing), and her induction to the ongoing battle against Pitch and his minions.
Click on any of the book titles to visit the OC Public Libraries website and request a copy today!