KidPop News: 'Tangled' Gets Tested, Austen Gets a Twilight Treatment and Mr. Men Get a Movie Deal

Filed under: Books for Kids, Movies


Rapunzel's Hair is Cleared for Climbing
The engineers at Imperial College in London have been putting their highly-educated brains to good use, designing an experiment to show that human hair is capable of supporting a prince. It's about time somebody has. Admit it: You've been wondering about the climb-ability of hair ever since you first heard the Rapunzel fairytale as a kid, long before Disney took its shot at the story with "Tangled." Well, now we know the answer (sort of). Those British builders and scientists concocted a hoist that was able to use human hair to suspend the host of BBC children's show "Blue Peter" several feet off the ground. So, case closed? Maybe not. In the experiment, the hair was firmly secured to a wooden rig, not a teenage girl's scalp.

New Covers for Old Classics Have the Lure of the Vampire
Want teenage girls to read literary classics from Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters? Give those books covers that evoke a certain mega-selling vampire-werewolf love triangle. That's what Harper Teen seems to be banking on with their new editions of "Sense and Sensibility" and "Jane Eyre" (which join their recent reissues of "Pride and Prejudice," "Wuthering Heights," and "Romeo and Juliet" in a "Collect Them All" romance series). Stark black backgrounds, splashes of red, eerie lighting -- the only things missing are the words "Twilight Book Five." Please don't read this as a criticism, though. If those frankly gorgeous covers get kids to pick up the classics, they're weaving the right kind of spell.


One-Dimensional Characters to Star in Upcoming Hollywood Film
Twentieth Century Fox announced this week that it will produce a big-screen adaptation of the Mr. Men book series by British children's author, Roger Hargreaves. You remember the Mr. Men and Little Miss books, those pediatrician's office staples about round, monochromatic characters, each of whom has only one distinguishing personality trait. They're perfect fodder for Hollywood. I don't know why it's taken so long to get these non-developing characters into a movie. Anyway, it's time to start speculating about a cast: Russell Crowe as Mr. Grumpy? Ricky Gervais as Mr. Rude? Lindsay Lohan as Little Miss Calamity?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.