Amelia Makes a Movie — Perfect Picture Book Friday

Title: Amelia Makes a Movie

Author/Illustrator: David Milgrim

Publisher: New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2008.

Genre: Picture book, fiction


Audience Age: 4-8

Theme: creativity, film-making

Opening Sentences: Mom is on a cleaning spree. Dad is busy as a bee. What’s to do? Hey, wait, I know! Let’s make ourselves a video!

Synopsis: Amelia makes a movie. She is screenwriter, director, star – although she does involve her little brother, her pets, and other creatures (such as a couple of snails) in the production. The book, in light verse and simple, colorful illustrations, goes through the entire movie-making process. A few problems crop up (as is the case with any movie venture, I’m sure) but Amelia finds a creative way to surmount each obstacle. A glossary at the back of the book explains the film terms used throughout. A great, fun introduction to movie making.

Activities/Resources: Science Kids (in New Zealand) has a free lesson plan for movie-making.

Coolspotters has a list of links to help kids get started making their own movies.

Proteacher gives ideas for creating movie-themed classroom décor.

Availability: Readily available in hardcover.

Every Friday, bloggers join together to share picture book reviews and resources, thanks to author Susanna Leonard Hill’s brainchild, “Perfect Picture Book Fridays.” Susanna then adds the books (and links to the reviews) to a comprehensive listing by subject on her blog. Find the entire listing at her “Perfect Picture Books.”

35 thoughts on “Amelia Makes a Movie — Perfect Picture Book Friday”

  1. I imagine kids making their own movie after reading this book. Last summer, I noticed the Apple store held a camp on film making using your iPhones and apple computers. I’m interested to see how Amelia mastered this.

  2. It’s interesting to see how the things children can do to entertain themselves can progress and be illustrated in books. Before movies, kids probably did outside related things. With the intro of more technology, kids have been able to busy themselves with so many more things, like Amelia here making a movie.

    1. It seemed a natural choice after talking about directing (and Blake Edwards) this week. It would be a great activity for a class project. I want to be part of that class!

  3. What a perfect book for any budding little director! I often find homemade “movies” and pictures on my phone when the little ones get a hold of it. Would be fun to reign that in and do something with it!

  4. When I read the title of this book on Suzanne’s page, I knew who was reveiwing it. 🙂 Excellent choice Beth. For kids with great imaginations, I can see them trying to do the very same thing. Sounds like an great way to teach about what goes into making a movie — the behind the scences. I like your resources. Great choice, as always.

    1. Thanks, Pat. I’m not surprised you knew it was me! 🙂

      Yes, it teaches all the aspects of film-making and makes it fun.

  5. What a great idea for a book! We have a had lot of plays put on in our house, and a fair number of movies of various types as well, though mostly as the kids got older – lego stop-action and such. This book sounds really fun, and what a great way to introduce another creative possibility for kids! Thanks for sharing this – I’ll have to check it out!

    1. Thanks, Susanna! I certainly put on my share of plays when I was a kid. Didn’t have access to anything that would have let me do a movie, or I’m sure I would have. Kids would have such fun doing this.

  6. This would be awesome for teachers to use in their classrooms, and then follow up with the making of a movie! What a great learning experience it would be. I will have to suggest this to my teacher friends.

  7. I love this book just from it’s title. My daughter is into the “movie” making thing. Thanks for the coolspotters link and review. I can’t wait to check it out Beth.

    1. Thanks, Jennifer! Hope you enjoy the book, and hope your daughter continues to enjoy making movies, and expressing her creativity!

  8. Beth, I’m reading your review and having flashbacks to childhood productions in which I directed my siblings and cousins, choreographed dances, handled costuming. Those are some of my favorite childhood memories. What a wonderful book to bring creativity and performing into the video age.

    1. I’m delighted to hear about your childhood theatrical productions! I was involved in a few of those, myself. Glad you like the sound of this book.

      Thanks, Kirsten!

  9. Very nice, Beth! I was just thinking that this would have been a wonderful addition as well to our Girl-Power-themed books! Sounds like a girl who knows her mind. My ten year old daughter’s very good friend wants to be a film maker and this might be a book that she’d enjoy next time she comes visit our place.

  10. COOL! This book fits in with all I’ve been learning about movies and plays on your site 🙂 My parents let us use the video camera and my sister and I do “plays” or magic shows and record ourselves. I never thought of doing a movie. That would be fun 🙂

    1. Erik, I bet you and your sister could make a great movie! Glad you’re enjoying learning about movies and plays with me!

  11. aahhh yes like Pat I guessed this was you…lol. Great Book choice. My eyebrows went up when I saw the NZ link and then when I clicked onto it I realised I had seen it before. Here in NZ we have availability for kids to venture into movie making, even awards for them. I can just see you in a class learning this….lol.

  12. Beth…I love this book! It’s so important to encourage kids to do great things…making videos…how cool is that! I have another picture book about this very topic…it’s called A Reel Cool Summer…I reviewed it last year on my blog.
    Thanks for a great review!

    1. Thanks, Vivian! And thanks for alerting me to the book “A Reel Cool Summer” — I’ll have to see if I can find it (both on your blog and in real life).

  13. What an awesome book! What an awesome idea! I love it and I cannot wait to read it. Thanks so much for adding it to the list. I had never heard of it before this. (I’m catching up from being sick last week.) (waving*

    1. You’re welcome, Robyn, hope you enjoy it!

      Sorry to hear you’ve been sick — hope you’re feeling much better now. *waves back*

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