In celebration of her latest children's book, Jungle Night, Sandra Boynton is joined by her friends, musician Yo-Yo Ma and author Ann Patchett, for a lively conversation about books, art, and creative synchronicity. The evening will include an audiovisual show-and-tell from Boynton that traces the quixotic, meandering journey from her long-ago first book in 1977, Hippos Go Berserk, to three small, wild collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma. Questions from the audience are welcomed. This event is for grown-ups!
|This event is available to view with the Symphony Space 20-21 Season Pass.|
To Learn About the Artists
Sandra Boynton is a beloved American cartoonist, children’s author, songwriter, and highly sporadic short film director. Starting with the 1977 publication of Hippos Go Berserk!, Boynton has written and illustrated over sixty children’s books and eight general audience books, including five New York Times bestsellers. Her renowned books include Barnyard Dance!, Snuggle Puppy!, Belly Button Book!, EEK! Halloween!, But Not the Hippopotamus, and The Going to Bed Book. More than 70 million of her books have been sold—“mostly to friends and family,” she says. Boynton has also written and produced six albums of unconventional children’s music, which include performances by Brian Wilson, Brad Paisley, Kevin Kline, Kacey Musgraves, Blues Traveler, Alison Krauss, Meryl Streep, Spin Doctors, Davy Jones, Dwight Yoakam, Patti LuPone, Neil Sedaka, and “Weird Al” Yankovic in a duet with Kate Winslet. Three of Boynton’s albums have been certified Gold (over 500,000 copies sold), and Philadelphia Chickens, nominated for a Grammy, has gone Platinum (over one million copies sold). Boynton has also written and directed eleven short musical films, including One Shoe Blues, starring B. B. King; and two animated shorts: When Pigs Fly, sung by Ryan Adams, and Tyrannosaurus Funk, sung by Samuel L. Jackson, which won the 2018 Grand Prize for Best Children’s Animation Short from the Rhode Island International Film Festival. In 2008, Boynton received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Cartoonists Society. Boynton has four perfect children, and an equally perfect granddaughter and grandson. She raised her family on a very old New England farm (it’s now a non-working farm, except for the hyperactive cartoon chickens and disaffected imaginary cows and such). Her studio is in a converted barn that has perhaps the only hippopotamus weathervane in America.
Cellist Yo-Yo Ma's life and career are testament to his enduring belief in culture’s power to generate trust and understanding. Whether performing new or familiar works from the cello repertoire, collaborating with communities and institutions to explore culture’s role in society, or engaging unexpected musical forms, Yo-Yo strives to foster connections that stimulate the imagination and reinforce our humanity. Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris, where he began studying the cello with his father at age four. When he was seven, he moved with his family to New York City, where he continued his cello studies at the Juilliard School. After his conservatory training, he sought out a liberal arts education, graduating from Harvard in 1976. Yo-Yo has recorded more than 100 albums, is the winner of 18 Grammy Awards, and has performed for nine American presidents, most recently on the occasion of President Biden’s inauguration. He has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of the Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Kennedy Center Honors. He has been a UN Messenger of Peace since 2006, and was recognized as one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2020. Yo-Yo’s latest album is Songs of Comfort and Hope, created and recorded with pianist Kathryn Stott in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ann Patchett is the author of eight novels, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Bel Canto, Run,State of Wonder, Commonwealth, and The Dutch House. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories 2006, and has written three books of nonfiction: Truth & Beauty,What Now?, and This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage. In 2019, she published her first children’s book, Lambslide, illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Patchett has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including England’s Orange Prize, the PEN/Faulkner Award, the Harold D. Vursell Memorial Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Book Sense Book of the Year, a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Chicago Tribune’s Heartland Prize, The Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the American Bookseller’s Association’s Most Engaging Author Award, and the Women’s National Book Association’s Award. Her books have been both New York Times Notable Books and New York Times bestsellers. Her work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In November, 2011, she opened Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tennessee, with her business partner Karen Hayes. She has since become a spokesperson for independent booksellers, championing books and bookstores on NPR,The Colbert Report,Oprah's Super Soul Sunday, The Martha Stewart Show, andThe CBS Early Show, among many others. Along with James Patterson, she was the honorary chair of World Book Night. In 2012 she was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Expected Run Time is 75 minutes