cover image Amelia Makes a Movie

Amelia Makes a Movie

David Milgrim, . . Putnam, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-24670-8

Reaching out to the YouTube generation, Milgrim (Cows Can’t Fly ) introduces a highly organized young auteur. Amelia, her auburn hair in a no-nonsense ponytail, scribbles on a clipboard and lines up shots of her pet dog, cat, rabbit and frog: “A script’s the first thing that we’ll need./ We’ll choose a cast. I’ll play the lead.” As Amelia paints a backdrop and cuts a paper crown for her starring role, her smiling younger brother demands attention. She allows him to join the crew and envisions him staying behind the scenes. Each time Amelia calls, “Action,” Milgrim switches from full-page illustrations to framed comics panels. He works in digital media, yet his draftsmanship suggests traditional pen-and-ink.His casually sketched characters demonstrate the basics of video production, from scripting to staging to animal wrangling to editing. Milgrim also recommends cooperation and spontaneity as things take an unexpected turn despite Amelia’s micromanagement. The brother proves a natural actor and scene-stealer, and with his (and their parents’) input, Amelia diplomatically decides, “Let’s take five, discuss the end,/ rewrite the script, and shoot again.” An entertaining and practical how-to. Ages 3-up. (Mar.)