Barney the Dinosaur to Star in this Weekend’s “Animal Tales Extravaganza” at WCS’s Bronx Zoo

  •  WCS’s Bronx Zoo Also Welcomes Kelly and Chica from The Sunny Side Up Show on Sprout®
  • Special Appearance and Readings for Children by Author Peter Brown, The Curious Garden, and Illustrator Ed Young, Moon Bear

Bronx, N.Y. – May 18, 2010 – Barney™ the Dinosaur may not be your typical resident at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo, but this weekend he will bring the festivities to life as he entertains the masses from New York Life’s Main Stage on Astor Court at the zoo’s “Animal Tales Extravaganza.”  The iconic purple dinosaur will be joined by Kelly and Chica from the popular Sunny Side Up Show on Sprout, the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand, and online for kids ages 2-5 and their parents and caregivers.  Barney will sing, dance, and interact with families as they participate in the excitement of the weekend’s animal-themed entertainment.

This weekend will also feature readings by the creators of two highly acclaimed children’s books, Peter Brown, author of The Curious Garden (Saturday, May 22) and Ed Young, illustrator of Moon Bear (Sunday, May 23).  Both will be keeping their fans riveted as they read from their latest works from the stage at the Bronx Zoo’s Asia Plaza.

And what would an “Animal Tales Extravaganza” weekend at the zoo be without a walk through the grounds of the nation’s largest urban zoo to visit with the animals?  To the delight of zoo-goers, this spring has brought some new additions to the Bronx Zoo family.  Visitors will want to be sure not to miss the zoo’s biggest celebrities – the three new African lion cubs – which be scampering about the lion exhibit at African Plains.  Other animal babies introduced this season include the mandrill in Congo Gorilla Forest; the Coquerel’s sifaka and collared lemur in Madagascar!; the silver leafed langur in JungleWorld; and the white-naped crane in the Northern Ponds.

Over the course of the 13-weekend extravaganza, renowned children’s authors from notable publishers including HarperCollins, Little Brown Books for Young Readers, Macmillan, Penguin Group (USA), Random House Children’s Books, and Simon & Schuster will be hosting special story-time readings of their books at the Asia Plaza Theater.  Families will be able to meet their favorite children’s book authors and listen to them read their new and classic works then head over to New York Life’s Main Stage on Astor Court for live entertainment by some of the top-rated children’s entertainers.

Kids can walk through larger-than-life pages of real books including The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle at the Butterfly Garden and Alphabet by Matthew Van Fleet at the Reptile House.  At the Bear Overlook, walk through the new children’s book, Moon Bear, by Brenda Z. Guiberson and award-winning illustrator, Ed Young and enjoy a wild ride with Wild About Books by Judy Sierra at Astor Court.  These interactive, walk-through book experiences have been underwritten by the publishers of the books featured; Penguin Group (USA), Simon & Schuster, The Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, and Random House Children’s Books.

 

The experience also includes an opportunity for children to make their own “animal tale” book and “animal tail” bookmark based on Big Babies, Little Babies, which is published by DK Publishing, one of the event sponsors. 

 

This weekend’s line-up for the Animal Tales Extravaganza includes the following:

**Saturday, May 22

New York Life’s Main Stage – Interactive Sing-Along

11:30am, 2pm

BarneyTM the Dinosaur with Kelly and Chica from The Sunny Side Up Show on Sprout®

Everyone’s favorite purple dinosaur Barney™, along with Kelly and Chica, hosts The Sunny Side Up Show on Sprout, the first 24-hour preschool destination available on TV, on demand and online for kids ages 2-5 and their parents and caregivers, will entertain families live from the main stage.  Kelly and Chica interact live with preschoolers and their families across the country every day on The Sunny Side Up Show, as they share daily birthday greetings, viewer-submitted crafts, fun facts and weekly themes ranging from colors, numbers and letters to manners, gardening, and pets.

Wild Asia Plaza – Author Appearance/Reading

11am, 1pm

The Curious Garden, read by author Peter Brown (Little, Brown)- This New York Times bestselling book is an enchanting tale with an environmental theme and breathtaking illustrations that become more vibrant as the garden blooms.  Red-headed Liam can also be spotted on every page, adding a clever seek-and-find element to this captivating picture book.

**Sunday, May 23

New York Life’s Main Stage

11:30am, 2pm

BarneyTM the Dinosaur with Kelly and Chica from The Sunny Side Up Show on Sprout®

(description above)


Wild Asia Plaza – Illustrator Appearance/Reading

1pm, 3pm

Moon Bear, read by illustrator Ed Young (Macmillan) - Moon bears, or Asiatic black bears, are so named because of the white moon-shaped blaze on their chests. The moon bears are seldom seen but their footprints, claw marks, hair, and bear nests high in the trees give us clues about how they live.  Sadly, there are now more moon bears in captivity than in the wild, as these animals are being “farmed” for their commercially valuable bile.  Brenda Guiberson’s lyrical text and Ed Young’s stunning illustrations combine in a winning tribute to this endangered species. 


Ed Young is a Caldecott Medalist, a two-time Caldecott Honor Book artist, and has been twice nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. He has illustrated many books for children, including Cat and Rat.


New York Life is the featured sponsor of the Animal Tales Extravaganza and is hosting a Child ID event every weekend during the festivities. The Child ID program provides peace of mind to parents who are concerned about the safety of their children and want to take action to protect them. A complimentary Identification Card, complete with the child’s photograph and fingerprints will be given to the parents.

 

MEDIA NOTE(S):

**Scheduled times and performers subject to change without notice.

 

Contact:
Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182; mpulsinelli@wcs.org
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189; sfairchild@wcs.org



The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m. on weekends and holidays. Adult admission is $15, children (3-12 years old) $11, children under 3 are free, seniors (65+) are $13. Parking is $12 for cars and $16 for buses. The Bronx Zoo is conveniently located off the Bronx River Parkway at Exit 6; by train via the #2 or #5 or by bus via the #9, #12, #19, #22, MetroNorth, or BxM11 Express Bus service (from Manhattan that stops just outside the gate.) To plan your trip, visit www.bronxzoo.com or call 718-367-1010.


The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. We do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes towards nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to this mission because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.


New York Life Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company founded in 1845, is the largest mutual life insurance company in the United States* and one of the largest life insurers in the world.  New York Life has the highest possible financial strength ratings from all four of the major credit rating agencies.  Headquartered in New York City, New York Life’s family of companies offers life insurance, retirement income, investments and long-term care insurance.  New York Life Investments** provides institutional asset management and retirement plan services. Other New York Life affiliates provide an array of securities products and services, as well as institutional and retail mutual funds.  Please visit New York Life’s Web site at www.newyorklife.com for more information.

*New York Life is the largest mutual life insurance company based on the Fortune 500, ranked within industries, Insurance:  Life, Health (Mutual), Fortune magazine, May 4, 2009.

**New York Life Investments is a service mark used by New York Life Investment Management Holdings LLC and its subsidiary, New York Life Investment Management LLC.

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