LISTEN TO THE FULL INTERVIEW
Talking with Mike Nawrocki, Co-creator of VeggieTales and the voice of Larry the Cucumber, about a new VeggieTales series coming out, his podcast ‘The Bible for Kids’ and ‘The Dead Sea Squirrels’ book series.
We have done a new streaming video with Yippee and we are in the process of creating 26 brand new half hour VeggieTales episodes. It’s Bob & Larry and they’re in Mr Nezzer’s theatre and tasked with putting on a show every week or month for a live audience. It’s about the show that happens with the audience, then also about the backstage antics. Like all VeggieTales, each show has a core biblical value. So we’ll teach a lesson with each show. With the first 9 we go through the 9 fruits of the Spirits; love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, self-control. You know all 9 of those fruit of Spirits have their own theme and show. We’re just super excited about the opportunity.
We’ve gone back to the old classic animation style. We did a Netflix series where the characters were re-designed and saw the error of our ways and we went back to the classic designs and so those characters will be represented in the new show.
What’s your heart behind your podcast ‘The Bible for Kids’?
Mike, alongside Amy Parker and their agent Dan Lynch all got together about a year ago and talked about what they could do to help raise awareness for parents who are looking for resources for their kids, whether that be their own kids or if they’re involved in kids ministry.
A lot of what’s happened the Christian book seller’s market, people used to be able to go into their local Christian book store and find resources. Those are becoming fewer and far between. So, we wanted to do a podcast that could really raise awareness for authors who are out there, so listeners can tune in and hear their hearts behind what they’re doing and their writing and background and ministry. It’s been wonderful speaking with authors, musicians and youth workers about what they do.
The Dead Sea Squirrels Book Series
There are 6 books in the series currently, books 5 & 6 released not too long ago. I have had so much fun with this series. It’s an early readers series, kindergarten through to 5th grade who are just starting out reading. Each of the books contain, like VeggieTales, a biblical message at the core.
A little boy named Michael, who is in Israel with his father. He is spending the summer with his father who is an anthropologist. He ventures into a cave with his buddy Justin and they discover two self-incrusted dehydrated squirrels. They have no idea what they’re doing in a cave, in the middle of the desert, and we find that out later in the series. Michael smuggles in his backpack, back home with him to Tennessee. He think they’re just petrified and dead. But he sets them up on a dresser near an open window and that night it rains on them (the night before he starts the 5th grade) and they re-hydrate and come back to life! It’s an old Jewish couple who lived during the time of Christ. The book series is about their adventures with Michael in the 5th grade and the wisdom & knowledge that they bring from the 1st century, having been eye witness’ to Jesus & the disciples. It’s a fun, goofy set-up.
It’s been a tone of fun to write and I’m currently working on another 6 for Tindale, which will be out in the next couple of years.
A big big thanks to Mike for taking the time to chat with us, we’re looking forward to seeing the VeggieTales movie some time in the future!