An actor, writer, storyteller, and director, Andy Jones was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He worked with CODCO, both in theatre and on television, and with Sheila’s Brush Theatre Troupe. He has written, performed, and toured five one-man shows; has performed in theatrical productions across Canada and on numerous television shows; and has appeared in such films as Extraordinary Visitor, The Adventures of Faustus Bidgood, and Rare Birds.
His monologue “Boiled Dinner” is included in Running the Goat’s Three Servings. He is the author/adaptor, with Philip Dinn, of Peg Bearskin, a folktale from Placentia Bay, which was shortlisted for the 2004/05 Hackmatack Award and named to the International Youth Library’s prestigious White Ravens List. His on-going series of Jack tales, illustrated by Darka Erdelji and designed by Veselina Tomova, has been much lauded: The Queen of Paradise’s Garden was named to the IYL’s White Ravens List, and was shortlisted for the 2010 Bruneau Family Award and the 2010 Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage and History Award; Jack and the Manger, a re-telling of the Christmas story as if it were a Newfoundland folktale, received the 2012 Bruneau Family Award for Children’s/Young Adult Literature and was shortlisted for the 2012 NL Heritage and History Award; Jack and Mary in the Land of Thieves received the 2012 BMO Winterset Award and the 2014 Bruneau Family Award. Jack, the King of Ashes was nominated for the 2015 Ann Connor Brimer Award, the 2015 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Illustrated Children’s Book and the 2016 Silver Birch Express Award. Jack and the Green Man, the fifth book in this series, appeared in October 2016. It has been shortlisted for the 2017/2018 Hackmatack Award. [Website]
Jack & Mary in the Land of Thieves finds Jack, that everyman of folktales, married to his sweetheart Mary, the best woman ever born and a mighty fine baker to boot. Their lives are as happy and successful as can be, until an underhanded sea captain and Jack’s own bragging get the better of our hero. Jack is sent the once to work on Slave Islands and Mary is turned out of house and home. But Mary is resolute and resourceful, and has plans to find Jack and restore their fortunes.
Inspired by several traditional and classic works, including Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, the medieval tale of Frederick of Jennen, and the Newfoundland story “Jack and the Slave Islands,” Andy Jones has crafted a funny, moving, and delightfully original story about love, treachery, perseverance, and cherry cake. Darka Erdelji’s gorgeous illustrations capture the drama, humour, and beauty of this wonderful tale. With a hidden key, a storm at sea, and a singing mynah bird named Baxter who carries more than his share of tunes, Jack and Mary in the Land of Thieves will delight youngsters and oldsters alike.
As a special bonus, the melodies of all of Baxter’s songs are included, so that readers can learn them, sing them, and share them. The melodies, created by Andy Jones, were inspired by several traditional tunes; Pamela Morgan kindly helped with the musical notation. [Website]