The stars land at WCS’s Bronx Zoo as Radio Disney’s Road Crew and Rocknoceros bring their special brand of children’s music to New York Life’s Main Stage.

Bronx, N.Y. – April 22, 2010 – What better way to celebrate Earth Day Weekend than at the Animal Tales Extravaganza at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo.  This weekend the zoo welcomes wildlife conservationist and Animal Planet star Jeff Corwin as he reads from his book, Your Backyard is Wild and the Radio Disney Road Crew returns to New York Life’s Main Stage to entertain the masses.

Also at the zoo’s Asia Plaza, Kristen Earhart, editor at Seven Footer press, will entertain kids from her latest children’s book, Life Size Zoo, and Hudson Talbott will take families through the vibrant illustrations in his popular book, United Tweets of America.

On New York Life’s Main Stage at the zoo’s Astor Court, a special guest from Washington DC, Rocknoceros, will get the crowd jumping with their award-winning tunes for music lovers of all ages.

And don’t forget about the legendary Bronx Zoo animal entertainers.  Families can introduce their babies to the newest members of the Bronx Zoo family – the baby mandrill, Gertrude, in Congo Gorilla Forest; Ares, the new baby Coquerel’s Sifaka in the Madagascar! exhibit; and the new Galapagos tortoises in the Reptile House.

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, April 24

11am, 1pm – Wild Asia Plaza

Author appearance and reading of Your Back Yard is Wild (Penguin Group USA)

Read by Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin

This is the first book in a fiction series with characters that have adventures in different habitats, demonstrating to kids that you can have fun discovering plants and animals around you whether you live in a city or near a forest. When budding naturalists Lucy and Benjamin get a chance to visit their cousin Gabe in Brooklyn, they can’t wait. They are used to seeing fascinating animals and plants in the Florida Everglades where they live, but they can’t imagine what they will find in Gabe’s New York City backyard.  The first book in Jeff Corwin’s young middle-grade fiction series shows kids that no matter where you live, you can have fun discovering the plants, animals, and natural life around you.

Meet wildlife biologist, conservationist, and Emmy Award-winning producer and host of more than a dozen TV series that have been broadcast in more than 100 countries for the following networks: Discovery, Animal Planet, Disney, the Food Network, NBC, CNN, and the Travel Channel. Jeff Corwin’s popular series include Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin Experience, Corwin’s Quest, Spring Watch, and King of the Jungle; Disney’s Going Wild with Jeff Corwin; Investigation Earth with the Discovery Networks, and many more!

11:30am, 1pm – New York Life’s Main Stage

Performance by Radio Disney Road Crew

AM 1560, New York’s #1, 24-hour radio station devoted to kids, tweens and families will host a live station appearance at the Bronx Zoo with the Radio Disney Road Crew featuring contests, your favorite music, and plenty of great prizes!  During the appearance, our DJ will keep the energy level high as we engage kids and families alike in interactive games and activities like dance parties, trivia contests and more, including custom created games tailored around the zoo like Monkey Chatter, Animal Roar, and more.

**Sunday, April 25

11am, 1pm – Wild Asia Plaza

Editor appearance and reading of Life Size Zoo (Seven Footer Press)

Read by Kristin Earhart

From tiny rodents to gigantic elephants—with unparalleled photographs and informative, fun facts—Life-Size Zoo is an actual-size animal encyclopedia unlike any other.

Remarkably vivid and detailed close-up photographs of more than twenty animals were captured at some of the world’s premier zoos, including a tiger, panda, red panda, meerkat, sea lion, giraffe, camel, zebra, tapir, rhinoceros, elephant (adult and baby), aardvark, gorilla, hedgehog, prairie dog, capybara, anteater, sloth, and armadillo.

3pm – Wild Asia Plaza

Author appearance and reading of United Tweets of America, (Penguin Group USA)

Read by Hudson Talbott

This colorful parade of state birds competing to be Top Tweet will have readers of all ages laughing aloud. From Alabama's Yellowhammer to Wyoming's Western Meadowlark, each bird is a winner and each bird loves to show off the state it calls home. 

Hudson Talbott has created an inspired introduction to states and their birds.  His vibrant illustrations infuse the birds' interactions with energy and humor, making this a great way to spark kids' interest in United States history, geography, and wildlife.

11:00am, 1pm – New York Life’s Main Stage

Musical performance by Rocknoceros

Coach Cotton, Williebob, and Boogie Woogie Bennie are Rocknoceros, the Washington, DC area's award-winning band that makes very cool music for children of all ages. They write terrific songs that teach even the youngest music fans, and perhaps most importantly, they are flat-out fun.

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.


Max Pulsinelli – 718-220-5182;
Steve Fairchild – 718-220-5189;



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


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 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 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.