Tom Mason
Tom Mason: Children's Books Expert

Featured On:

  • FOX
  • PBS
  • Nick
As co-founders of MainBrain Productions, Tom Mason and his partner, Dan Danko, have worked together on a variety of projects, including the TV series’ “Malcolm In The Middle,” “Lazytown” and “Rugrats.”

In addition to their work as head writers on PBS’s “Word World” and Granada TV’s “SuperNormal,” they have been head writers for two seasons of The Cartoon Network’s “Pet Alien,” Alphanim’s “X-Ducks” and Nickelodeon’s “Brothers Flub.” They were nominated for an Emmy as writers of “Toddworld,” but lost and hold no grudges. They are currently working on “Geronimo Stilton” for Mike Young Productions.

They’ve also written over 50 children’s books, many based on popular TV shows and movies including “Shrek 2,” “Survivor,” “Monster House,” and “Avatar.” Last year, they wrote several books for Jon Scieszka’s “Trucktown” series, published by Simon & Schuster.

Before their work in TV, they were both editors and writers at Malibu Comics.
Dan is “the tall one.” Tom is the “not-quite-as-tall-as-Dan” one.
REVIEWS
  • Best Classic Little Golden Books of Tomorrow
    Launched in the 1942s, Little Golden Books were hardbound, sturdy books with a strip of golden foil down the spine. They pop from a bookshelf and you know one the second you see it. Fortunately, Random House is still turning out new ones!

    Little Golden Books may be the best-selling children’s book series of all time. They’ve sold over two billion total copies – individual titles have sold as many as fifteen million copies or more. Fortunately, they are still being published today. To go along with classics like “The Poky Little Puppy” and “Tootle the Train,” the newer ones tie-in to current movies or TV shows, a few are updates of classic books with more current language and illustrations, and still others are terrific originals. All have the potential to be enjoyed for generations to come, just like their predecessors! Let’s check the bookshelf…
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  • Best Cartoons on DVD for Teens
    Pop quiz! What do a yellow nuclear family from Springfield, a drunken robot, a quirky inventor, an inept superhero, a Moose & Squirrel, the guardian of Gotham and a spinach-eatin’ sailor all have in common? Just some of the best cartoons ever made!

    When it comes to cartoons, there’s one thing to keep in mind: they aren’t always for children, even when they pretend to be. Newer cartoons like “The Simpsons” and “The Venture Brothers” can make us howl with laughter, “Batman” is as good as any superhero movie, and the cartoon violence of Bugs Bunny can still bring the funny 60 years after it was made. Here are the best of a large bunch – a mix of great current cartoons and some classics that deserve a spot in the DVD rotation.
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  • Best Classic Golden Books
    Remember those classic children’s books that your great grandparents read when they were children? They’re still here.

    The Best Of The Best:
    You know them the second you see them lined up on a shelf: the little hardcover books with the gold foil spines. Since 1942, there have been Little Golden Books available for children to read and re-read and the sturdy cardboard covers make them last longer than most books (and for pre-readers, they also make good teethers). Over one billion (that’s with a “b”) have been sold and many of them are still available today, now published by Random House. Despite their age, many of the stories are still as unique and relevant as contemporary books and while the art may look retro, it doesn't feel dated. Stack a shelf with these classics for boys and girls (ages 3-6), and you can't go wrong.
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  • Best Animated Movies For Kids
    Can’t figure out what animated movies to show your kids? We’ll make it easier for you with ten cartoon gems!

    The best animated films are as good as any live-action film and many of them are better. There are action, adventure, comedy, drama, and magic, fantasy worlds and strange creatures. The only difference is that talented artists use ink, computers and even hand-carved figures do the acting. If you’re lucky, your kids will let you watch them, too.
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  • Best Bedtime Stories
    Who doesn’t love a good story at bedtime?

    Dinner’s over, and she’s out of the tub and in her pajamas. She’s ready for the last big event of the day: a bedtime story. But which one? Every kid loves a good story at bedtime, and it’s great to find one that they’ll enjoy hearing and reading and seeing over and over again. Here are the best to keep next to the bed!
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  • Best Disney Animated DVDs
    Heigh-ho! Heigh-ho! It’s off to the DVD shelf we go to find the five best animated movies from The Walt Disney Company.

    The Walt Disney Company has a reputation for quality family films that are also animated. Some of them are based on classic fairy tales, others on books, and still others on cultural legends. They win awards. The songs stick in your head long after the credits roll. And they are vastly entertaining for both kids and their parents, even though some of the movies are 40, 50, and 60+ years old. Many of the movies on this list feature techniques that Disney’s animators and creative talent either pioneered or perfected like the multi-plane camera, xerography, and computer software programs. You can read more about that kind of thing from animation historians like John Canemaker and Michael Barrier. If you just want to watch, grab one of these… the first one should come as no surprise.
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  • Best Baseball Picture Books
    Play ball! Baseball season is here and if your kids can’t always be outside playing a game, they can be inside reading about it.

    Batter up! Historical, funny, serious, starring animals or people: there are all kinds of picture books about baseball. Shake the dirt off your cleats, grab a corn dog, and make sure these are in your dugout (or bookcase).
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  • Best Classic Preschool Picture Books
    Ever wonder what happened to that book your parents used to read to you? It’s still here, still available and ready for a new generation of children.

    There are lots of great children’s picture books, but not all of them can be considered classics. Classics are ones that never seem old or dated, regardless of the year they were published. Classics remain in print for each generation to discover. Your grandparents might have read them to you just as you are reading them to your own children. When you find them on a bookshelf or see a familiar illustration, it brings back happy memories and a wistful smile. Whether they’re about pigs, dogs, teddy bears or wild things, these books retain their storytelling power and artistic style years after their original publication so that new generations of kids can discover their wonders.
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  • Best Preschool Picture Books
    There’s nothing better and more satisfying as a parent than sitting down with your child and reading a book together. The best picture books have an almost magical combination of story, art, and readability that will make children happy to read them on their own or have someone read to them. Many of the best children’s books have won awards and been recognized on a national level. Others have sold jillions of copies. But there’s no better judge of a truly great picture book than a child who says, “Let’s read this one again!”

    Your child wants a story so what book will you choose? Here are five that definately belong on your bookshelf!
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