Rainn Wilson is bringing his distinctive voice to an animated version of the children’s book A Horse Named Steve, written and illustrated by Canadian author Kelly Collier and published by Kids Can Press.
Wilson, best known for his role as Dwight Schrute on “The Office”, has partnered with Vooks, a streaming service that animates children’s books for young viewers, aged 2-8, to help them build their vocabulary as they’re instilled with the joy of reading by interacting with animated video shorts of their favourite storybooks.
“A Horse Named Steve” focuses on an exuberant stallion who hopes that a newly-discovered gold horn will be the key to making him exceptional, with Wilson narrating the ecstatic equine’s journey as he prances through the forest, happily showing off his new trophy to his friends. However, when Steve misplaces his precious prize, can he really still be exceptional? This charming tale features read-aloud text, engaging animation, and a timeless message that teaches kids that anybody can be special.
“How can you not love Steve the Horse?” Wilson said. “He’s fun, lovable, wears his emotions on his sleeve, and is utterly clueless in the best possible way. I had such a great time working on this, and I think Steve and his antics are going to be a big hit with Vooks readers. I can’t wait to share this cool new storybook with them when ‘A Horse Named Steve’ launches.”
“Rainn Wilson is a blast to work with,” said Russell Hirtzel, Vooks co-founder and director of “A Horse Named Steve”. “Putting this particular storybook together was really unique — we worked completely via video call to capture the performance, connecting our team in Portland, OR, with Rainn at his home studio near Los Angeles. Kids are going to flip over Steve the Horse.”
“I don’t think it’s possible that Vooks could have come up with a better actor to portray the endearingly clueless horse named Steve than Rainn Wilson,” said Collier. “He has somehow managed to bring to life the exact voice I heard as I wrote Steve’s dialogue. I’m thrilled that my books can also be enjoyed in such a fun, accessible way with Vooks’ animation and Rainn Wilson’s spot-on interpretation of Steve. It’s wonderful that the book’s message on the importance of being your ‘authentic self’ will reach a broader audience through Vooks.”
“Kids Can Press is proud to partner with innovative companies like Vooks and we are so impressed at how they’ve brought Kelly Collier’s imaginative tale to life in this wonderful new storybook,” said Kids Can Press president and publisher Lisa Lyons Johnston. “Steve is such a sweet and relatable character, making Rainn Wilson the perfect choice to portray him. He and the Vooks team have done an incredible job with this project, and we are excited to get to showcase Steve and his adventures to even more young readers around the world.”
“A Horse Named Steve” is available to view on Vooks right now.