Monday, May 12, 2008

Judy Moody, Megan McDonald and being “famous”

A few years ago my son came home from school and wanted us to buy him a book he had heard read aloud in school. Thus we were introduced to Judy Moody and the fabulous children’s author Megan McDonald.


Here’s a small taste of the first book in this best selling children’s series:

Chapter 1 A Bad Mood

Judy Moody did not want to give up summer. She did not feel like brushing her hair every day. She did not feel like memorizing spelling words. And she did not want to sit next to Frank Pearl, who ate paste, in class.

Judy Moody was in a mood.

Not a good mood. A bad mood. A mad-face mood. Even the smell of her new Grouchy pencils could not get her out of bed.

I have to say that I was hooked by that introduction. This was a girl with attitude.

It was when we finished the book and I recognized the name of the ice cream parlor in the story that I realized Megan McDonald was a local author. She had to be because Screamin' Mimi's is in our county.

Oh and their ice cream is killer. Especially Mimi’s Mud which has chocolate, almonds, and fudge in coffee flavored ice cream. Yumm.

Once I knew Megan McDonald was local, I did some digging and became disappointed when I realized she had spoken at the Sonoma County Book Festival only a month before. I had been there at a booth for my writers club, and my husband and son had stopped by to have lunch with me that day. If only my husband had taken him to see the children's authors, he could have discovered her books then.

That feeling of missing out on something great was compounded when she did a book signing at Screamin’ Mimi’s while we were on vacation in Oregon. One of my son’s favorite authors lives locally, but we kept missing out on seeing her in person.

Until this past weekend.

Last Saturday she was reading from her latest book Hen Hears Gossip

at a nearby bookstore.

My son is a little old for picture books, but he wanted to pick up the latest in the Stink Moody books, which is a spin off line of books featuring Judy's little brother given the nickname of "Stink."


We arrived a few minutes before she was scheduled to start and my son picked out several books including another new children’s series that he had discovered at school: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

We sat down in the first row of chairs. Megan had been talking with people from the bookstore and when they decided it was time to start -- my son was the only kid there.

She sat down on the floor in front of him and started talking to him. For about ten minutes, my son had her undivided attention. They talked about her books and other books he liked. He asked her about Sybil Ludington's ride that rivaled the famous one by Paul Revere that was featured in her book Judy Moody Declares Independence.

He loved the personalized attention, but it was not to last as other children came and sat down on the floor next to her. It was a lively conversation and she read from the Stink Guinea Pig book as well as Hen Hears Gossip.

Here is my son with one of his favorite authors.




The very next day we went to a farmers market and wound up having our picture being taken as we were tasting chocolate from around the world. This morning our picture appeared in the local paper.


In my son’s eyes, he is now famous.

In large part that deals with Judy Moody again, for the book Judy Moody Gets Famous, Judy wanted desperately to get into the paper. She did, but barely.

Her elbow appeared in a picture in the newspaper, thus making her elbow "famous."

Ah, but on page B1, his face and name appeared for all to see this morning. He even cut it out the article to bring to school to make sure everyone knew he was famous.

At least he is not infamous.

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