Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully: A Freckleface Strawberry Story

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9781599903163: Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully: A Freckleface Strawberry Story

Freckleface Strawberry loves the Early Bird program at school because it means extra time on the playground-except when it rains. Rain means indoor playtime...and facing the school bully Windy Pants Patrick in a bruising game of dodgeball. Ignoring him seems the safest thing, but what's our freckled heroine to do when she's forced to confront the bully alone? Beat him at his own game, of course. A funny, inspiring story about an all-too-common problem that kids, parents, and teachers will easily relate to.

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Book Description
Freckleface Strawberry loves the Early Bird program at school because it means extra time on the playground--except when it rains. Rain means indoor playtime...and facing the school bully Windy Pants Patrick in a bruising game of dodgeball. Ignoring him seems the safest thing, but what's our freckled heroine to do when she's forced to confront the bully alone? Beat him at his own game, of course. Julianne Moore's follow-up to Freckelface Strawberry is a funny, inspiring story about an all-too-common problem that kids, parents, and teachers will easily relate to.

Questions for Julianne Moore

Question: Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully is your second picture book. How does it feel to be a published author?

Julianne More: It feels wonderful to be a published author. I consider myself first and foremost a reader-- I grew up loving books more than anything else in my life. I moved a lot, and books were my most steady companions and greatest influence. As a result, I feel pleased and honored to be included in a world that is so meaningful to me.

Question: In your first book, Freckleface Strawberry learned to accept and celebrate her freckles; in your new book, she meets a bully on the playground and learns how to confront him and remain true to herself at the same time. Why do you feel these are important topics to address?

Julianne More: It was important to me that I create a character who was very much a real child, with a real child’s fears and feelings and sense of herself as an individual in the world. So it is not so much that I see Freckleface Strawberry as a character who is dealing with important "issues," I see her as dealing with the very real problem of defining herself in relation to the rest of the world--which, of course, is what we all do as we grow up!

Question: You have a wonderful way of infusing your text with humor. Was that intentional?

Julianne More: Gosh, I hope it is funny. I think life is funny, and children are hysterical. I love how literal they are, and how imaginative. Just the idea that children believe that they can make themselves disappear or become a scary monster or convince someone that they are a grown-up when they are clearly just four years old--all of that is so funny to me. I don’t want to be unfair to children about the seriousness of their experience, but sometimes it is the distance from the story that makes it funny. Events that feel tragic can take on a comic cast with some distance--even for a child.

Question: What inspired you to create the character Freckleface Strawberry?

Julianne More: Freckleface Strawberry was a childhood nickname of mine. It was a name based on my copious amounts of freckles and long red hair. I found the name tragic and humiliating at the time--but with some distance (see above) it has become wildly amusing. So really these stories are based on my own childhood experiences and a sense of being at the center of my own drama--with a little of my kids' drama thrown in!

Question: What was your favorite thing to do when you were Freckleface's age?

Julianne More: When I was seven, all I wanted to do was ride my bike. It was a purple Huffy, with a banana seat and butterfly handlebars. I rode it everywhere. That, and read.

Question: You have two young children. What role do books and reading play in their lives?

Julianne More: My children have always been read to, and now my older child reads on his own as well. The stories they love reflect so much about them--my son loves books about sports and funny mystery books; my daughter loves a story where a child has a problem and then solves it!

Question: Were you an avid reader as a child? What's your first reading memory?

Julianne More: I loved to read as a child. We moved a lot and reading was something I could always take with me. The first sentence I ever read was in a kid's science book that I read with my mother, and the sentence was, "Mother, Mother," said Bob, "I see a robin."

Question: What writers have influenced you?

Julianne More: In terms of children’s books, I love William Steig, Mo Willems, Kevin Henkes, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Louisa May Alcott--they write books that don’t condescend to the child and that acknowledge their sense of humor. There really are so many great writers--Maurice Sendak, Theodor Geisel, Margaret Wise Brown, and on and on and on...

Question: How has the process of writing for young readers differed from how you prepare for a film role? What are the similarities?

Julianne More: I found that in writing the book, it was very important for me to locate the voice of the character--not unlike the way I work as an actor--and once I found the voice, it was easier for me to write it.

Question: What did you enjoy the most about the process of creating a picture book? The least?

Julianne More: I think I liked coming up with the character the best, and so far I haven’t disliked anything--it’s all been a lot of fun.

Question: What is your motto?

Julianne More: Perseverance is more important than you think!

Question: What’s your favorite kind of pie?

Julianne More: My favorite kind of pie is lemon meringue--or cherry--I can’t decide.

About the Author:

Julianne Moore is a four-time Academy Award-nominated actress. Married and the mother of two young children, she lives in New York City.

LeUyen Pham graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, worked as an animator for Dreamworks, and is now the illustrator of several picture books, including Grace for President, Freckleface Strawberry, and Big Sister Little Sister. She lives with her husband in San Francisco, California with her husband and young son. www.leuyenpham.com

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