As parents of freckle-faced little people, we’ve been reading Julianne Moore’s Freckleface Strawberry series for years. So when we heard Moore was taking one of our favorite kidlit heroines digital, we had to check it out.
The iPad app, which launches today, along with e-versions of the previously published stories, stars the gap-toothed gal in a charming interactive tale about friendship, monsters, and imagination. At the end, little readers are invited to design their own monsters, voiceover the monsters’ roars, and share their creations with someone they love (mom, dad, grandma, grandpa).
Moore, a voracious reader and advocate for early childhood literacy, sat down with us to talk books and apps. We also threw in a question about bedtime beauty rituals — because how could we not?
How old were you when you started reading?
I must have been 6. It was first grade. When I was a kid, you didn’t read in kindergarten. You just like, you know, painted.
What was that first book?
It was a kids’ science book with chapters about weather and electricity. The first sentence I read was, “Mother, mother, said Bob, I see a robin.” [The chapter] was about springtime. I can remember sitting with my mother reading it.
Who was your favorite kidlit character?
Laura Ingalls Wilder. I loved her. But I also had a picture book that I read that was one my mother bought me in the grocery store called Ann Likes Red. It was about a little girl who goes shopping with her mother to get school clothes and everything she buys is red.
Best place to curl up with a book: I find reading itself so soothing that it doesn’t really matter where I am. The joke in my family growing up — and even now — was that I could read anywhere. If there’s something to read, I can’t not look at it.
Based on sound alone, tell us your favorite word: Egregious.
What’s on your bedside table right now?
A lot of stuff. Rebecca Miller’s new book, Jacob’s Folly; The New York Times’s 36 Hours; Lust and Other Stories, by Susan Minot; Grace Coddington’s Grace; George Saunders’s short stories, Tenth of December; and a pair of reading glasses.
Hardcover, Kindle, or Nook?
Mostly hardcover. But, this is embarrassing, sometimes I double-buy a book and put it on my iPad.
Screen-time rules in your house: My son is 15, so he is self-regulated at this point. With my daughter who is just 10, almost 11, we do limit screen time. She’s not allowed to watch television or movies during the week, so after she finishes her homework she reads. But then, sometimes, she’ll be like, ‘Mommy, let’s watch America’s Funniest Home Videos on the computer.’ So it’s a ten-minute video on YouTube, which is sort of better than on the TV because it ends.
Let’s pretend your kids are writing a book about you. What’s the title?
My Mom Cleans Up Too Much
Inquiring minds (ours) want to know your bedtime skin care routine. Please share!
[Laughter] Are you ready? There are a couple of steps to it. I cannot stand going to sleep with makeup on. It bothers me. So if I’ve worn makeup that day — which is not often, if I’m not working then I’m not wearing makeup — I just wash my face with a mild cleanser. Kiehl’s makes a really good one. And then I use Alpha Hydrox, this drugstore stuff that I’ve been using for a really long time. I have a Kiehl’s eye cream that I use. Sometimes, if I have a pimple or something, I’ll put a spot remover on whatever that is. And then I’ll put on lip balm and go to bed. [Laughter] But it seems to take a long time, longer than it should. My husband is always like, “What’s taking so long?”
Find out more about the Freckleface Strawberry app and e-books at frecklefacestrawberry.com.
Photos: Courtesy of Julianne Moore and LeUyen Pham