Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Meet the Author

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Today was "Meet the Author" day at Emi's school, and the kindergarten parents were treated to hearing all the kids read from books they'd written over the past few months. The kids had to write both fiction and nonfiction, and many of the books were thinly disguised memoirs ("Once there was a princess named... Emi"). Emi had a four-book deal, evidently -- she wrote "The Number Book," "The Rainbow Rock," "The One Fashion Girl Who Got New Clothes," and "The Princess Who Wanted a Cat." The kids sat at tables and had their author bios on display (my favorite was Emi's friend Riley's, which said "Riley enjoys exercising and eating sweets. The exercising makes him a little bit stronger and the sweets make him a little bit weaker." I want that in my next author bio!) and took questions from the audience -- it was really cute.

Most of the kids' books were the usual third-person "Once upon a time there was a girl/boy who was a princess in a castle/liked to kill monsters," but I think my favorite story was a three-page, first-person "ghost story" from a six-year-old boy. Now I know there's some controversy over first-person, present-tense narration, but this one really worked for me. It was called "The Ghost," and it went like this: "(Page One) I am a ghost. (Page Two) You might think that I am made up. (Page Three) But I am not." Awesome!

Many of the kids dedicated their books to "all my friends and family" (nice), "mommy and daddy, who love me" (also nice), or "mommy and daddy, who I love very much" (can't get much nicer than that). Three of Emi's books bore dedications to Nate, which was very sweet, considering that she spends most of her time annoyed that he exists. And the end of her bio said that her next book might be about princesses. So we have that to look forward to.

The kids were very excited about being "real authors" and presenting their work publicly. It was kind of timely, since I was just commiserating with Miriam yesterday about touring and bookstore readings and how hit-and-miss they can be, and whether or not they actually help sell books anyway. Really, to make this kindergarten "Meet the Author" day more true to life, like an actual bookstore reading, next year they should have only two parents show up, and there should be at least one homeless schizophrenic asking questions about governmental tracking devices.


Andrea J. Buchanan is a writer living in Philadelphia. In addition to her latest book, The Double-Daring Book For Girls (HarperCollins), she is the author of the New York Times bestselling The Daring Book For Girls, The Pocket Daring Book For Girls: Things To Do, and The Pocket Daring Book For Girls: Wisdom and Wonder along with Miriam Peskowitz. She is also the author of Mother Shock: Loving Every (Other) Minute of It (Seal Press) and the editor of three anthologies: It’s a Boy: Women Writers on Raising Sons; Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined; and It’s a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters (all from Seal Press). Before becoming a writer, Andi was a classical pianist; she studied at the Boston Conservatory of Music, where she earned her bachelor of music degree, and continued her graduate studies at the San Francisco Conservatory, earning a master’s degree in piano performance. Her last recital was at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. She is the mother of a daughter and a son, both of whom are equally daring.


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