Anyone who has seen Julianne Moore's griping performance as a self-consumed rock and roll mom in What Maisie Knew should be aware — that was some really good acting.
Anyone who has seen Julianne Moore's griping performance as a self-consumed rock and roll mom in What Maisie Knew should be aware — that was some really good acting. In actuality, the affable and warm Moore is as devoted and in-tune with her kids' needs as a mother could be. We caught up with the actress, children's author, and mother of two about the sweet inspiration for the FreckleFace Strawberry series, her simple solution to juggling a career and kids, and how she's taking her beloved books hi-tech.
POPSUGAR Moms: The apps [Dreamtime Playtime and the Monster Maker Game] are such a fun complement to the FreckleFace Strawberry series. What made you decide to enhance your books with this interactive component?
Julianne Moore: I like the character so much, I was trying to keep it going. Dreamtime Playtime is a math-based app. It encourages early counting and sorting skills with a minimovie beforehand. She [FreckleFace Strawberry] is a character that you can feel good about. If you're sitting at a restaurant and want your kids to entertain themselves for a few minutes, you won't feel bad giving this to them. She's a real girl, she's entertaining, she's educational. It reinforces positive behavior — brushing your teeth, washing your hands. And instead of learning sorting with colors or shape, FreckleFace sorts her friends, which I think is really fun.
PSM: To backtrack a bit, what inspired you to write children's books in the first place?
JM: I did it on a whim. A friend of mine suggested that I write something, and I thought it seemed kind of crazy. But my son was 7 at the time, and he wasn't liking his haircut, he wasn't liking the way his ears stuck out . . . he thought his toes were too big and funny looking. Seven is an age when kids really start to become kind of self-conscious and aware of themselves physically for the first time. So I remembered this nickname that I had because I had red hair. I wrote this first story without any expectations of it getting published or anything . . . but it did! So I kind of kept going with it. I really like reading to kids. I like their reactions, and I was a big reader as a child. It's a way to participate in their lives that's very meaningful to me, so I just kept doing it.
PSM: And your other book, My Mom Is a Foreigner, but Not to Me was a tribute to your mom?
JM: Yes, it was. It was really an important book for me because it was a way to honor her. I think that it's a thing that a lot of kids growing up in the US experience — having a parent from another country — and the response to it has been just tremendous.
Keep reading to learn more about how Julianne juggles her career and kids, her family's most-treasured books, and their favorite holiday traditions.