Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
Julianne Moore’s red hair and freckles are a source of envy these days, but, as a child, they earned her the unwelcome nickname Freckleface Strawberry. She admits, “It’s not mean, but I felt teased by it. I was living in an area in the Midwest where there were very few people who had the kind of freckles I had.” She channeled that feeling of being different into her children’s books, Freckleface Strawberry, Freckleface Strawberry: Best Friends Forever, and Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully: A Freckleface Strawberry Story. “I want my readers to see themselves in the stories,” says Moore. “Sometimes there are things about ourselves that we don’t like.” The series has now been turned into a musical, which she says has “a real message of acceptance and tolerance.”
Moore attended a special benefit performance this weekend where she lent her support for the charity Save the Children. “Not every child gets an equal chance,” she says. “When I started with Save the Children five years ago, one in five children was living in poverty in the United States. Now, with the recession, it’s one in four.” The charity serves children and families in more than 120 nations, helping them to access education and health care.
Photo: BRUCE GLIKAS/FILMMAGIC.COM
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Monday, January 10th, 2011
Do you know the children’s book Freckleface Strawberry, by Julianne Moore? It’s based on her childhood, when that was her (totally unwanted) nickname, and touches on teasing and acceptance. The book is now a Broadway show, and yesterday I took my daughter Julia, who’s 5. Given that the book isn’t exactly filled with plot twists or even characters, I wasn’t sure how the story was going to fill 70 minutes, but turned out to be an absolutely adorable show: great music, really talented performers, and plenty of laughs for kids and adults. (Linda Gabler, the actress who plays the teacher/the mom/ one of the kids, is particularly funny.) Julia got the message—that it’s not nice to tease and that you should be happy being yourself—and in case she didn’t, we’re reminded by the soundtrack, already played in its entirety three times since we got home last night (it was playing as I walked out the door this morning).
Lest you think that this is a girls’ show, I can tell you that there were lots of boys in the audience, and they seemed to be just as into it as the girls were. A few of them even stopped by the “free freckles” station before and after the show, as Julia did:
It’s playing at least through June 5, so if you’re looking for a fun treat for your child, this one will entertain you, too.
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