10-Year-Old Author Thinks the Best Gift for Mother's Day Is Something Homemade

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

When Alec Greven of Colorado had to do an independent writing assignment last year in third grade, he looked to the playground for inspiration. He thought that boys and girls sometimes don't get along, so he wrote several pages of advice for boys on how to talk to girls.

His teacher made some copies for the school book fair, and they sold out -- twice. A local TV station did a piece on Alec's advice book, which led to an appearance on the national TV talk show "Ellen." Last fall, HarperCollins published Alec's book, "How to Talk to Girls."

Now Alec, who is 10 years old, has written "How to Talk to Moms" and "How to Talk to Dads," which came out last month. KidsPost's Margaret Webb Pressler asked Alec for some advice about celebrating Mother's Day.

Is it important to make a big deal out of Mother's Day?

It's a really big day for mothers because moms do so much stuff -- good, awesome stuff -- for us, and I think we should do some nice stuff for them. . . . Moms do all the bad extra stuff for you that you should be doing, so you [should] do some extra stuff for them.

Do you have any suggestions for things to do for Mother's Day?

Moms may not be that happy if you go out and spend all your money on this really huge gift. . . . If you absolutely have to buy your mom a Mother's Day present, go to Dad, because usually you want to keep it a surprise. But the best thing is a homemade gift, like maybe have great behavior or make a card or a calendar, or bring breakfast in bed to your parents.

What about the rest of the year? What do moms like or not like?

Moms like it when you make them a nice note and you hug them a lot. And don't always do it when you want something; do it all the time. And moms really don't like it when you bring bugs and snakes and stuff into the house, because then you'll lose them and Mom freaks out because she doesn't want to be sitting on a spider.

Did you ever do anything that made your mom mad?

One thing that a lot of moms don't like is . . . when you take Mom's perfume or food and make all sorts of concoctions. I made this big stew, and it was in my mom's birdbath. It was all outdoor stuff. If I used a bucket I wouldn't be in trouble at all. But my mom wasn't that happy when she saw that the birdbath had this brown, icky stuff in it. Now I make my concoctions in buckets.


© 2009 The Washington Post Company