Mehoomash Update

Recently, my son Pierre (who turns 8 in March) came up with the name Mehoomash, based on Shel Silverstein’s poem that reads:

“Knock knock! Who’s there? Me! Me who? That’s right! What’s right? Meehoo! That’s what I want to know!”

When I asked Pierre who Mr. Mehoomash was, he said he didn’t have a family….or a job…but he had a house…somewhere! When I asked him what Mr. Mehoomash did all day, he said: He knocks on people’s doors. And when they answer their doors, he does a dance! We’ll have to find out more later!

In the meantime, I have added the following:

The Mehoomashes are a family of 9 boys and 1 girl.
Mr. Majestic Mehoomash (dad) is the son of the founder of Mehoomash Opportunity Savings & Trust (MOST) of New York City. Perhaps the largest bank in all of Gotham.
Slogan: “You get the MOST at Mehoomash”

Mrs. M. (Matilda) is one of the city’s most renowned socialites and philanthropists.

The kids and ages are:
1. Marlowe, MOST investment banker, 29
2. Matisse, head of Mehoomash Museum of Art, 27
3/4. twins Marco & Magellan, aviator/ballonist; deap-sea explorer, 25
5. Merlin, “Metal Man” performer in Central Park, 23
6. Memphis, Oxford student, 20
7. Montana, snowboarder, 18
8/9. Miles/Max; whizzes at chess and doubles tennis, 16
10. Miracle (that’s what Mrs. M. said when she found out it was a girl), a muralist, 14

Nannies: Millie & Mollie (twins)
Butler: Middleton
Cook: Mee Shim
Cat, Mischief; Dog, Mayhem

When Mr. M. heard from a friend that there was a Chinese cook named Mee Shim who could cook just about ANYthing, he hired him sight unseen, just on his name alone!

What’s curious about them is that the Meehoomashes have not ALL been together at home for dinner…in years! Until, with Thanksgiving approaching, Mrs. Mehoomash is planning a grand affair for her guest: none other than Queen Angoritha of Bruxelbourgia, who is touring the U.S. to learn all about America.

Can they all finally be together at one time?!


“Dreamy Pies in the Sky” Picture Book

Many thanks to Argentine artist Adriana Mufarrege for creating this beautiful cover! ©2009

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In an older part of the city — between brownstones and tall apartments — a large flat building glows warmly through its skylight and glass block windows.

The Dreamy Pies Works makes thousands of pies by day and by night.

Pie fillings are made in very large vats using fresh fruits and berries.

The soft dough passes through a set of rollers.

Then ingredients are added and the pies are crimped by machines.

Conveyor belts and wheeled tracks go clickety-clack and load the pies into two giant ovens the size of fire trucks.

Much of the baking is done at night, so people can enjoy the freshest pies in the morning.

Each pie box gets a sticker with a quarter moon and stars: the sign of a genuine Dreamy Pie.

Apple, cherry, lemon meringue, chocolate silk, even peanut butter pies!

People can’t buy pies at the factory, but some are very lucky.


Who Is Mr. Mehoomash?

My seven-year-old son Pierre made up this name last week. Doesn’t it sound great?

The stress is on the first syllable, Me. I told him Mehoomash would be a wonderful character to create for his class writing. He said NO, MISTER Mehoomash! Oops, my bad…I’ll keep you posted about who the mysterious MISTER Mehoomash really is!

The State of Young People’s Literature

In yesterday’s LA Times was an excellent article by the country’s National Ambassador of Young People’s Literature. I never knew we had one!

Pieology: A Brief History of Pies

When you hear the word “pie,” do you think of Fourth of July cherry pie, or pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving? Or perhaps America’s favorite — apple pie? The sweet pies that millions of people enjoy today have come a long way from the very first known pies.

The idea for pie can be traced to the ancient Egyptians. The kings’ bakers used nuts, honey, and fruits in bread dough. Drawings of this can be found on the tomb walls of King Ramses II, who lived more than three thousand years ago.

Later, the Greeks and Romans improved the art of pie-making by creating pie pastry. Greek pies were made with a flour-water paste wrapped around meat. This served to cook the meat and seal in the juices.

The Romans learned about pies from the Greeks. Their first known pie recipe was for a goat cheese and honey pie. Other Roman pies had fish, oysters, and meats inside. As the Romans spread through Europe, more and more people learned about pies. Different recipes appeared in many different lands.

In England, in the time of knights and castles, pies known as mince (or mincemeat) pies were filled with meats. Beef, lamb, wild duck, and magpie pigeon were used, along with fruits and spices.

The nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence” comes from old England too, in the 1700s. The rhyme mentions “four and twenty blackbirds” baked into a pie for a king’s feast. When the pie was opened, the king was surprised to hear the birds singing.

Amazingly, small animals were actually put into pies at royal feasts back then. Rabbits, frogs, turtles, and others were used. Even small people (dwarfs) were enclosed in pies! When they climbed out, the dwarfs would entertain guests with tricks, much like a jester….

When the Pilgrims sailed from England to America, they brought their pie-making skills — along with apple seeds — with them. This is how the expression “As American as apple pie” began.

The chicken, turkey, and deer that the Pilgrims depended on for food most likely were used in pies. Because their pies had crusty tops, they were also good for preserving food….

Sweetbread pie (similar to mince pie) was a favorite of George Washington’s….

Whichever pie tickles your taste buds the most, you can celebrate National Pie Day on January 23rd.

Kamini and the Secret Pool

Thanks to artist Aung Min Min in Myanmar for this beautiful book cover.

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In a small village by the Ganges River in India, lived a young girl named Kamini, who was admired by many for her beauty and kindness.

There were also three other girls her age in the village. These girls had grown jealous of Kamini and made up a plan to play a trick on her.

One day, the girls told Kamini that they had thrown all their trinkets and beads into a pool of water at the river. They said this would please Varuna, the river god, and bring them good luck. So they urged Kamini to do the same.

Kamini and the girls went to the pool near a giant banyan tree. Kamini removed her necklace, copper bracelets, and shiny bangles. She threw them into the water, hoping Varuna would grant her good luck too.

Just as she threw them into the water, the other girls laughed loudly and collected their jewels which were hidden under a bush. They skipped away laughing and mocking Kamini for being so foolish. Kamini stood alone under the banyan tree. She could see her sad face reflected in the water.


This IS a Real Agent

Okay, I knew I had seen this a few weeks ago, so I wasn’t imagining it. On the website of (Anon.) Literary Agency are some agent profiles. This one jumped out at me:

(Female) joined (BlahBlahBlah) Literary Agency in (year). A former editor at (wherever and wherever), she began her career at (So&So) after earning an MFA…at (well-known NYC university). She represents (basically crime an suspense books) and is looking for (x, y, and z ) and unpredictable violence. (emphasis added) E-mail her at blankity-blank.
If you want her real email, please contact me so that you can threaten her with kidnaping and torture. It’ll be her best query of the month, guaranteed! I’m sure she will respond that day!