OWTK Summer Movie Monday

Summer Movie Monday Q&A Series — Kate Messner & Frances England

The idea here is real simple: ask my favorite kidlit authors and kindie musicians about their favorite movies and movie food, and then pair them up with each other over the course of the summer. This is what the OWTK Summer Movie Monday series is all about.

All summer long, you and your kids will learn a little bit about the personalities behind the books worth reading and albums worth listening to, only here on OWTK.

We’re kickstarting the Summer Movie Monday Q&A Series with author Kate Messner and musician Frances England. Enjoy!

Author Kate Messner

Kate Messner

Author of the recently released in paperback Capture the Flag, the fantastic Marty McGuire chapter book series, and the forthcoming picture book Sea Monster and the Bossy Fish (due July 9th, from Chronicle Books.)

What is your all-time favorite film?

THE WIZARD OF OZ.  I remember scheduling our whole LIVES around the annual TV showing of this movie when I was a kid. Once, I remember we were camping on Wizard of Oz night, and it was this absolute crisis. How were we going to get electricity for the movie?  I loved the wicked witch – being scared of her was the most delicious feeling at the time, and looking back, I think that’s one of the things that drew me to this movie over and over. It gave me that opportunity to be scared…and then brave when I kept watching.

What food do you like best when watching a movie?

At home, we like ice cream sundaes for movie night. Vanilla or cookie dough ice cream with chocolate syrup and slivered almonds. But at the movie theater, it’s popcorn. What else?

What all-ages/family movie coming out this summer are you most excited to see?

Oh dear…I have to confess that I have been on deadline for two books and have no clue whatsoever what’s coming out this summer. But hold on… I’ll go Google it…(Thankfully, TIME Magazine puts out a quick Summer movie guide for people like me.)  I think MONSTERS UNIVERSITY looks cute – I liked the original MONSTERS INC. and think Pixar is great.

Frances England-surf-shop_photo credit Lea Bruno

Frances England

The acclaimed family musician from San Francisco has released three albums to date, including 2010’s terrific Mind of My Own, and is set to put Blink of an Eye, her 4th kindie CD, into the world on August 6th. England will then release her debut grown-up album Paths We Have Worn on September 3rd.

What is your all-time favorite film?

I love anything by John Hughes, especially Pretty in Pink, Breakfast Club, Some Kind of Wonderful. Hughes was such a master at portraying all the mixed-up emotions that go along with being a teenager and always did it with so much love, respect and humor.  I also really appreciate how music – great music! – played such a giant role in his movies.  I discovered a lot of  fantastic bands through his films.

What food do you like best when watching a movie?

We always make popcorn. Our neighbor gave us this great little wooden-handled popcorn popper pot that my boys can use on the stovetop (with help) and it makes the best popcorn.  So we have that, with lots of butter, and and if we’re really lucky,  my husband John makes his favorite childhood treat called Hairy Monsters….it’s totally trashy and delicious.  Apparently everyone else calls these treats Haystacks but we call them Hairy Monsters because that’s what John’s family called them….you’ll see why when you make them (recipe below).

What all-ages/family movie coming out this summer are you most excited to see?

Well, we kicked off summer by seeing Epic, which [my kids] thought was totally E P I C! And we will definitely be seeing Despicable Me 2, probably a couple of times — lots of anticipation for that one at our house.

Happy Summer! xoxo frances xoxo


HAIRY MONSTERS RECIPE (also called Haystacks)

(makes 6 dozen candies)

1 (11 ounce) package Butterscotch Flavored Morsels (we use nestle toll house usually)
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 (5 ounce) cans chow mein noodles (can substitue pretzel sticks if you like)
3 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows  (optional)

There are two ways to make them – either microwave or double broiler method:


1. LINE baking sheets or trays with waxed paper.

2. MICROWAVE Method: morsels in large, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70 percent) power for 1 minute; stir. Microwave at additional 10- to 20-second intervals, stirring until smooth. Stir in peanut butter until well-blended. Add chow mein noodles and marshmallows; toss until coated. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


2. DOUBLE BOILER METHOD: MELT morsels over hot (not boiling) water; stir until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in peanut butter. Transfer to large bowl. Add chow mein noodles and marshmallows; proceed as above.

*Frances England photo credit: Lea Bruno

**Drive-In movie sign created with the help of RedKid.com**

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