Monday, June 27, 2016

Happy Birthday, Adam Lehrhaupt - June 28

Happy Birthday, Adam Lehrhaupt - June 28

Last March, I received a tweet from Adam Lehrhaupt after we celebrated Ame Dyckman's birthday. At the time, I had no idea that the sweets from Ame's birthday and the exchange of tweets with Adam would lead to even more treats for my family. Sure the moon pies were delicious, but reading Adam's wonderful picture books with my children this week was the best treat of all!

Adam Lehrhaupt is the author of three picture books with many more on the way! His love of writing started in high school when he "wrote snippets of stories or ideas in the margins of all [his] books." (Robin Newman Books). A couple of his teachers took notice of his creative side and "pushed" him to find out where his creativity could take him. (Let's Get Busy Podcast).

He went to two different art schools and during his time at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU he studied many things including light and sound design. In the summers he worked for a lighting company that toured with popular music bands including The Allman Brothers and Dave Mathews Band. Later he had the opportunity to work for David Copperfield. He spent four years traveling all over the world as a member of his tour crew. After touring, he worked on a farm for a short time and then returned to art where he worked as an art director for ten years. (

Adam's creativity took him on many different journeys and all the while he was writing and journaling about his experiences. "When I was on tour and traveling, I kept a journal. Eventually, I sat down to write my great American novel...but what came out was a goofy poem about a puppy." (Robin Newman Books). The poem about a puppy led to many more poems and a few manuscripts.

During a trip to Honduras his family encountered some "naughty monkeys" and Adam had to write about them. It was this experience that would lead to his first picture book Warning: Do Not Open This Book!. He said, "The monkeys that were the inspiration for this story live on an island off the coast of Honduras called Roatan...They live at the resort there, and spend their days stealing tourists' drinks, playing with their suntan lotion, wearing their sunglasses, eating their books, generally causing all kinds of trouble. Needless to say, my family fell instantly in love with them." (Kate Louise Author Blog). Those naughty monkeys are trapped inside Warning: Do Not Open This Book! and by opening the book the reader lets them out along with some toucans and an ALLIGATOR! The only way to get them back in the book is to lure them with something they really like and shut the book quickly.

Warning: Do Not Open This Book! was named a 2014 E.B White Read Aloud Honor Book and an ALA Notable Book. Its success prompted a sequel, Please, Open This Book!, that is equally as entertaining. The naughty monkeys, toucans, and alligator are back and are begging the reader to open the book to let them out because it is really dark inside. Once the book is open they plead their case to the reader, but panic sets in as the reader gets closer to the end. These books are so much fun!

Adam's latest book Chicken in Space inspired our author birthday celebration activity. Zoey is a chicken and has a friend named Sam who is a pig. Zoey shares with him her plan to travel to outer space and Sam reluctantly follows along, but he can't help thinking about pie. Sam wonders if its a good idea to go on this adventure before eating some pie but Zoey is ready now! She finds a space ship which is really a basket and a bunch of balloons and together they liftoff. Sam is looking for pie, but Zoey's imagination takes over. After the perfect landing Zoey surprises Sam with a special treat to thank him for going on the adventure with her.

What was the special treat that Zoey gave Sam? A moon pie, of course! My kids have never had a moon pie and I thought it would fun to go on an adventure to make them together to celebrate Adam's birthday.
I found a magical moon pie recipe online and it called for 1 cup of butter. With this much butter I knew these were going to be tasty!
My daughter loves being in charge of the mixer.
My youngest son sifted the flour while my oldest son crushed graham crackers.
The recipe called for us to roll the dough into an 1 1/2 inch log that needed to be chilled for an hour in the refrigerator.
It was the perfect time to read all of Adam's books!
Later in the afternoon, we cut the dough into cookie-sized pieces.
I didn't think our cookies looked moon-like.
I reformed the dough.
That's better!
Moon pies have a marshmallow center. We chose to use marshmallow fluff!
Marshmallow fluff is one of my daughter's favorite foods. She wanted to eat it right out of the tube.
I changed the recipe's subtitle.
The recipe called for only 1 tablespoon of marshmallow. It was hard not to add more!
Another cookie was squished on top.
My kiddos wanted to cover their moon pies with melted chocolate.
My daughter thought dipping one cookie at a time was the easiest way to apply the chocolate.  
"Not just a pie," said Zoey. "A moon pie!"
Do you follow Happy Birthday Author on Pinterest? Please pin!
Thank you, Adam for tweeting your birthday to us! WE LOVE YOUR BOOKS and we can't wait to read more!
I can't wait for Adam Lehrhaupt's next book with illustrator Scott Magoon, I WILL NOT EAT YOU. It will be released September 6, 2016! Also, Adam will have another book published in March 2017, I DON'T DRAW, I COLOR!

1. Adam Lehrhaupt's Website + Teacher's Guides
2. PLEASE, OPEN THIS BOOK (trailer) - YouTube
3. WARNING: DO NOT OPEN THIS BOOK (trailer) - YouTube
4. Follow Adam Lehrhaupt on Facebook, Twitter
5. Interviews - Kate Louise Author Blog, Robin Newman, Henry Herz, Tara Lazar's Blog
6. Audio Interviews - Let's Get Busy Podcast (2013), Let's Get Busy Podcast (2015)

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