Cue the marching band! Light the fireworks! It’s time for an All-American Author Interview!
I asked Blue Sky White Stars author Sarvinder Naberhaus about her favorite American foods, pastimes, and traditions. Here’s the scoop:
The 4th of July is coming, and you’re invited to my backyard barbecue bash. What tasty treat should I grill up for you? A hot dog? A hamburger? Something else entirely?
A grilled hamburger is good, but so is a grilled hot dog. It’s probably a toss-up, but I’d top either of them with barbecue sauce.
Barbecue sauce on a dog or burger?! That’s some American ingenuity, right there. I’ll forgo my usual ketchup-mustard-relish-onions combo next time and try it.
Batter up! We’re headed off to enjoy America’s favorite pastime — a baseball game. When the snack vendor comes our way, do you want peanuts or Cracker Jack?
When I was young I’d walk to Pammel Grocery and buy Cracker Jack. I only bought them for the prize. I would eat them, but never really liked them. I lived for the prize.
Here you go, Sarvinder. All the prizes just for you.
Happy Thanksgiving! Do you choose a slice of apple pie or pumpkin pie? And what’s your favorite side dish?
Definitely pumpkin pie with whipped cream. Favorite side dish? French Silk Pie!
Pie on the side? That takes the cake!
My kids love my pumpkin bars too, so I’ll share the recipe at the end of this post.
Have you ever visited Washington D.C. and the Smithsonian museums? Which was your favorite?
The Air and Space Museum. I’m fascinated with the stars and wanted to be an astronaut, hence the ending of Blue Sky White Stars.
Readers will have to rocket to their nearest library or bookstore to see BLUE SKY WHITE STAR’s spectacular ending. Kadir Nelson’s illustrations are stratospherically stunning.
It’s a perfect summer night with exactly zero mosquitoes. I’ve packed the station wagon with snacks and pillows. Let’s go to the drive-in! Which classic American film should we see? *crosses her fingers for JAWS*
My favorite movie is THE SOUND OF MUSIC, but for the drive-in, I say GREASE.
Speaking of summer blockbusters, I’ve revved up the DeLorean’s flux capacitor. Let’s time travel! Which famous American would you most like to meet?
There are lots of people in BLUE SKY WHITE STARS that I’d like to meet, but I’d have to say Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Great choice! I’d love to hear Half Pint’s stories first-hand. Can you imagine getting writing advice from her? Amazing.
Nothing is more American than a… In that spirit, it’s time for the speed round. Hold on to your 10-gallon hat, Sarvinder!
Fireworks or fireflies?
Definitely fireflies on a warm July night, millions blinking over the fields of Iowa. A sight to behold.
Jazz or Country? Country. My favorite singer is Amy Grant.
Nascar or rodeo? Nascar.
Coke or Pepsi? Neither. Dr. Pepper!
On that appropriately independent note, I’d like to thank you, Sarvinder Naberhaus, for participating in this All-American Author Interview. And now, for the grand finale:
Sarvinder’s Famous Pumpkin Bars With Cream Cheese Frosting
Grease a 10 x 13 ” pan. Preheat oven to 350.
4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 c. sugar
2 c. pumpkin (1 15 oz. can)
1 c. vegetable oil
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Spread batter into pan. Bake 20 minutes.
Soften 4 oz. cream cheese and 3/4 c. butter (1 1/2 sticks)
Blend cream cheese and butter with 1 tsp. milk, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1 3/4 c. powdered sugar until smooth. (Frosting recipe can be doubled. Freeze half for another day.)
Frost cooled pumpkin sheet cake and cut into bars.
Enjoy while reading BLUE SKY WHITE STARS.
I write for young people and live to make kids laugh. My picture book BABYMOON celebrates the birth of a new family and is coming from Candlewick Press. WHAT MISS MITCHELL SAW, a narrative nonfiction picture book, is coming in spring 2019 from Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane Books and will be illustrated by Diana Sudyka.
I’m represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette.
(Vendor photo: Apr 5, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Ballpark vendor Chico Sakulsky sells peanuts and Cracker Jack before the Pittsburgh Pirates play the St. Louis Cardinals at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)