The first time you hear that Moore writes children’s books, your reaction is mild, unsurprised – Huh, well, of course. But the first time you hear that Moore gives readings and does book tours, and those readings are attended by enthusiastic children, your reaction grows pensive; you rewind through decades of indie acclaim (“Vanya on 42nd Street,”) and blockbusters (“Hannibal”) and Academy Award-nominated performances (“Boogie Nights,” “Far From Heaven,” “The Hours”), and you grow puzzled.

Kids know Moore from … what, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”? “Short Cuts”? Who shows up?

“Lots of guys in raincoats!” Moore said recently, interviewed on the phone from her home in Brooklyn. “Not really – kids show up! A lot of grandmas with kids. School groups, first- and second-graders. Moms bring their kids. And, yes, some adults.”

Moore, unlike some movie-stars-as-authors, has a burgeoning series generating respect. The “Freckleface Strawberry” books follow the adventures of a girl with a striking resemblance to a young Moore, a precocious phobic-prone redhead with freckle issues. Her first book, 2007’s “Freckleface Strawberry” (Bloomsbury, $16.99), sold well but, more important, did not receive the kiss-of-death “vanity project” stamp within children’s book circles.

The next installment, “Freckleface Strawberry and the Dodgeball Bully” (Bloomsbury, $16.99), illustrated by former DreamWorks animator LeUyen Pham, came out in April.


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