I first met Mary Ann Castagnetta about 7 months ago when she and her husband, Eddie, bought their house down here in the Cape May area. From the moment I met her I knew there was something special about this lady. The excitement and energy she exudes is infectious to say the least. She is outgoing and engaging. The type of person that, when they tell a story, you want to stick around and here it!
My husband was the one to discover her “secret”. He had been doing some handyman work for the Castagnettas when he came home one night and asked me, “Did you know that Mary Ann is an author?” Really? How cool! So I quickly ran to the computer to Google her name. And there it was: Mary Ann Castagnetta: Children’s Author. She is a self-published author of two books, Bubble Gum Dreams and Elephant Soup?
Since Mary Ann knew we had 2 little ones at home, she sent an autographed copy of each book home for us to enjoy. No strings attached. She just wanted us to let her know how the boys liked the books. Well, I’d say “like” was an understatement! I think the first time through, I had to read Bubble Gum Dreams about 5 times to my 3 year old. At least! Since it was bedtime, I put a cap on the number of times I would read Elephant Soup? or we would NEVER get any sleep!
Both stories are so fantastically engaging, particular for the younger kids. Just think about the idea of dreams that are as sweet and pink as bubble gum. Or that someone would make a soup from elephants. These books really capture the imagination and silliness of youth. Lennon never gets tired of the images of pink watermelons growing in Bubble Gum Dreams or of shopping for elephants at ShopRite in Elephant Soup? And the illustrator, Mike Motz, is simply amazing. The characters are all based on real people and Motz’s drawings are spot on.
A few months ago I brought my oldest over to meet Mary Ann Castagnetta (and yes, he even calls her by her full name!). I’m not sure who was more excited to meet whom! We brought our books with us and Mary Ann was kind enough to read both of them for Lennon. He was in his glory! Catch a clip of Bubble Gum Dreams here:
And Elephant Soup? here:
And today, I got an email from Mary Ann. Both of her books have won 2nd place in the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards contest for the categories of Picture Books, ages 5 & up and Picture Books, ages 6 & up! Way to go!!!!
To learn more about her books or to order your own copy, visit maryanncastagnetta.com. Or if you’re in the Cape May area, you can find copies of her book on sale for $15 at Lynn Arden Children’s Shoppe on the Washington Street Mall in Cape May.
Make sure to “Like” Bubble Gum Dreams on Facebook and follow Mary Ann on Twitter @authormaryannc