The legendary Julie Andrews has worn many artistic hats — all to great acclaim. Her latest, that of a children's book author, is no different.
"To date, my daughter Emma and I have done about 27 books together -- that's a real joy for me," she says in her unmistakable British lilt, calling from her home in Long Island.
"The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart" is the latest installment in the Very Fairy Princess series that she produces with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, and Christine Davenier, who illustrates the series.
Their inspiration? To set their main character, the lively Geraldine, apart from the more stereotypical literary princesses out there. "We wanted to make her not really an anti-fairy princess, but one who is more of a tomboy," says Andrews. "Geraldine's got her socks about her ankles but she's convinced she's a fairy princess. And most of the time, she convinces everyone else that she is one, too."
"The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart" tags along with Geraldine as she handcrafts valentines for her class. Because of a mix-up, she gets to school without them. By the end of the story, she saves the day by telling each of her classmates what makes them "sparkle in her eyes and heart," explains Andrews.
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What makes Andrews' "heart sparkle" is writing the series with her daughter. "I mean, I do a lot of other things. I tour, I speak and do the occasional film, so I'm a little bit all over the place,"?she explains. "But what I'd call my day job these days -- and my joy -- is writing. It's certainly where my heart is right now in this phase of my life."
Andrews on a real princess
We ask Andrews what she thinks of her real princess, Kate Middleton and she is, of course, nothing but gracious. "I think she's terrific. I wish her well. I mean, I can't imagine what she's going through in the limelight having a baby right now," she says. "But I think she'll pull it off beautifully. They seem to be a very happy couple, and I'm so glad for them because they probably need each other very much, you know, with the job that they've got." When we suggest she put a few of her books in the mail to Middleton once she has her baby, Andrews laughs. "Well, who knows? I guess it depends on what they have. You never know!"
Julie Andrews will be signing copies of "The Very Fairy Princess Follows Her Heart" in New York on Tuesday, Feb. 5th at 3:30 p.m. at Bank Street Bookstore, 610 West 112th St., New York, NY, 212-678-1654