Coming this fall: THE FINA MENDOZA MYSTERIES podcast!Read More
May has been book festival month. My friend Kitty talked about “Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza” in Berkeley and in Pasadena.
At the Bay Area Book Festival, Kitty appeared with Marissa Moss who has written TWO books about the Pinkerton Detectives. Since I’m a girl detective, Kitty and Marissa helped the audience of kids solve a real-live murder mystery that happened right down the street in Berkeley.
Last weekend, it was LitFest Pasadena where Kitty appeared on a panel with a whole bunch of really great writers to talk about middle grade novels.
It’s been really fun going to class visits with my friend Kitty Felde. She talks about me and the Demon Cat of Capitol Hill and about how Congress works. She even makes kids write a postcard to their member of Congress about an issue that they care about a lot.
I agree with this one about equal pay for women!
This weekend we were back in Los Angeles for spring break and guess where I went? The LA Times Festival of Books!
It was really fun. I got to put on this silly crazy head and I got to see some of my favorite writers (like PASHMINA illustrator and author Nidi Chanani who’s from Southern California like me!) and eat cotton candy and sit in the SCBWI booth. That’s the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. I came home with a stomach ache from the cotton candy and a book bag full of bookmarks and even a fan from the Jane Austen Society.
I can hardly wait because I’m going to go to the Bay Area Book Festival the weekend after Easter!
The book about me, “Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza” is a pretty big deal. My friend Kitty Felde told the (mostly) true story of how I figured out the mystery of the Demon Cat of Capitol Hill. And this weekend, Kitty and artist Imelda Hinojosa will be signing copies of the book! Hope you can come say hello!
Sat. March 30, 2:30 pm – Author Talk and Book Signing of “Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza.” Veteran public radio reporter Kitty Felde turned her years of covering Capitol Hill into this witty mystery that goes behind the scenes in Congress. Free. Children’s Book World 10580 1/2 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90064 (310) 559-2665, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mon. April 1, 6:00 pm – Author Talk and Book Signing of “Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza.” Veteran public radio reporter Kitty Felde turned her years of covering Capitol Hill into this witty mystery that goes behind the scenes in Congress. Free. Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA (626) 449.5320, or email@example.com.
You probably already know this if you’ve read about it in Kitty’s book, but my favorite important person in the world is Sonia Sotomayor. In case you don’t know, she’s a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. I got to see her “on the bench” one time. (That’s what Papa says they call it when the justices listen to arguments about a case.)
It was great! Except that all the big, bald lawyers sat in front of me and it was hard to see.
She sits over near the end because she’s only been on the Supreme Court ten years which sounds like a long time, but I guess not at the Supreme Court. She wears jangly bracelets just like me! I dressed up like her for Halloween last year. I used Papa’s broken sunglasses and a graduation gown I borrowed from the lost and found box at school and lowered my voice really deep. I got a lot of candy.
My Abuelita also loves Justice Sotomayor. We’re going to go listen to what they call oral arguments as soon as it’s spring break. I can hardly wait!
Anyway, there’s this gigantic painting of her and all the other lady justices in the National Portrait Gallery. You should go see it!
So my friend Kitty Felde writes about how I met my favorite dog in the world Senator Something in her book about me “Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza.” It all happened right here in this dumb little park across the street from the Rayburn and Longworth House office buildings. It’s dumb because all it has is picnic benches and scrubby little trees and it’s usually too hot or too cold to hang around there. But some of the staffers go there to smoke and make private phone calls and some of the dogs who hang out in congressional offices go there to do their poop business.
That’s how I met the big orange dog named Senator Something. (He’s called that because his owner, Congresswoman Mitchell, wanted to name him after her favorite U.S. Senator, but she couldn’t decide which one, so her staff called him Senator Something until she made up her mind. But she never did, so his name is Senator Something.
Kitty walked all over Capitol Hill on Thursday, sharing our book “Welcome to Washington, Fina Mendoza” with the staffers who work on Capitol Hill. (Staffers are the people who answer phones and organize information for the lawmakers and make sure they get to the House Floor on time to vote on bills.)
Here she is with California Congresswoman Grace Napolitano. She’s one of my favorite members because she’s like everybody’s grandmother. Also, she’s what my sister Gabby calls “our Mexican food connection.” We live in DC full time now, but every weekend, Congresswoman Napolitano flies back to her district in California. When she’s not meeting with her consituents, she’s stuffing her suitcase with chilis and posole and all the things you can’t buy here in Washington. Sometimes Gabby gives her a shopping list.
Also, if you visit her office, her refrigerator is always full of my favorites: guacamole, tamales, you name it! She says she teaches her staff how to cook. Yum!
Truth: it’s not really my birthday.
But it’s the birthday of the book ALL ABOUT ME. On Thursday, February 28, 2019, there will be a real live book all about the adventures of Fina Mendoza (and her family and a few dogs and cats) on Capitol Hill. I hope you will read the book. Ask for it at the library or your favorite bookstore (we have a BUNCH of them in Washington, DC!) Or you can even order it from Black Rose Writing, the guys in Texas who published it.
Tell me what you think!
Papa says the U.S. Capitol isn’t the only place where rodents rule the world. He says LA City Hall has a problem with - ugh - rats! He said I could share this article by Kitty Felde with you. Just don’t be scared of the rat picture. Even baby rats are scary!
My best friend Trina told me it’s been super freezing in Los Angeles. Because I was born in Los Angeles, I know that means that the temperatures have been below 60 degrees. I got to brag to her that it got a lot lower than that this winter in Washington, DC. And it even snowed.
Trina has been begging her mom to let her come out to visit me in DC so that she can see snow, too. But her mom said she wasn’t about to let Trina miss school just to see some snowflakes. Poor Trina.
So I keep sending her pictures. Like this one. Don’t be too jealous, Trina.
My grandmother is not happy. She just moved here to Washington to take care of me and my sister Gabby and Papa, who is a congressman. Abuelita was looking forward to sitting in the visitor’s gallery to watch Papa and senators and the cabinet and a bunch of other people listen to the State of the Union address. That’s when the president gives a kind of report card on how the U.S. is doing.
Abuelita and I got Papa’s two tickets.
Mostly, Abuelita wanted to see Justice Sonya Sotomayor in person. She loves Justice Sotomayor. So do I. I even dressed up like her for Halloween. I think it got me a lot more candy than usual.
But the President and the boss of the Democrats in the House are fighting. And the fight just got worse. Speaker Pelosi just told the President that he can’t come to the Capitol for the report card speech until he re-opens the government.
Papa says the president will probably give the speech someplace else. I wonder if our tickets are any good for wherever that is.
Papa says Congress and the President are having a fight and that’s why the National Zoo is closed. I don’t mind too much because I don’t really like the pandas. But my favorite museum in the whole world, the National Portrait Gallery, is closed too.
It’s what they call a government shutdown. But when I visit Papa on Capitol Hill, everything seems to be open. The lunch lady is still working the register in the Capitol basement snack bar. The AOC janitor still collects the trash and the recycling every night. (AOC stands for Architect of the Capitol. Everything in DC has initials. Everything.) The crabby Capitol policewoman is still working and still crabby. Papa says she has to work because she’s “essential,” but she doesn’t get paid. That’s probably why she’s crabbier than usual.
When my sister Gabby and I have a fight, Abuelita makes us go to our rooms for five minutes to “cool off” and then apologize. Maybe Abuelita can make the President and Speaker Pelosi go to their offices for five minutes and apologize. Maybe.