Photo: Penguin Young Readers
Fran Drescher, best known for her role in the TV series The Nanny, just wrote a children's book called Being Wendy. She weaves the story around a young girl struggling to come to terms with independence—a virtue close to Fran's own heart.
Parent & Child: You don't have any kids, but you recently wrote the children's book Being Wendy. What inspired you?
Fran Drescher: I based it on my own childhood experience. I don't have kids, but I was one, and I felt like I had so many followers from The Nanny who were children, so I wanted to leverage that following by imparting a positive message to them.
P&C: Being Wendy is about putting people into boxes, both metaphorically and literally. All the inhabitants of Wendy's town, Boxville, are forced to wear actual brown boxes that are labeled with their professions. What's your best advice about being independent?
Drescher: I hope that by reading this book parents and children will be encouraged to embrace and nurture their uniqueness and see it as a good thing. I think that I grew up in a very provincial world. I was very diverse in my interests and was uncommonly ambitious in my goals, and that was not always embraced by my peers or the community.
P&C: So the book's message really hits home.
Drescher: I thought when I was a little girl that I might want to be an actress because it seemed to be the most effortless, the most fun, and the thing I would never tire of. But I also like doing people's hair, writing, and politics — and I realized I could do all of that.
P&C: Even though you don't have children, you do have nieces! What types of activities do you enjoy doing with them?
Drescher: We love going to see some theater. We like to be in New York City together and enjoy walking in the park, window shopping, going to restaurants, and of course — seeing movies.
P&C: What are some of your all-time favorite books for kids?
Drescher: My first and thus favorite book is I Can Draw a Line. But I also loved The House That Jack Built, Eloise at the Plaza, The Bobbsey Twins, and lots of Dr. Seuss books.
P&C: What was your favorite holiday tradition as a child?
Drescher: My family and I would go to Radio City Music Hall and see the Christmas show. Today, I like to have friends over to the house and play holiday music and eat holiday foods and go see all the good movies that are out in the movie theaters.
You can follow Fran on Twitter at @frandrescher.
Megan Hess is a digital editor for Parent & Child.
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