He gave us “The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs,” “Math Curse” and the “Time Warp Trio” series: No wonder kids and their parents adore Jon Scieszka (rhymes with Fresca). Now there’s “AstroNuts,” about a secret NASA program based in Mount Rushmore, with Thomas Jefferson’s nose acting as a rocket. “You’re kinda looking for stuff that entertains you,” says Scieszka, 65, who learned a lot about what kids like to read while teaching second grade on the Upper East Side. The longtime Brooklyn resident tells The Post where you’ll find him most weekends.
My wife and I started going to La Bagel Delight 40 years ago — they make the best bagels and have the fastest service possible. Even if you see a line of 20 people, you better know what you want, because you’re gonna be up there in, like, two seconds. I’m a pumpernickel fan, even though my son makes fun of me: “Nobody eats pumpernickel!” Luckily, my son-in-law, Steven [Weinberg, who illustrated “AstroNuts”], is a pumpernickel fan, too.
Once I’m fortified, I like to go to Community Books. I thought Amazon’s “If you liked this, you’ll like that” was good, but no, they just recommend the same things. It was a bookseller at Community who got me reading Salman Rushdie way back when I didn’t like that he was so popular. Now I just love his stuff. That’s what you want from a bookseller: Someone who’ll take you somewhere else.
If you’re a writer, you’ve got to be drinking! My favorite wine store is called Big Nose Full Body — I love when it shows up on my credit card statement. There are wines from $15 to $150, and they know my taste. I walk in and one of the co-owners, Matt, looks at me and says, “I got something for you!” I don’t know who Harry is, but I’m always meeting people at Bar Great Harry. It’s just three or four tables, so it’s not a big stakes kind of thing, and they’re open at 2 o’clock.
The Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. is a cover for an organization that Dave Eggers started in San Francisco. He wanted to help tutor kids, and bought a store that had to have a retail component, so he sold pirate supplies — eye patches and wooden legs — while offering free tutoring. Here, it’s a former hardware store where you can buy your capes and your anti-gravity stuff, and behind the swinging, secret door, kids get tutoring and do their own writing.
Another thing I love is the Brooklyn Historical Society. It’s got this huge collection of maps and ephemera and Brooklyn history. Jennifer Egan did hardcore research there for “Manhattan Beach,” her book about a Navy diver. You know that classic kids’ question, “Where did you get your idea?” You start by reading about how people lived in other places and other times.