Travelogue: California

Butter & Egg Days
photos by Alyssa Cortez

After a two year Covid hiatus, the Butter & Egg Parade returned to Petaluma, California this year. Taylor Norman grew up there and her mom, Patty, is a bookseller at beloved indie bookstore, Copperfield’s. They organized a parade float for The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza and Milo and I jumped at the chance to be on it.

If you know, you know.

If you don’t:

Way back in the earliest days of the pandemic, when we were all stuck in our houses with kids who weren’t even in zoom school yet, Mac Barnett started an instagram book club. Mac has written a ton of picture books and the idea was that he would read one of them each day, live on Instagram, until he ran out. This became Mac’s Book Club Show and for a lot of families, including ours, it was a really important part of our lockdown days. It was so good. So hilarious and heartfelt. We laughed. We cried. It grew and grew until it had members on every continent.

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Simultaneously, also live on Instagram, Mac and his best childhood friend, bang-up author and illustrator Shawn Harris, wrote, animated, soundtracked, and acted in a series of “live cartoons” called The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza. These were easily one of my favorite things to ever happen on Instagram. They’re hard to describe; you’d be better off just watching them. And while you do, be sure to imagine two dudes who have been friends all their lives making these cartoons live and remotely, each quarantined in their respective houses. Somehow Shawn - a touring musician for years before he became a kids book guy - also recorded an entire album of songs to soundtrack these cartoons and it’s excellent. It’s called The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Shawn and Mac and it’s been on heavy rotation in our house for years.

And now, TFCISAP is graphic novel. Also excellent. Also hilarious and heartfelt. It comes out next week! Visit THIS LINK to preorder it, to watch the cartoons, and listen to the album. I am not sponsored by The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza. I’m just a big fan. And, of course, a Moon Queen.