For Melinda, becoming a part of the cast was not only easy for her—“The character is totally me! We’re almost the same person!” she says—it was pretty much a dream come true. “I screamed I was so excited!” says Melinda, referring to the invite from Veggie Tales. The World Vision tie-in was icing on the cake for Melinda, especially entering the Easter season. “I grew up with the best mommy in the world,” she says. “She was very adamant about teaching the real reason for each season. Easter was one of those times where we celebrated what Jesus did for us. Not only did He die; He was resurrected. We were always seeking ways to honor that sacrifice. “That rings so true for me now,” Melinda continues. “In my everyday decisions, I want to honor that. I love the way they’re coupling Easter with service.” Melinda’s transparency, enthusiasm and conviction pulse through her every word. Those very things helped catapult her to international renown on “American Idol.” Fittingly, her character, yucca root Cassie Cassava, has also been quite successful on a similar platform—“America’s Got British Judges.” When her celebrity drives others to make some not-so-good decisions, she is “pulled in a lot of directions. Hilarity ensues…everything goes wrong…” No need to spoil the ending, but suffice it to say that as Easter dawns, the garden brigade has learned a lesson or two about self-sacrifice, generosity of spirit and, of course, how to win over British judges. “At the end of the day, they all realize that helping someone doesn’t have to be a huge act. It can be simple,” Melinda says. Don’t miss out on this must-see film for kids of all ages! Editor’s Pick: Don’t miss out on another out-of-the- ballpark project from Veggie Tales, Hosanna, a collection of worship songs featuring all the favorite veggies with special appearances by Amy Grant and Mark Hall. As the mother of a toddler, I give this two-thumbs-up for keeping my son entertained and me very happy! M is s io n M a t te r s ViSit melindadoolittle.Com to See eVerythinG melinda iS up to. loG onto biGidea.Com to learn more about thiS and their other filmS. an easter dream Come true Melinda Doolittle becomes a vegetable “I’ve always wanted to be a veggie,” says Melinda with utter seriousness in her voice. My brilliant response? “Umm… so… what were you?” (Sadly, I couldn’t identify the vegetation she was portraying.) “I was a Yucca root,” she says with a laugh. “It kind of looks like a sweet potato which is my favorite thing ever. It’s also what World Vision uses in Africa to help feed impoverished people in Africa.” I shouldn’t be surprised… when it comes to vegetables, ministry and Melinda, symbolism is rife throughout. The vegetables to which we are speaking are, of course, our dear, sweet friends at Veggie Tales. Their latest, Twas the Night Before Easter, takes a look at helping others… and how the simplest of things can bring great blessings. Partnering with World Vision, Big Idea (the creators of Veggie Tales) are encouraging folks to do the simple act of sponsoring a child to change a life. “At the end of the day, it can be as easy as helping someone next door,” says Melinda. “It doesn’t have to be a huge act. It really can be as easy as sponsoring a child.” 30 CCM