Local 10-year-old author Alec Greven, who last year wrote “How to Talk to Girls,” prompting an appearance on “Ellen,” has followed up with two new titles, “How to Talk to Moms” and “How to Talk to Dads.” The Washington Post caught up with Alec to solicit advice about Mother’s Day and moms in general.

One thing to be careful about, Greven warns, is mixing up concoctions with mom’s perfume and food. If you’re going to go down that road, definitely don’t do it in her birdbath.

“My mom wasn’t that happy when she saw that the birdbath had this brown, icky stuff in it,” Greven says. “Now I make my concoctions in buckets.” His advice for Mother’s Day, which is Sunday, is that you shouldn’t spend too much money: “The best thing is a homemade gift, like maybe have great behavior or make a card or a calendar.”

Greven’s homespun advice on money seems right on target. The Fort Collins Coloradoan reports that the tough economy means people are spending less on their mothers this year. But moms don’t seem to mind. They generally prefer quality time anyway.