Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘book reviews (all genres)’ Category

 

Petit fours: dainty little iced cakes, delicately layered with fruit or buttercream, an adorable bite-size treat. Eating one of these pastel pretties can make you feel quite special, maybe even a little giddy with delight.

That was just how I felt reading The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by award winning author and poet Anne Michaels.  Meeting the inimitable, eccentric Miss Petitfour was a singular pleasure since she’s an expert at baking and eating little cakes.  A very good talent to have, I must say.

Miss P also likes to read, chat, and dance. She thrives on small pleasures. Fond of “pockets, paisley, playful patterns and anything hand-knitted,” she travels by tablecloth with her 16 cats trailing aloft, a fanciful kind of Mary Poppins sans umbrella with her own brand of magic.

Laced with just the right amounts of whimsy and fun, this charming book features five everyday adventures of precisely the right size:

Some adventures are so small, you hardly know they’ve happened. Like the adventure of sharpening your pencil to a perfect point, just before it breaks and that little bit gets stuck in the sharpener. That, I think we will all agree, is a very small adventure.

Other adventures are so big and last so long, you might forget they are adventures at all — like growing up.

And some adventures are just the right size — fitting into a single, magical day. And these are the sort of adventures Miss Petitfour had.

And guess what else?

Miss Petitfour believed firmly that every adventure past her doorstep — even just a jaunt to the grocery shop — must end with a tea party . . .

Huzzah! :)

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Didn’t someone once say you can’t have your cake and eat it too?

Well, anyone who reads Midori Basho’s Timothy and Sarah: The Homemade Cake Contest (Museyon, 2015) will certainly be able to do both. First published in Japan six years ago, The Homemade Cake Contest is the first title from Basho’s popular 13-book Timothy and Sarah series to be translated into English, and it’s quite scrumptious.

In this charming story, mouse twins Timothy and Sarah are excited about helping Miss Flora and their mother raise funds to restore an old house in the forest. It was once a wonderful café where guests could have tea and chat while their children played outside. If only they could repair the building and reopen the café! Then young and old alike could enjoy it together!

Adorable end papers!

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Mmmmmm! There’s nothing like the tantalizing aroma of a brand new picture book to put me in a happy holiday mood. Even better when it’s been cooked up by two immensely talented women — multiple Emmy award winner Sonia Manzano and two-time Caldecott Honor recipient Marjorie Priceman.

Miracle on 133rd Street (Atheneum, 2015) contains just the right ingredients for a satisfying, heartwarming read: family, friends, neighbors, sharing, a little bit of magic, music, and even a mustached pizza chef!

Most important, this story is about the power of food — to soothe the savage breast, bring people together, and beget joy.

The food in question is a roast. A BIG roast. One that’s too big to fit in the oven. It’s Christmas Eve and Mami is beside herself. She’s also homesick for Puerto Rico, where she could have easily cooked the roast outside. Jokingly, young José says what they need is a big pizza oven. Papi thinks that’s actually a good idea, so they put the roast in a big box to take it to Regular Ray’s Pizzeria.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

No holiday table would be complete without beautiful festive cranberries. Whether you like your cranberry sauce fresh or from a can, there’s just something about that deep red color and distinctive tartness that speaks to cherished tradition and good times.

Maple Orange Cranberry Sauce via Kitchen Treaty

Alongside the magnificent gobbler and tricked-out starchy sides, cranberry sauce is like the pampered guest who knows it was invited to dinner just as much for its prettiness as its flavor. Not snobby in the least, cranberries enjoy being appreciated for their good looks.

In the past I’ve made lovely cranberry wreaths for the front door, strung garlands of it with popcorn to adorn our Christmas tree, baked them into muffins and breads, and made a delicious relish with grated orange rind. Often, if I’m asked to bring a side dish on Thanksgiving, I’ll make a cooked cranberry gelatin mold — one part retro, two parts jiggle. :)

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Time to put on your best bib and lick your chops. There’s a new foodie poetry book in town!

In Head to Toe Spaghetti and Other Tasty Poems (Rubicon, 2015), Canadian author, poet, educator and literacy expert David Booth serves up 59 toothsome gems culled from his writings of the last 40 years. These delectable delights are presented in five mouthwatering courses and are sure to “tickle your lips, tangle your tongue, tease your imagination, twist your sentences, and tenderize your heart.”

(click to enlarge)

Begin by wrapping your lips around 10 Fast Food Rhymes featuring kid favorites like “Fish and Chips,” “Chicken Fingers” and “A Dangerous Drink” (burp!). Move on to tasty Snackers and Crackers (“A Thin Slice of Cake,” “A Dumb Plum,” and “Blueberry Lips”). Still hungry? With Food Daze we’re invited to celebrate the “Sounds of Beautiful Food” (courgette, almondine, radicchio, buttermilk), relish the hidden goodness in “Gift-Wrapped” natural foods (coconuts, bananas, oranges), or wiggle, jiggle, and swiggle with glee like a “Jell-o Fanatic.”

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 774 other followers

%d bloggers like this: