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Archive for the ‘food art’ Category

Clerihew? Achoo!

Pardon me, but whenever I see the word “clerihew” I think somebody’s just sneezed. Either that, or I picture a shell-shaped danish pastry or a new fangled brass musical instrument.

But all you poetry aficionados know very well that a clerihew is a cheeky four-line rhyming poem invented back in the late 19th century. Its sole purpose? To make fun of a famous person. In case you’re looking to liven up your President’s Day celebration on February 16, better check out Bob Raczka’s new book, Presidential Misadventures: Poems That Poke Fun at the Man in Charge (Roaring Brook Press, 2015). 

Officially released just last week, this smorgasbord of historical and hysterical verse features 43 juicy tidbits about each of our Presidents with clever caricatures by award-winning illustrator and cartoonist Dan E. Burr. All based on fact, some poems point to an important achievement or event (Louisiana Purchase, Monroe Doctrine, Manifest Destiny), but most highlight a quirky personal habit or idiosyncrasy (Harding’s size 14 feet, Pierce’s vanity, Van Buren’s pet tigers, John Quincy Adams’s early morning skinny dipping).

In keeping with the clerihew’s rules, the first lines of these poems end with the person’s name, and I like Raczka’s spot-on descriptions: “Toothache-prone George Washington,” “Fashion-conscious Chester Arthur,” “Electric-shock victim Benjamin Harrison,” “Fresca fanatic LBJ,” “Cover-upper Richard Nixon.” Best zinger of all? “Relaxer-in-chief George W. Bush.” Did you know he took more than 900 days of vacation while in office? :D

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Happy Tuesday!

Hope you had a lovely weekend and stayed warm and cozy. Before I get to the cool things, wanted to send out a big HELLO and WELCOME to all our new subscribers. Many of you uncommonly good-looking people found your way over here via a link from Susan Branch’s blog, perhaps hungry for Rachel’s lemon butter cookies. Have you made them yet? Mr. Firth might visit you if you do. So yummy!

Anyway, we’ve set places for you at our table, cushy reserved seats any time you feel like dropping by for a little nosh or nibble. Thanks for finding Alphabet Soup! Extra cookies if you wear a mustache. :)

On with the coolness:

1. Yesterday was an exciting day for people who love children’s and young adult books — the Youth Media Awards, recognizing the tippy top cream of the crop books published in 2014, were announced at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. We send out big congratulations to all the award winners and honor book recipients, especially Author/Illustrator Dan Santat on his Caldecott Medal for The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend (Little Brown, 2014), and Kwame Alexander on his Newbery Medal for The Crossover (Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt, 2014)! You can see the full list of winners here.

2. Our current blog banner features the watercolor work of Deidre Wicks, a Canadian artist we interviewed in Fall 2013. Her “Tea Party” print is available in three sizes (5×7, 8×10, 11×14) and can be purchased at her Etsy Shop, Water in My Paint. Love those whimsical animals (did you see the robin in the teacup?) and all the cakes! Wanted to show the full image as I had to crop it a little to fit the header space.

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3. Feeling a little under the weather? Seems like a lot of people have caught the flu this winter. If germs have been bothering you (or not), check out Dan Krall’s new picture book Sick Simon (Simon & Schuster, 2015):

Are germs gross, or great? Sick Simon learns how to be health-conscious during cold and flu season in this clever picture book from the author-illustrator of The Great Lollipop Caper.

Simon is going to have the best week ever. Who cares if he has a cold? He goes to school anyway, and sneezes everywhere, and coughs on everyone, and touches everything.

Germs call him a hero! Everyone else calls him…Sick Simon. When will it end? How far will he go? Will the germs take over, or can Sick Simon learn to change his ways?

Achoo and cough cough. We had fun featuring The Great Lollipop Caper and can’t wait to see what Dan’s done with this germy book. I can just imagine the ewwws, yucks, and giggles over the gross humor, but understand it’s snot for everyone. :D

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4. February is Black History Month, and there’s no better place to spend a little time than at The Brown Bookshelf for their annual celebration, 28 Days Later. Each day they’re profiling a different children’s or young adult author or children’s illustrator. A great opportunity to read about the best new and unnoticed works by African-Americans.

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5. Oh, look! Uber-talented pie lover Kendyll Hillegas is now offering her Pie Varieties illustration as a limited edition 11×14 print! Don’t you love it? It features 13 varieties of pie gorgeously rendered in Kendyll’s exquisite style. Craving a piece of lemon meringue, peach, apple, huckleberry or raspberry? Adorn one of your walls with this print and you’ll never go hungry. Edition is limited to 50 pieces (click here for more info). Read more about Kendyll’s amazingly detailed, meticulous work in our 2014 Indie Artist Spotlight.

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6. HOW TO BEHAVE AT A TEA PARTY GIVEAWAY WINNER!

Yes, it’s finally time to announce the lucky person who’ll be receiving a copy of this charming picture book. As before, we consulted the dashingly handsome, ever reliable Monsieur Random Integer Generator, who came out of hibernation just to help us. After sipping multiple cups of Darjeeling and inhaling three hundred raspberry sponge cakes, he tossed all the entrants’ names up in the air and the one that landed closest to his mustache was:

ta da!

Sarah from Sarah’s Bookshelves!

CONGRATULATIONS, SARAH!

*wild cheers* *confetti* *backflips*

Sarah, please send your snail mail address to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com, so we can send the book out lickety split. Thanks, everyone, for entering!

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7. GINGERBREAD FOR LIBERTY! GIVEAWAY WINNER!!

Luckily we were able to snag M. Generator before he retreated to his winter cave, craftily tempting him with warm and spicy homemade gingerbread, which he found très délicieuse. After brushing the crumbs from his mustache, he downed a tankard of cider, sang three bars of “Yankee Doodle” and selected the lucky winner via mental telepathy. He received numerous transmissions from a bevy of cinnamon and ginger-scented beauties, and expressed sincere dismay that he couldn’t gift all the lovely entrants with a prize. He finally came to a decision when the word ‘prairie’ was transferred 21 consecutive times.

ta da da da!

The winner is —  the Prairie Garden Girl herself, Suzy Leopold

CONGRATULATIONS, SUZY!! 

*cartwheels* *trumpet fanfare* *swirls*

Suzy, please send your snail mail address to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com so we can send out your book pronto! Thanks again, everyone, for entering!

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8. Finally, it’s dumpling time! My niece Cobi of Veggietorials recently made this wonderful video featuring Vegan Mandu (Korean dumplings). The paperback edition of my picture book Dumpling Soup includes my mom’s dumpling recipe, but it contains meat as part of the filling, so it’s nice to have a delicious vegan alternative to enjoy on New Year’s. Of course if you love dumplings, you’ll want to eat these more than once a year!

My sis Sylvia is also in the video, wrapping the dumplings (she was Barbra Streisand’s personal chef for about 10 years, and catered many private parties with celebrities such as Liz Taylor, Alan Alda, Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, and Gilda Radner).

Do check out the Veggietorials website if you haven’t already done so (or find more of Cobi’s fabulous cooking videos on her YouTube channel). You can find the Vegan Mandu recipe here for printing out. Enjoy!

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All for now, cutie pies. Do have a good week! :)

xxxxxxxooooooo hugs and kisses from Mr. Cornelius

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Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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valentinegarland

(click for free downloadables to make your own Love Letters from Cupid garland)

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, hearts are popping up everywhere. I don’t mind one bit, because I’ve always loved hearts. I usually draw one with my signature, like to collect heart tokens, pins and jewelry, and have a definite weakness for heart-shaped cookies and scones.

Thought you might like these lovely handmade, heartmade things, just in case you’re looking for a special little something for a friend — or yourself :). Just click on any image to purchase. Enjoy! ♥ ♥ ♥

valentinebunnies

Valentine Bunnies Original Watercolor by Margie Moore

 

dogs

Dogs in Love Valentine’s Day Necklace by hanaletters

 

heartspoon

Recycled Hand-stamped Silverware by Bella Jackson Studios

 

valentinecards

Boxed Set of Victorian-inspired Valentine Cards by LilyandVal

 

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via AHA

PRODUCE AISLE
by Rebecca McClanahan

The artichoke keeps her distance.
She has been taken too many times. Now
the armadillo armor hides her secret heart.

Everyone counts on the onion, staple of stews
and pottage. But deep in the crowded bin, her skin
is thin as moth wing. It peels away before their eyes.

Green peppers are modern women who take
their muscles seriously. They hunch their shoulders,
broad, shiny beneath a fluorescent sun.

Close by in cellophane the carrots keep for weeks,
the last to lose their figures. All legs,
tapering to slim ankles–and above,

wild profusion of hair. They gather in knots
of conversation and whisper about the apples,
those aging showgirls who didn’t know when to quit,

redheads buffed an unnatural blush, a shine
that shouts forever while inside the white flesh softens.
In the center aisle, bananas in bunches

curl like firm young girls in sleep. Soon they will turn
like their half-price sisters, learn the bruise,
dark print that begins beneath the skin and grows.

Oh to be the avocado! She ages so well.
Time makes love to her daily, finding her sweeter
the softer she grows. Beside her the potato,

peasant woman in brown, comes into her own slowly.
She stays in the shadows, blindly remembers
her place. Come to me! I will make you whole!

coos the eggplant mother. And from the corner bin
a chorus: Oranges, Oranges, Oranges, Oranges.
We are what we seem. We speak our own name.

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~ Posted by permission of the author, copyright © 1989 Rebecca McClanahan, from Mrs. Houdini (UP of Florida).

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Well, grocery shopping will never be the same. I mean, who knew? :)

Love the whimsy in this poem, but also the relatable truths. What lies beneath, when you peel away the layers? Many of us are simply not what we seem. Since the items described here are all female, do you think women conceal more of their true selves than men do? And what interesting statements about aging — for sure, I’d like to be an avocado.

I can think of someone I know in real life who matches each of these fruit and vegetable personality types. Which do you most identify with?

While you’re contemplating that, enjoy this little gallery of reimagined fresh produce:

Portraits by Shalmor Avnon Amichay/Y&R Interactive

Cafe M Food Sculptures by Carl Kleiner

via Techno Crazed

 

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Rebecca McClanahan’s tenth book is THE TRIBAL KNOT,: A MEMOIR OF FAMILY, COMMUNITY, AND A CENTURY OF CHANGE. She has also published five books of poetry and a suite of essays, THE RIDDLE SONG AND OTHER REMEMBERINGS, winner of the Glasgow prize in nonfiction. Her three books of writing instruction include WORD PAINTING: A GUIDE TO WRITING MORE DESCRIPTIVELY, which is used as a text in numerous writing programs. For more, check out her official website.

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HAPPY NEWS

Big Congratulations to Diane DeCillis! Her debut poetry book, STRINGS ATTACHED, was just named a 2015 Michigan Notable Book! Hers was one of 20 books selected for this honor by the Library of Michigan and the Michigan Department of Education. You may remember when I shared “Music from Another Room” and “Last Night I Dreamed I Stole the Croissants” from this book as well as Diane’s hummus recipe. If you still haven’t seen STRINGS ATTACHED, treat yourself to a copy to celebrate the New Year. It’s a rich, sumptuous feast of words, impressions, and ideas sure to satisfy your literary palate.

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poetryfriday180The lovely and talented Irene Latham is hosting the Roundup at Live Your Poem. Is she an onion or an orange? Stroll over to peruse the full menu of poetic goodies being served up in the blogosphere this week. If you go grocery shopping this weekend, be sure to pay close attention to the tomatoes.

Yours truly,

Miss Potato, née Banana
xoxoo

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Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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Good morning!

Is it cold enough for you? :)

Here’s just the thing to warm you up and get your week off to a good start — the world’s first Latte Motion! This rich and creamy love story was created using 1,000 cups of latte, carefully made one by one (don’t miss the process footage at the end). So clever!

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Happy Monday!

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Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

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