a blog birthday, coming attractions, and the fuzzy one

*enters kitchen, turns on the stove, takes a bite*

Hello, Cutie Pies! We’re b – a – a – a – c – k!

Hope you had a nice summer feasting on sweet corn on-the-cob, juicy watermelon, garden tomatoes and fresh peach pie. How was that hammock working for you?🙂

Today there’s a lovely back-to-school-ish feeling in the air. New pens and pencils! New spiral-bound notebooks! Smell that clean, crisp paper — blank pages just begging to be written upon.

We’re munching on a little fruit danish this morning to celebrate Alphabet Soup’s 9th Birthday. I’m amazed that someone like me, who’s usually so *cough* quiet, always manages to find something to say. You know who’s to blame, don’t you? YOU!!

Yes, YOU!! You’re the one who’s kept me going, challenging me to do better, dropping by to chew the fat, telling me about new books I have to read, eating all my cookies. Really, I don’t mind. To you, I say, THANK YOU! Thank you for continuing to take a seat at this humble table, for reading my posts, commenting, sharing, and teaching me something new with every visit. In a world of a million blogs, I really appreciate your support!

Thanks, too, to all the authors, illustrators, poets, and indie artists who’ve chatted with me about their work over the years and shared personal recipes (about 200 now!).🙂

It’s always Colin o’clock at Alphabet Soup!

In fact, I like you so much I don’t even mind sharing Colin and Aidan with you.🙂. No, wait. I take that back. C&A are mine, all mine!!

Are the stars out tonight
I don’t know if it’s cloudy or bright
I only have pies for you, dear.

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summer blog break

gardensoup
“Garden Soup” by Jane Dyer (Limited Edition print available from R. Michelson Galleries)

 

It’s time to put our soup on the back burner while we step out of the kitchen for a summer blog break.

Whether you’re planning a vacation or staycation, have fun, stay safe, and eat lots of GOOD FOOD.🙂

Mr Cornelius, the Alphabet Soup kitchen helpers, the 50-something Paddingtons and I wish you a very Happy Summer!

 

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via The Wheatfield

Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

Winnie-the-Pooh and The Royal Birthday by Jane Riordan and Mark Burgess (+ Honey Chocolate Pie)

Mr Cornelius practicing the royal wave.

Hello Hello!

What’s the best way to honor two beloved British icons with 90th birthdays this year?

Feature them both in a beary good story, of course.🙂

All art copyright © 2016 Mark Burgess.

Mr Cornelius is convinced 2016 is extra special and that 90 is a magic number. On January 13, much to the delight of the 50-something resident Paddingtons, Michael Bond turned 90. On April 21, HRH Queen Elizabeth turned 90 (with her official birthday celebration taking place just over a week ago), and this coming October marks the 90th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh’s first book.

Goodness. This is like a golden trifecta for us anglophiles who are mad for Brits, books and bears! Just so happens that Her Majesty loved the Pooh books when she was little, and the year she was born, Mr. Milne dedicated his Teddy Bear and Other Songs (1926) to her.

What does this Palace Guard have stashed under his hat?

Earlier this year, Mr Bond was asked to write an address for the National Service of Thanksgiving for the Queen’s 90th Birthday. His “Reflection on the Passing of Years” was read aloud at the service by Sir David Attenborough (and yes, he turned 90, too, on May 8). This piece, a special gift for the Queen, described the experience of life for those born in 1926. Is there any better gift than the gift of words?

So we could say that in effect Paddington has “met” the Queen, but until this new story Pooh had not.

 

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hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: Wade Hudson

Wade Hudson is president of Just Us Books, Inc., an independent children’s publishing company he co-founded with his wife, Cheryl Willis Hudson. Just Us Books is a leading publisher of books that represent our diversity, with a focus on Black history, culture and experiences. Wade has authored 30 books for children and young adults.

 

☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: My day starts with a hot cup of coffee, which I drink while reading the morning paper. When I was a little boy growing up in rural Louisiana, I was awakened each morning by the aroma of coffee brewing.  For me, it signaled a new day. I would watch my Dad sitting at the table, drinking his cup of coffee while reading the morning paper. I was too young to join him then, but I continue my father’s tradition now. A second cup normally follows my wake-me-up cup of coffee, and after a quick breakfast, I am ready for the new day.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESS: Feelings I Love to Share by Wade Hudson, illustrated by Laura Freeman, published by Marimba Books (2015), and Book of Black Heroes from A to Z (revised edition) by Wade Hudson and Valerie Wilson Wesley, published by Just Us Books, Inc. (2013).

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK: Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street by Rita Williams-Garcia, illustrated by Damian Ward, published by Marimba Books (2015).

I am a native of Louisiana. And I love the wide variety of cuisine found in the state. The northern part of the state is more known for its southern Soul, rural-influenced cuisine. The southern section, especially New Orleans, is characterized by the Mississippi River and other bodies of water, is famous for its Creole, Cajun, and seafood-centered cuisine. Bottle Cap Boys Dancing on Royal Street spotlights the tradition of youngsters’ tap dancing in the French Quarter using bottle caps stamped and ground in the soles of their shoes instead of taps. This delightful book captures the flavor of the Crescent City and introduces some of the famous dishes and food it is known for such as jambalaya, beignet, po’boys and red beans and rice. Let’s eat y’all!

☕ COMING SOON FROM JUST US BOOKS/MARIMBA BOOKS:

  • AFRO-BETS® Book of Shapes (to be re-issued by Just Us Books, Fall 2016)
  • AFRO-BETS® Book of Colors (to be re-issued by Just Us Books, Fall 2016)
  • I’m a Big Brother Now, by Katura J. Hudson, illustrated by Sylvia Walker (Marimba Books, a new picture book for Fall 2016)
  • Book of Black Heroes: Political Leaders Past and Present, by Gil L. Robertson (Just Us Books, a new book of biographies, Fall 2016)
  • Sights I Love to See (another book in the “I Love to” series published by Marimba Books, Spring 2017).

☕☕ Visit Wade Hudson’s Official Website and the Just Us Books website and Online Store. Keep up with current news on the Just Us Books Facebook Page.

☕☕☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Get in the groove with the AFRO-BETS ABC Song!

 

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☕☕☕☕ AND ANOTHER SWEET SIP (in case you missed it):  Cheryl Willis Hudson’s hotTEA post! With TWO hotTEAs in the house, they must have to wear their flame proof suits all the time.🙂


Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

celebrating sir paul mccartney’s birthday with linda’s lemon drizzle cake

“Nothing pleases me more than to go into a room and come out with a piece of music.” ~ Paul McCartney

Why, hello. Thought we’d serve up some lemon drizzle cake in honor of Paul McCartney’s 74th birthday tomorrow. Please help yourself to a piece or two or three and a nice warm cuppa.🙂

While you’re sip sip sipping and ever-so-politely wiping crumbs from the corners of your mouth, enjoy Paul’s “English Tea,” which I strongly suspect he wrote just for me. See if you agree:

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Am I not a “nanny bakes fairy cakes” kind of person who tends to veer into twee at a moment’s notice? I think “English Tea” should become Alphabet Soup’s official song.🙂

Miles and miles of English garden stretching past the willow tree . . . lines of holly, hocks and roses listen most attentively.

paulnewalbumIt’s hard to believe Paul is going to be 74; he hasn’t slowed down one bit. Right now he’s in the midst of his One on One Tour, and just a week ago he released “Pure McCartney,” a comprehensive retrospective collection of his solo, Wings and Fireman work available in 3 formats: 2CD, 4CD and 4LP. The 4CD version features an amazing 67 tracks, all handpicked by the man himself.

To help promote “Pure McCartney,” he’s done a series of six virtual reality mini-documentaries filmed in his home studio in England, where he discusses backstories and recording/production tidbits about some of his songs. These can be seen in 360-degree videos or in virtual reality on a mobile app for Android or iOS.

I love how he continues to be on the forefront of studio technology. Never one to rest on his laurels, he’s always been pro-innovation (Sgt Pepper, anyone?) — the mark of a true creative, a musician through and through. When it comes to staying power and audience appeal in a rapidly changing and highly competitive industry, Paul takes the biscuit!

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