something sweet from laura purdie salas

#18 in the Poetry Potluck Series, celebrating National Poetry Month 2010.

 Penny Candy Store in McCloud, CA by mlhradio.

Just for today, let’s go to an old fashioned candy store!

What would you like? How about some root beer barrels, salt water taffy, red hots, sour balls, or peppermint sticks? Maybe some licorice, Smarties, gumballs, Gummi Bears or wax lips? Don’t forget the Mary Janes, Bit-o-Honey, fireballs, and caramels!

 mosaic by simplyembellish.

Can’t decide? Me neither. So many colors, shapes, sizes, and textures — hard, chewy and crunchy. I just want something to last as long as possible ☺. Good thing Laura Salas has dropped by with a special poem about the quintessential childhood candy, lollipops!

“Yum!” is an unused poem Laura wrote for the collection, Lettuce Introduce You: Poems About Food (Capstone, 2008).

I imagine after today, “Yum!” will get lots of licks and love. If we’re extra nice, maybe Laura’s daughter Maddie will share her lollipop.


I’m swallowing lemony yellow.
I’m craving light blueberry blue.
The red’s cherry bright,
Lime green is just right,
And orange tastes like summer days do!

This lollipop’s big as my lunchbox.
Each color is perfectly swirled.
It’s sweet and it’s slick,
And with each slurpy lick,
I feel like I’m eating the world!

© 2010 Laura Purdie Salas. All rights reserved.

I love how Laura’s captured that “kid in a candy shop” elation. My favorite line is “orange tastes like summer days do.” Now, while we’re on a sugar high, check out Laura’s recipe for Brickle. She admits both she and Maddie are not into cooking, but every year at Christmas they always make some Brickle. A nice family tradition, don’t you think? At first glance, you might think one of the ingredients is a little strange. Here’s what Laura had to say about the recipe:

I know this recipe sounds weird. If I had read the recipe before tasting it (it was a holiday gift from a neighbor one year), I never would have tried it. So your readers will have to trust my sweet tooth and give it a go. It’s better than Skor bars.



40 Saltines
2 sticks butter
1 cup brown sugar
12 oz. chocolate chips
slivered almonds


1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Cover cookie sheet with foil and spray with Pam.
3. Spread Saltines in single layer.
4. On stove, melt butter and brown sugar.
5. Bring to full boil and cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
6. Remove and pour over crackers.
7. Bake for 5 minutes.
8. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and let sit (out of the oven) until melted.
9. Spread out chocolate and spread with almonds (optional).
10. Refrigerate at least 4 hours.
11. Break into pieces.
12. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
13. Put it under lock and key if you have little willpower, like me.

*Who would have thought to put Saltines in candy? Hmmmm. Will have to try this sometime. Thanks, Laura and Maddie!!


Laura Purdie Salas is a children’s author and poet who’s published over 80 books. Her first trade book, Stampede!: Poems about the Wild Side of School (Clarion, 2009), was a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. Laura is a fireball of energy and wears many hats — she keeps busy with workshops, conferences, and school visits, writes oodles of nonfiction books for educational publishers, poetry and fiction for magazines, websites, and anthologies — in addition to writing new trade books.

Every week, she hosts “15 Words or Less” at her blog, Writing the World for Kids. She’s one of the seven Poetry Princesses, someone with an endless store of enthusiasm for writing, teaching, and sharing poetry. Her book, Write Your Own Poetry (Compass Point Books, 2008), is perfect for upper elementary and middle school kids! Is there anything this superwoman can’t do? I love love that she’s written a series of Alphabet Books, as well as Lettuce Introduce You. Have you seen the one about Cake?

Copyright © 2010 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.

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