soup of the day: at the boardwalk by kelly ramsdell fineman and mónica armiño

Breathe in that fresh salty air and come along for some summertime fun!

I’m positively giddy that Kelly Ramsdell Fineman’s very first picture book, At the Boardwalk (illustrated by Mónica Armiño and published by Tiger Tales), is officially out today. WooHoo!!

*cartwheels, backflips, crazy dazy somersaults*

The reason I’m so happy is that Kelly was one of the first LiveJournal friends I met online when I started blogging about five years ago. I was impressed by her brilliant, witty, insightful reviews and interviews, candid musings about writing and life in general, enlightening explications of classic poems, and month-long Shakespeare and Jane Austen love fests, for which she is known far and wide.

Only Kelly could wax poetic about Wordsworth one moment, then talk about garden gnomes gone wild the next. I’d taken to calling her,”abnormal,” since I didn’t know anyone else who could read as fast, retain so many details, and then instantly offer stunning, eloquent commentary while brandishing an épée and singing along to her brainradio precisely on key. She once remarked how she looked forward to the day when it would finally be her name spelled out in alphabet pasta in her very own celebration soup.

Well, Kelly, that day is finally here!!

*trumpet fanfare*

Before we proceed any further, we must properly suit up. Please put on a pair of sunglasses and choose your favorite color flip flops. Keeping these on for the duration of this post will enable you to channel the Jersey shore like nobody’s business.

Okay, can you feel that gentle ocean breeze? Hear the distant cry of gulls, the waves breaking on the shore?

At the Boardwalk describes one glorious day of relaxing, joyous, totally delicious seaside fun from the promise of dawn’s first light to evening’s starlit dance. Each page turn reveals a new delight to celebrate and savor, thanks to Kelly’s beautifully spare and evocative rhyming quatrains and Mónica’s luscious color-saturated illustrations.

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At the boardwalk

     by the sea

Days are spent with family

Life relaxes; time is free

At the boardwalk

     by the sea

What’s your pleasure? It’s all here, so indulge your heart’s desire — a leisurely stroll, bike ride, turn on the ferris wheel, maybe an arcade game or two? If you need me, I’ll be checking out the ice cream shop right after I scarf down a soft pretzel and finish my popcorn.

(click to enlarge)

At the boardwalk

     in the sun

Take a break from beach-time fun

Ice cream cones for everyone!

At the boardwalk

     in the sun

This feel good book pulls the reader right into the bustle of activity. The text offers just enough detail to set the scene and stir the senses; the repetition of the first and last lines of each quatrain  does indeed, as Kirkus notes in its glowing review, “evoke the ebb and flow of the ocean’s waves.” A lovely way to underscore the timelessness of such a day, where the pleasures of good times shared with family and friends can create lasting memories.

(click to enlarge)

I like how readers will be able to see themselves reflected in Armiño’s ethnically diverse/all ages group of fun seekers. They’ll surely enjoy studying each warm and inviting picture to see just what everyone is up to, while sensing the passage of time through Armiño’s ever-changing skyscapes. Happy snapshots grace the endpapers, a perfect reader souvenir for all the excitement captured in this sunny, pitch perfect offering.

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Now, it’s time for you to polish off that last bit of cotton candy and join me in congratulating Kelly. The Alphabet Soup kitchen helpers managed to cook up a tasty bucket of soup despite getting a lot of sand in their fur. You have the option of either diving straight into the pail with your mouth wide open or slurping with gustatory gusto using the supplied shovel. Either way, I know it will be with much heartfelt joy, since Kelly is so beloved in the kidlit world. ☺

Today's Special: Boardwalk Broth with Seashell Garnish (seasoned with sunshine, fog, and rain)

To go with your soup, a slice of warm pizza specially flown-in from Wildwood:

Yes, I know how much you love dessert, so today you have your choice of Boardwalk Cupcakes,

Ocean City salt water taffy,

Point Pleasant Beach flip flop cookies,

or hand dipped ice cream from Atlantic City!

Well, I trust (and hope) you’re sufficiently sugared up by now and need to burn off a few calories. I don’t care how you do it — walk, run, skateboard or swim to your local indie, or if your hands aren’t too sticky, click through to your fave online bookseller to score a copy or two or three of At the Boardwalk! If you go to a bricks and mortar store, wear your bathing suit and snorkel mask. You may wish to offer the cashier a fully loaded hot dog or some Kohr Brothers frozen custard in exchange for a discount. Recite a few lines of Shakespeare in honor of Kelly and by all means don’t forget the secret password: Zounds!

HAPPY, HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY, KELLY! (You put the “fine” in Fineman) ♥.

AT THE BOARDWALK
written by Kelly Ramsdell Fineman
illustrated by Mónica Armiño
published by Tiger Tales Books, March 2012
Full color Picture Book for ages 3-7, 32 pp.
Cool themes: beaches, families, friendship, summer, treats, outdoor activities
Available in hardcover and paperback
On shelves now!!

♥ Kelly Ramsdell Fineman’s official website and blog, Writing and Ruminating.

♥ Mónica Armiño’s illustration blog.

♥ More Soup of the day posts here.

Special Congratulations from Dobbins, Esq., who has a crush on Kelly.

—————————————————————————

*Spreads from At the Boardwalk posted by permission, text copyright © 2012 Kelly Ramsdell Fineman, illustrations © 2012 Mónica Armiño, published by Tiger Tales. All rights reserved.

**Photo Credits:

Cupcakes by katiscupcakes/flickr.
Flip Flop Cookies by bonniebakes/flickr. 

Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

78 thoughts on “soup of the day: at the boardwalk by kelly ramsdell fineman and mónica armiño

  1. HOORAY for Kelly! And what a wonderful looking PB! I’m definitely getting this for my niece! (It’s such a treat to have a niece who is at the perfect PB age when my LJ friends are releasing PBs!) Thanks for such a delicious and tempting post! And Congratulations to Kelly!

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    1. Such a fun book — great choice of illustrator for Kelly’s lyrical text. No surprise I’m craving some salt water taffy now🙂.

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  2. Yay! Hooray! This is wonderful! I can’t wait to buy my own copy! Kelly is indeed all the things you said, and she’s as amazing in person as on sphere.

    I love the text shared here. So simple and eleganat.

    And I’ll have that pizza, a lemonade slushy, the blue flip-flops, and one of every dessert pictured, please.

    In fact, I’m going to go have a caramel brownie today in Kelly’s honor!

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  3. Now THIS is the Jersey Shore I remember! As a kid growing up in NJ, a trip to the shore was the best part of summer vacation. Congratulations, Kelly — the book looks really charming. And great post, as always, Jama. Now pass the salt water taffy, please . . .

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    1. Yay, another Jersey girl! You gals sure do get around. I’ve only been to one boardwalk — Atlantic City, and for only a really short time. Clearly I need to investigate further, especially the food offerings🙂.

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    2. Thank you, Linda – and let me say that Mónica totally captured the feel of the boards, as far as I’m concerned!

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  4. I have such good memories of boardwalk walks too. Now I want to take our children, and this book will be what we read first! The pictures pulled me right in, and the text is so liltingly lovely…it made me feel warm even on this cold Buffalo morning! Congratulations to Kelly and Monica. And thank you, Jama…I’d like a spoonful of that fun soup!

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    1. Thank you for the kind words, Amy – I hope you and the kids get to the boardwalk sometime soon. (But not TOO soon – wait for summer!)

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  5. This is such a beautiful post–and a beautiful book, too. Love the illustrations and the rhythm of the words. Can’t wait to share this one with my girls. Congratulations, Kelly!

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  6. Congrats, Kelly, on a charming-looking book!

    What a happy, inviting post, Jama! Especially love the last pic!

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  7. A question for the illustrator, or for Kelly, if she knows:

    Does the book have a special, textured paper, or was that an effect the illustrator did?

    Anyway, it’s unusual, and very nice!

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    1. As publisher of tiger tales, I can probably answer you most accurately. . .the textured effect you see is the paper used by the illustrator and “translated” by the printing process. The book is actually printed on smooth paper.

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  8. *gasp!* Is that today!!?!?! BIG OLD HAPPY DANCE!!!!!!!!!
    Cannot wait to get my copy. What a fabbity fab day. And now I need saltwater taffy.

    Congratulations to Kelly, and — cracked up at the gnome declaring eternal crushtitude. Yep, yep: that’s our Kelly.

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    1. Dobbins and I go back a ways. And I will have to send you some taffy. Thanks for dancing with/for me, Tanita!

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  9. Jama, I don’t know how you do it, but your blog takes us on a superb adventure each & every time. We have some friends who were married on the Atlantic City boardwalk & count it as one of their favorite places! Although for the young, this is the perfect gift for them. And, you’ve had me singing “On the Boardwalk” all morning. Thanks for the wonderful heads up about this book.

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    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, Linda! I had fun with this post and am anxious to get some extra copies of the book for gifts. It really does make you want to go to a Boardwalk, regardless of your age. It’s a place that has something for everyone, as Monica’s illustrations so wonderfully show.

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    1. Amy! DO NOT BREAK OUT THE SWIMSUITS YET! Yeesh, woman – it’s not warm enough!

      But thank you!

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  10. Clearly you all enjoy Kelly’s witticisms, her spot-on assessments of whatever ails you and/or the world, and her beautiful prose as much as I do.

    I LOVE the book. I LOVE Kelly too.

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  11. Could there be a cooler celebration for a cooler person? That last picture made me smile extra big, even though I was surprised Cornelius didn’t squeeze his way in. Is he shy of wearing a bathing suit?

    It’s snowing here today, so very fun to read the excerpts. I look forward to diving into the whole book soon! Thanks, Jama, and congratulations, Kelly! Hope you are partying (did YOU abscond with Cornelius?)

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    1. Cornelius didn’t appear in this post because of Dobbins. He’s a little afraid of gnomes, I’m afraid. Dobs wanted Kelly all to himself, just as Cornelius likes to have you all to himself🙂. Cornelius is also not a big fan of getting sand in his fur.

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    2. Aw, thanks, Jeannine!

      P.S. – I did not abscond with Cornelius. I am nearly certain that he is off somewhere in his flip flops and sunglasses, hoping for warm weather.

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  12. WHY do I come over to your blog when I’ve had dinner and am trying to tell myself I don’t need to eat any more tonight?!🙂

    You are so wonderful at these posts, Jama, and at making authors feel incredible. Yay for Kelly’s soup!

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    1. Virtual food is always calorie free, perfect for noshing at any time of day. Glad you came by to slurp some of Kelly’s soup!

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  13. I am once again amazed by your energy, enthusiasm, food decor, layout, spread of lines and photos, the whole nine yards! – that I just want to grab a copy of the book NOW!🙂 So great to know Kelly Fineman through you. I haven’t visited her blog yet nor have I had the lovely chance of reading this book yet, now I feel I’ve been missing out on so much! Great post as always, Jama. And what a fine fine looking book.🙂

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    1. Wow — thanks for all the kind words of encouragement, Myra. Much appreciated! I do hope you visit Kelly’s LJ blog sometime. Some of her Brush Up Your Shakespeare Month posts are hilarious, and you’ll be amazed at her Jane Austen features too. Meanwhile, the Boardwalk beckons!!🙂

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  14. I’m late to the party (I could only find one flip and no flops at all) but had to chime in with the Boardwalk love. CONGRATULATIONS KELLY! I’m so happy to have this book in my collection.
    Now if only summer would come.

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    1. Gee, wonder what happened to the flops. Can’t trust these wild party people. There are a few cupcakes and cookies left so please help yourself, Linda!

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    2. Thank you, Linda – and I know summer takes longer to arrive in Vermont, but I’m sure it’ll be there soon enough.

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  15. What a delicious post! No flip flops for me, just some cotton candy! Congratulations, Kelly. I’m putting your book on my wish list!

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  16. Such a delightful post! Despite the snow and slush out my window, I am now dreaming of summer and imagining salty waves crashing on the shore. I adore the snippets of text from the book – so perfect! Can’t wait to pore over the illustrations. Congratulations Kelly. I’ll be buying the book ASAP!

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    1. Thank you Cathy – and I am sorry to hear about slush. Snow can be pretty, but slush . . . well, it just doesn’t seem good for much of anything.

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  17. Congrats to Kelly, and thanks for the YUMMY review!

    I’ve never spent much time at the ocean and never ever experienced a boardwalk…until this book! Looks like I need to put that on my bucket list!!

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  18. I went to the Jersey shore once, as an adult, and was absolutely shocked and how little room there was. I’m used to the Gulf and a bit more room! But I totally love the memories here. So nicely done. And Jama, I love your ridiculously fun description of your friend. And of course the cupcakes.

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    1. Yes, I guess it would be a bit shocking comparing the Jersey shore with the Gulf. It’s interesting how they’ve got the market cornered when it comes to Boardwalks, though. For your lovely comment, extra cupcakes for you, Dori!

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    2. The Jersey shore is WAY crowded compared to bigger beaches (so many places in NJ have narrow strips of sand, and lots and lots of people). But the boardwalks are something special.

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  19. Congratulations to Kelly! (And to Monica for those bright, inviting illustrations.) I’ve got sand in my teeth and a sunburned nose just reading this post! Jama, you outdid yourself with this party. It’s going to take a lot of beach walking to work off all these goodies. Wishing much success to all.

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  20. Great party, Jama! Congratulations, Kelly! Your book is perfectly timed for those of us dreaming of someplace warm this winter!

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