If you’re in the mood for a tempestuous tale of jealousy, greed and world domination, you’ve come to the right place.
The frenetically talented and unusually hungry author, illustrator, animator and art director Dan Krall (yes, he’s tall) has just today released a brand new shiny briny picture book called The Great Lollipop Caper (Simon & Schuster, 2013)! Yay, Lollipops!
Some would say respectable grown men shouldn’t write about sweet lollipops, but here’s the lick: at first glance, this may seem like a simple, albeit saccharine story. But all you diehard sourpusses will be happy to hear this tome has a testy tart edge — it taps into the inner torment (for crying out loud) of one little green wrinkly caper. Oy, a caper’s cautionary caper — bite me!
Before I tempt you any further, a couple of party accoutrements.
If you are of the childlike, innocent, sugar-lovin’ lollipop persuasion, put this on:
If, on the other hand, you’re somewhat mature and adultish (cough) with a pickley palate, you might prefer this wrinkly, more caperish cap:
Not bad, not bad.
Okay, keep your party hats on for the duration of this post and hold onto these. Lick the pink mustache lolly when you’re naughty, the green one to walk on the wild side.
Now, let’s celebrate!
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♥ STORY ON A SCHTICK ♥
Little green Mr. Caper is beloved by grown-ups for his sour, acidic earthiness. Rotund, bald men in lederhosen sporting massive mustaches ogle him. Buxom, kerchiefed mamas hyperventilate with gusto whenever he strolls by. But is Mr. Caper satisfied? “Bah!” he says, not caring a whit.
All Mr. Caper can think about is Lollipop — sweet tangy Lollipop, whom all the kids adore. Insanely jealous, Mr. Caper wants children everywhere to love HIM. Surely they can learn to appreciate his complex flavor! So he devises a plan.
He sneaks into the Lollipop Factory and adds caper juice to the lollipop batter. Soon, caper-flavored lollipops are shipped far and wide and there is much licking, licking. Surely now kids all over the world will love Mr. Caper!! Or will they?
Like some of the best
licked laid plans, this one backfires. The children “became as bitter and sour as Mr. Caper tasted. They started acting in the most appalling ways.”
Uh-oh. We’re talking bad grades, tantrums, sticking their tongues out at their parents! Now everyone was angry, and nobody liked Mr. Caper. Havoc and mayhem everywhere! What to do?
Fans of both the salty and the sweet will find something to chew on in this dynamic, quirky, giggle-inducing dramedy. A lean, suspenseful narrative flavored with punchy dialogue and bright, eye-popping, cartoony pictures keeps things moving at a good clip. The thing is, regardless of age or circumstances, we can all identify with Mr. Caper, the villain we love to hate. When it comes to craving attention, being popular, getting drunk on power, and the insatiable hunger to be loved for who we are, we’re all guilty as charged.
Without getting too “message-y,” The Great Lollipop Caper illustrates the importance of understanding the motive behind an action, as we feel sympathy for Mr. Caper by story’s end. There is also a strange sense of empowerment kids will appreciate knowing that one tiny wrinkled green thing can cause so much trouble. Other takeaways: you are what you eat, it takes all kinds (variety is the spice of life), your time will come, it’s okay if not everybody likes you, it’s not easy being green. and small. and wrinkled.
The book has been receiving glowing reviews, including a *starred review* from Publishers Weekly, who calls it the “perfect after-dinner read for Food Network-loving families.” Budding chefs and adventuresome readers will likely be curious to try capers despite its billing as “a tiny pickled sourpuss, who lives in a jar in your fridge and is never eaten by children.” A dare if I ever heard one; besides, this caper’s contrite. All in all, a dang funny story not to be missed. Pucker up!
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♥ SWEET AND SOUR SOUP ♥
have been coerced promised to mention that great sacrifices were made to bring you today’s celebration soup. Despite being a sweet-loving lot, the Alphabet Soup kitchen helpers bit into, sucked the juices out of, and dutifully consumed hundreds of capers, much to their salty, sour, acidic dismay.
This, in the name of fully understanding and appreciating Dan’s story, and to be able to season the soup with due gravitas. (Don’t worry, they also consumed hundreds of antidotal lollipops before they became too obnoxious.)
We now invite you sweeties, sourpusses, and big mustaches alike to grab your favorite spoons, dip dip dip, and slurp your loudest, most enthusiastic Congratulations to Mr. Krall! As Mr. Caper would say, “meh.”
To go with our soup, a few caperish side dishes.
Nothing like classic Chicken Piccata to transport you to caper nirvana:
Add a plate of Lemon Caper Linguine,
Caprese with Caper Vinaigrette,
and top it off with a refreshing Tomato, Caper and Basil Salad:
Yum! Ready for dessert?
Lollipop Cookies —
and your pick of specially imported Twirly Swirly (what else?) actual Lollipops:
Now that you’ve had your fill of the salty with the sweet, it’s time to skip on down to your local indie or click through to your fave online bookseller to score your very own copy or two or five hundred of The Great Lollipop Caper.
If you go to a bricks and mortar store, wear Hot Pink if you like Lollipops, and Olive Green if you like Capers. Talk up the book in the checkout line, and give any sourpusses a pink lollipop. Be sure to tell the cashier how much you love him/her, and if you’d like a discount, don’t forget the secret password: Lederhosen.
* * * HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY, DAN! * * *
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Enjoy this uber cool stop motion trailer Dan made with Screen Novelties:
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♥ THE GREAT LOLLIPOP CAPER GIVEAWAY! ♥
THE GREAT LOLLIPOP CAPER
written and illustrated by Dan Krall
published by Simon & Schuster BFYR, May 7, 2013
Picture Book for ages 4-7, 48 pp.
Cool themes: humor, candy, capers, contentment, food, jealousy, social issues
Dan has generously donated two signed copies of The Great Lollipop Caper for two lucky Alphabet Soup readers. He’s also throwing in some lollipops (regular + caper-flavored) to sweeten the pot.
*For a chance to win, simply leave a comment at this post telling us whether you prefer lollipops or capers. Extra entries if you tweet, blog, FB, or share details of this giveaway on any of your other social networks (please mention in your comment).
**You can also enter by sending an email to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com, with CAPER in the subject line.
Deadline for all entries is midnight (EDT) Friday, May 24, 2013.
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♥ EXTRA LICKS ♥
- Dan Krall’s Official Website
- Dan’s blog, Sketch Book Drawings (check out the posts about making the stop motion trailer!)
- The Great Lollipop Caper Website — download and complete Mr. Caper’s Crossword Puzzle or Lollipop’s Maze, email the solutions and win a prize!
- Dan Krall Children’s Books Facebook Page: news, updates and more giveaways
- Professional Reviews: Publishers Weekly, Kirkus
♥ UPCOMING EVENTS ♥
(at which Mr. Krall will be reading, signing, conducting Lollipop vs. Caper Taste Tests and distributing lollipops)
- Saturday, May 11, 2013, VROMAN’S in Pasadena: 10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
- Saturday, July 13, 2013, EIGHT COUSINS BOOKSTORE in Cape Cod: 11 a.m.
BTW, did you know it’s International Caper Appreciation Month? Be a Sourpuss! Get yourself a jar and spread the caper love!
♥ More Soup of the Day posts here.
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This post is being linked to Beth Fish Read’s Weekend Cooking, where all are invited to share their food-related posts. Come join the delicious fun!
*Spreads from The Great Lollipop Caper posted by permission of the illustrator, copyright © 2013 Dan Krall, published by Simon & Schuster BFYR. All rights reserved.
**Lollipop Hat via Zazzle
**Olive Green Knit Beanie Cap via Rakuten.com
**Mustache Lollipops via The Frosted Petticoat
Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.