three books, a winner and a blog break

“Black Bear-y Pie” by Shawn Braley (available as a print or greeting card)

Ah yes. The time has come once again to sniff out a few more pies take a little summer blog break.

I’m looking forward to relaxing, tackling my TBR pile, and inviting Mr. Firth over for some intellectual conversation. 🙂

But before I sign off, wanted to mention three upcoming titles I’m especially excited about. They all hit shelves on that magical day, August 5, 2014:


1. Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson and Peter Sieruta (Candlewick, 2014).

Secret lives, scandalous turns, and some very funny surprises — these essays by leading kids’ lit bloggers take us behind the scenes of many much-loved children’s books.

Told in lively and affectionate prose, this treasure trove of information for a student, librarian, parent, or anyone wondering about the post–Harry Potter children’s book biz brings contemporary illumination to the warm-and-fuzzy bunny world we think we know.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for this one for at least five years, since I’m a big fan of all three authors’ blogs. It will be somewhat bittersweet since Peter is no longer with us, but it will be good to read his words again and remember how much we all admired his rapier wit and finely honed children’s literature chops.

Do check out the cool new Wild Things! website, where Julie and Betsy will be posting “cutting room floor” stories daily up until release date, and where you’ll find their blog tour and personal appearances schedule.


2. Eat Your Science Homework: Recipes for Inquiring Minds by Ann McCallum and Leeza Hernandez (Charlesbridge 2014). 

Hungry readers discover delicious and distinct recipes in this witty companion to Eat Your Math Homework. A main text explains upper-elementary science concepts, including subatomic particles, acids and bases, black holes, and more. Alongside simple recipes, side-bars encourage readers to also experiment and explore outside of the kitchen. A review, glossary, and index make the entire book easy to digest.

Remember when Ann and Leeza dropped by to tell us all about Eat Your Math Homework? Happy to see they’ve created another cookbook with a science theme. I hope to try one of the recipes and report back next month. 🙂


3. Spic and Span!: Lillian Gilbreth’s Wonder Kitchen by Monica Kulling and David Parkins (Tundra Books, 2014). 

Born into a life of privilege in 1878, Lillian Moller Gilbreth put her pampered life aside for one of adventure and challenge. She and her husband, Frank, became efficiency experts by studying the actions of factory workers. They ran their home efficiently, too. When Frank suddenly died, Lillian was left to her own devices to raise their eleven children. Eventually, she was hired by the Brooklyn Borough Gas Company to improve kitchen design, which was only the beginning.

Lillian Gilbreth was the subject of two movies (Cheaper by the Dozen and Belles on Their Toes), the first woman elected to the National Academy of Engineering, and the first female psychologist to have a U.S. postage stamp issued in her honor. A leading efficiency expert, she was also an industrial engineer, a psycologist, an author, a professor, and an inventor.

Sounds good, no? Will be featuring this one next month, too!

Happy Early Book Birthday, Betsy, Julie, Peter, Ann, Leeza, Monica and David!!

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Yes, yes, I know you’re anxious to hear who will be receiving a brand new copy of Julia, Child by Kyo Maclear and Julie Morstad.

We bribed Scotland Yard with 1,283 Chocolate Almond Cupcakes to help us locate the erudite, ever reliable M. Random Integer Generator. From past giveaways you probably know he is in such high demand that he’s taken to fleeing at a moment’s notice, globe-trotting with famous chefs and Italian clothiers, and geocaching himself just for fun.

All in the name of suspense (it beats a simple drum roll any day).

This time he remarked on the poetic beauty of the entrants’ given names, particularly swooning over favorites “Emmeline,” “Tanita,” and “Michelle.”

Mon Dieu! He actually fell in love with them all, and was indeed at sixes and sevens over having to pick just one winner.


CONGRATULATIONS, KIRSTEN!!! Please send your snail mail address to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com, so we can send your book out to you pronto!

Thanks one and all for entering the giveaway. Anyone wishing to rendezvous with M. Generator, please send a telegram to: 81 rue de l’Université, Paris. Ooh-la-la!

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“Vacation” by Toby Fonseca (available as a print, notecard, mug, phone case and rug)

Okay, I’ll see you around mid-August or so. Enjoy the rest of your summer — have fun and eat a lot of treats!


Copyright © 2014 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

33 thoughts on “three books, a winner and a blog break

  1. Thanks for the heads-up on the new titles, Jama! Check out my post today at Random Noodling. Have a great break–are you traveling to NH this year?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you SO much, Jama, for mentioning Spic-and-Span! I love your concept for reviewing books. FOOD! And Lillian Gilbreth does get up to some amazing kitchen adventures. Thanks again!


    1. Love the book, Monica — great learning more about Gilbreth. I’m now anxious to see the other books in your Great Ideas series. Fabuloso!


  3. Oh, Jama, you always prepare such delightful feasts! Thanks for the peeks into these upcoming literary treats. LOVE the bear-y wonderful illustration by Shawn Braley. (But please assure Mr. Cornelius he’s still #1 Bear in my heart.)

    Wishing you some relaxing, restorative, inspiring and berry-filled weeks – see you later in the summer! xo


  4. I’ve seen the Betsy Byrd title-looks so good, and thanks for the other two also, Jama. I love reading Cheaper By The Dozen, what a family, so am excited to see this title about Lillian Gilbreath. How wonderful to have her own book! Happy vacation. I’m off next week to the beach-can’t wait!


  5. Yes, Lillian is a wonderful subject for a children’s PB. I’ve seen the movie but haven’t read Cheaper by the Dozen. Have fun at the beach and enjoy the rest of your summer, Linda!


    1. Thanks, Rosi — hope you have a good rest-of-summer too. To tide you over, I recommend you rent the Bridget Jones movies :).


  6. Enjoy your pies, I mean blog break, and summer, which is already passing too quickly. I look forward to these books, too, even while my TBR pile needs serious attention. Along with the blueberries.


  7. I hadn’t heard about any of these books, so thanks for sharing the info! They look intriguing. Enjoy your break, Jama – I hope you and Fitzwilliam have some nice quality time together!


  8. AWESOME! I want to get that first book you shared, along with the second and third! 😉 They sound awesome! Have a fun break full of pies, food, pies, sunny days, pies, the occasional rainy day (good for the veggie garden and the fruit trees!), pies, fun, and did I mention pies? 😉
    Happy Summer!


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