8 cool things on a tuesday (including giveaway winners!)


Happy Tuesday!

Hope you had a lovely weekend and stayed warm and cozy. Before I get to the cool things, wanted to send out a big HELLO and WELCOME to all our new subscribers. Many of you uncommonly good-looking people found your way over here via a link from Susan Branch’s blog, perhaps hungry for Rachel’s lemon butter cookies. Have you made them yet? Mr. Firth might visit you if you do. So yummy!

Anyway, we’ve set places for you at our table, cushy reserved seats any time you feel like dropping by for a little nosh or nibble. Thanks for finding Alphabet Soup! Extra cookies if you wear a mustache. 🙂

On with the coolness:

1. Yesterday was an exciting day for people who love children’s and young adult books — the Youth Media Awards, recognizing the tippy top cream of the crop books published in 2014, were announced at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Chicago. We send out big congratulations to all the award winners and honor book recipients, especially Author/Illustrator Dan Santat on his Caldecott Medal for The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend (Little Brown, 2014), and Kwame Alexander on his Newbery Medal for The Crossover (Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt, 2014)! You can see the full list of winners here.


2. Our current blog banner features the watercolor work of Deidre Wicks, a Canadian artist we interviewed in Fall 2013. Her “Tea Party” print is available in three sizes (5×7, 8×10, 11×14) and can be purchased at her Etsy Shop, Water in My Paint. Love those whimsical animals (did you see the robin in the teacup?) and all the cakes! Wanted to show the full image as I had to crop it a little to fit the header space.



3. Feeling a little under the weather? Seems like a lot of people have caught the flu this winter. If germs have been bothering you (or not), check out Dan Krall’s new picture book Sick Simon (Simon & Schuster, 2015):

Are germs gross, or great? Sick Simon learns how to be health-conscious during cold and flu season in this clever picture book from the author-illustrator of The Great Lollipop Caper.

Simon is going to have the best week ever. Who cares if he has a cold? He goes to school anyway, and sneezes everywhere, and coughs on everyone, and touches everything.

Germs call him a hero! Everyone else calls him…Sick Simon. When will it end? How far will he go? Will the germs take over, or can Sick Simon learn to change his ways?

Achoo and cough cough. We had fun featuring The Great Lollipop Caper and can’t wait to see what Dan’s done with this germy book. I can just imagine the ewwws, yucks, and giggles over the gross humor, but understand it’s snot for everyone. 😀



4. February is Black History Month, and there’s no better place to spend a little time than at The Brown Bookshelf for their annual celebration, 28 Days Later. Each day they’re profiling a different children’s or young adult author or children’s illustrator. A great opportunity to read about the best new and unnoticed works by African-Americans.


5. Oh, look! Uber-talented pie lover Kendyll Hillegas is now offering her Pie Varieties illustration as a limited edition 11×14 print! Don’t you love it? It features 13 varieties of pie gorgeously rendered in Kendyll’s exquisite style. Craving a piece of lemon meringue, peach, apple, huckleberry or raspberry? Adorn one of your walls with this print and you’ll never go hungry. Edition is limited to 50 pieces (click here for more info). Read more about Kendyll’s amazingly detailed, meticulous work in our 2014 Indie Artist Spotlight.





Yes, it’s finally time to announce the lucky person who’ll be receiving a copy of this charming picture book. As before, we consulted the dashingly handsome, ever reliable Monsieur Random Integer Generator, who came out of hibernation just to help us. After sipping multiple cups of Darjeeling and inhaling three hundred raspberry sponge cakes, he tossed all the entrants’ names up in the air and the one that landed closest to his mustache was:

ta da!

Sarah from Sarah’s Bookshelves!


*wild cheers* *confetti* *backflips*

Sarah, please send your snail mail address to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com, so we can send the book out lickety split. Thanks, everyone, for entering!




Luckily we were able to snag M. Generator before he retreated to his winter cave, craftily tempting him with warm and spicy homemade gingerbread, which he found très délicieuse. After brushing the crumbs from his mustache, he downed a tankard of cider, sang three bars of “Yankee Doodle” and selected the lucky winner via mental telepathy. He received numerous transmissions from a bevy of cinnamon and ginger-scented beauties, and expressed sincere dismay that he couldn’t gift all the lovely entrants with a prize. He finally came to a decision when the word ‘prairie’ was transferred 21 consecutive times.

ta da da da!

The winner is —  the Prairie Garden Girl herself, Suzy Leopold


*cartwheels* *trumpet fanfare* *swirls*

Suzy, please send your snail mail address to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com so we can send out your book pronto! Thanks again, everyone, for entering!



8. Finally, it’s dumpling time! My niece Cobi of Veggietorials recently made this wonderful video featuring Vegan Mandu (Korean dumplings). The paperback edition of my picture book Dumpling Soup includes my mom’s dumpling recipe, but it contains meat as part of the filling, so it’s nice to have a delicious vegan alternative to enjoy on New Year’s. Of course if you love dumplings, you’ll want to eat these more than once a year!

My sis Sylvia is also in the video, wrapping the dumplings (she was Barbra Streisand’s personal chef for about 10 years, and catered many private parties with celebrities such as Liz Taylor, Alan Alda, Mel Brooks, Gene Wilder, and Gilda Radner).

Do check out the Veggietorials website if you haven’t already done so (or find more of Cobi’s fabulous cooking videos on her YouTube channel). You can find the Vegan Mandu recipe here for printing out. Enjoy!

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All for now, cutie pies. Do have a good week! 🙂

xxxxxxxooooooo hugs and kisses from Mr. Cornelius


Copyright © 2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

15 thoughts on “8 cool things on a tuesday (including giveaway winners!)

  1. Pie varieties poster, yes! Gorgeous! Also, the dumplings. *reminding myself that I’ve already eaten *
    “Sick Simon” looks like one everybody should read!


    1. Love that pie poster! Kendyll is amazing and her work keeps getting better and better. And yes, dumplings are good anytime 🙂 . . .


  2. I just subscribed to Veggietorials. I can watch people create without getting my hands messy. Sadly, without getting to sample. 😦


    1. I know what you mean! I like to watch other people cook — and judging by the oodles of cooking shows on TV, so does the rest of America. I think I read somewhere that the majority of people watch for entertainment, with only a small percentage actually going on to make the recipes.


  3. You’ll have to join us here in the PNW for mandu making Aunt Jama! I’m also in love with Kendall’s illustrations, she’s so talented.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m hoping Sylvia will adopt me so I can be very well fed for the rest of my life — and since you live next door, I’ll be doubly assured of that. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hip, hip, hooray! Just now checking in at the end of the day and am pleasantly surprised. Thank you sooo much Jama! I am a lucky prairie garden girl! And thank you Mr. M. Generator for deciding on the word *prairie* after twenty one consecutive times!

    Our family enjoys eating vegetarian food from our bountiful prairie garden harvest. The Vegan Mandu made by your niece Cobi look so delicious! I will check out Veggietorials.

    Thank you, once again, Jama!


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