nine cool things on a tuesday

“Under the Bridge” (2017)

1. Can you guess who painted the above piece? Let me give you a few clues: he’s a legendary musician, poet, and songwriter who loves to watch “I Love Lucy” reruns, he makes a mean meatball, and he just happened to win the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature.

“Lighthouse in Maine”

And yes, my man Bob Dylan is also an accomplished visual artist. His second graphic release from The Beaten Path collection is now available worldwide. There are 15 hand-signed limited edition prints (some are already sold out), depicting the main routes and back roads of America.

New England Depot

Choice of subject is just as interesting as his unique perspective. Of course my faves are the eateries — this time there’s a hamburger stand and a diner. 🙂

Flat Top Mt. Diner, Tennessee

Don’t you love seeing the country via his eyes and imagination? View the entire collection at the Castle Galleries webpage.


2. Once again, author/illustrator extraordinaire Julie Paschkis has created a cool wall calendar to benefit the ACLU. The 2018 Hope Calendar celebrates the values of the United States:

By working together we can carry those values into the future, riding on a hopeful horse.

Calendars are 12″ x 18″ and are $12 each, with 100% of the proceeds donated. Get yours at Julie Paprika!


3. Heads up Maira Kalman fans! Four of her older picture books, OOP and originally published by Viking, are being re-issued by New York Review Books!

If you’re not familiar with the New York Review Books Children’s Collection, it consists of 80+ titles ranging from picture books to young adult novels, books they want to reintroduce to the public either because they’ve gone out of print or fallen out of mainstream attention.

I have a couple of NYRB titles and they do a beautiful job with reproduction and binding (wouldn’t mind owning their entire collection). Although I already own these four Maira PBs, I plan to purchase the NYRB editions ( as any avid Maira fan would do). Two titles are already out, Hey Willy, See the Pyramids, and Max Makes a Million.

Ooh-la-la (Max in Love) comes out January 23, 2018, and Max in Hollywood, Baby releases on February 13, 2018.

Speaking of Maira, LOOK!!

*squeals with glee*

Maira AND Cake!! Can I stand it?? I think not. Will have to wait until April 2018 for this one, though. Maira has often written about cake in her books and NYTimes essays.

from 13 Words with Lemony Snicket

This time, she’s teamed up with Barbara Scott-Goodman to celebrate their mutual love of cakes with pics and recipes. Can’t wait!


4. If you like miniature books and fun projects, check out My Miniature Library: 30 Tiny Books to Make, Read, and Treasure, by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini (Laurence King Publishing, 2017).

With stories ranging from illustrated fairytales to well-loved nonsense rhymes and books of butterflies, birds and flowers, plus blank books for you to complete yourself, you’ll have everything you need to make a little library of beautifully illustrated books. The books are simple to make – just cut, fold and glue. The kit comes with a miniature bookshelf to press out and make, and easy-to-follow, fully illustrated instructions. Plus the box transforms into a beautiful library scene!

I first heard of this kit at Playing by the Book. Check out Zoe’s wonderful post to see how she and her family made the little books and even transformed some of them into earrings and tree ornaments. What a cool gift for all ages!


5. Speaking of gifts, here’s a lovely gift idea for a special someone. Check out Flora Panichelli’s Sweet Bestiary for an adorable selection of brooches, figurines, art dolls and puppets. She is partial to bunnies and foxes, some living in tiny teacups!

All pieces are made from air dry clay and are entirely handmade and handpainted. It’s best to follow her on Facebook or Instagram to keep up with new pieces. Things get snatched up quickly once she lists them in her Etsy Shop.


6. Coloring books, coloring books. What’s not to love about a new Beatrix Potter coloring book? 🙂

Check it: 96 pages featuring some of your favorite Potter characters. Charming and enchanting!


7. New poetry book alert: Happy to see this new collection by Hawai’i-born author Frances H. Kakugawa: Dangerous Woman (Watermark Publishing, October 2017).

In this, her fourteenth book, Frances H. Kakugawa assembles a collection of poetry spanning sixty years—previously published works and new poems, grappling with answers to life’s existential questions, the need to understand our relationship with nature and the world beyond the self.

Author Frances H. Kakugawa is an award-winning, internationally published author of fourteen books, and a regular column, “Dear Frances,” for caregivers in the Hawai‘i Herald. She conducts poetry readings, workshops and lectures throughout the country. In her sessions for adults, Kakugawa shares with honesty and openness the lessons learned from caregiving. Programs for hospital and elder-healthcare professionals focus on humanizing their clinical skills. In her children’s workshops, Frances introduces students to poetry as a way to explore and embrace their elders and other aspects of their lives.

You may remember when Frances dropped by for a chat about her Wordsworth the Poet picture book series, or when I featured her poem “Emily Dickinson, I Am Somebody,” based on her personal experience as caregiver to her mother, who was an Alzheimer’s patient. It’s a poignant poem with a moving backstory, well worth reading if you’re interested in poetry’s power to heal. Now in her 80’s, Frances published her first book of poetry when she was in her 30’s. I’m looking forward to reading more of her poems in the new book.

We are the dangerous women…
Who never say no to sunsets, sunrises,
Evening strolls or double martinis.
We are the women who speak to you
In supermarkets over apples and cabbages,
Making you wish you could follow us home.
We are so damn demanding
You wish we had never met,
Yet you know, we are the only poetry you have.
We are the women you should avoid
If you don’t believe in Peter Pan,
And the first star of the evening skies.
But pour us wine as the sun sets low,
And we will hand you the key
To things you don’t know.


8. Another new book alert: Tru and Nelle: A Christmas Story by G. Neri (HMH, October 24, 2017), a sequel to Neri’s middle grade novel Tru & Nelle (2016).

Young Truman Capote thought life in New York City was going to be perfect, but things didn’t work out as planned. In fact, Tru is downright miserable. So he decides to run away to Monroeville, Alabama, and the only friend he’s ever had, Nelle Harper Lee. But things don’t go well there, either. Bad things seem to happen wherever he goes. The only explanation: he must be cursed.

Christmas is coming, and Tru’s only wish is to be happy. But it’ll take a miracle for that to come true. Luckily, a special feast brings the miracle he’s hoping for. Tru and Nelle: A Christmas Tale is based on the real life friendship of Truman Capote and Harper Lee.

I’m a big Truman Capote fan and love anything written about him. Since I enjoyed Neri’s first middle grade novel about Truman’s childhood friendship with Nelle Harper Lee, I’m really looking forward to reading this one!


9. Finally, a Paddington Bear fix: Paddington 2, the sequel to the award-winning 2014 live action/animated film Paddington, was just released in the UK November 10, and will be released here in the U.S. in early 2018.

In Paddington 2, Paddington tries to earn money to buy an antique pop-up book for Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday. Check out this pop-up featurette:


👏 👏*thunderous applause from Mr Cornelius and 70-something resident Paddingtons* 👏 👏

Needless to say, we can’t wait! (How many marmalade sandwiches should we eat until then?)

Alrighty. That’s it for now.

Have a good Tuesday and a great week.

Be good.

Be kind.

Be creative.

Be generous.

Be cool.

Copyright © 2017 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

13 thoughts on “nine cool things on a tuesday

  1. Always love your cool things, Jama! “Under the Bridge” is wonderful — I had no idea! I put the book of wee books in my cart immediately, and I sent my parents the info about the calendar. Those bunnies in cups are too too cute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Bob’s art is getting better and better — this latest collection is my favorite so far. Glad you like the bunnies in cups. She comes out with new designs so frequently it’s hard to keep up.


  2. Creatures in teacups–what could be better!! I love those!!

    I had no idea Bob was a visual artist too. Thanks for sharing these cool things 🙂


  3. What a surprise to learn about Bob Dylan. Remarkable. I LOVE the calendar Julie Paschkis designed. Had no idea she had done that in the past. Wonderful. Perfect gift. Also love learning about Paddington 2! Happy Tuesday!


    1. This is the second year Julie has designed a calendar to benefit the ACLU. Problem is, they’re so nice you don’t want to take them off the wall when the year ends. I need a hall gallery to display them. 🙂


  4. I just read about Tru and Nelle recently, both are new to me, but on my wish list. A Christmas Memory and The Thanksgiving Visitor are old favorites! Your Tuesdays certainly add to my own ‘wish list’, Jama (I guess I’ve said that before!) Maira Kalman and the NYRB titles (I have a few) plus that new ‘cake’ book-wow, Bob Dylan (gorgeous work-I didn’t know), Julie’s calendar and the new poetry book. Thank you! I’ve put that miniature book how-to on my list, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love The Thanksgiving Visitor and especially A Christmas Memory (we watch the video every year). So excited about Maira’s new cake book. Something to look forward to in 2018. 🙂 Just received Julie’s calendar today. LOVE


  5. ::sighs sadly::
    After waving goodbye to my cash AGAIN I wanted to thank you especially for the calendars! I’m all about the ACLU these days and I love that so many of the wonderful of us are lending them a hand. The little beasties in cups are KILLING ME, though. Where would I put more tchotchkes!?


  6. This is an older posting, but this is the other blogger I follow. There are some other really good ones – she profiles artists, authors, poet, I’ll have a look through and send any that I think might appeal to you. You need to do art – even if it’s just little sketches!

    I sent you the Susan Branch one with the bookmark, because everyone needs a bookmark with the full moons listed. Enjoy.



Comments are closed.