1. Hungry for a little lunch? Not so fast — you may have a little trouble actually eating this one, since it’s actually — *wait for it* — a purse!
Yes, Rotterdam based artist Rommy Kuperus is still creating her amazing, over-the-top accessories for fashion forward peeps who enjoy wearing their food.
And why not? Rommy’s pieces are handmade, totally calorie free and 100% eye-catching fun. You may remember when we interviewed Rommy a few years back. Glad to see she’s still going strong and bringing out new designs all the time.
I was especially tickled to see her instant ramen purse (having just reviewed Andrea Wang’s picture book biography of Momofuku Ando, who invented instant ramen).
2. Look at what I just started reading: Fierce Bad Rabbits: The Tales Behind Children’s Picture Books by Clare Pollard (Fig Tree, 2019). It came out this summer, and so far, I’m really enjoying it!
What is The Tiger Who Came to Tea really about?
What has Meg and Mog got to do with Polish embroidery?
Why is death in picture books so often represented by being eaten?
We’ve read Green Eggs and Ham, laughed at Mr Tickle and whetted our appetites with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. But what lies behind the picture books that make up our childhood?
Fierce Bad Rabbits takes us on an eye-opening journey in a pea-green boat through the history of picture books. From Edward Lear through to Beatrix Potter and contemporary picture books like Stick Man, Clare Pollard shines a light on some of our best-loved childhood stories, their histories and what they really mean. Because the best picture books are far more complex than they seem – and darker too. Monsters can gobble up children and go unnoticed, power is not always used wisely, and the wild things are closer than you think.
Sparkling with wit, magic and nostalgia, Fierce Bad Rabbits weaves in tales from Clare’s own childhood, and her re-readings as a parent, with fascinating facts and theories about the authors behind the books. Introducing you to new treasures while bringing your childhood favourites to vivid life, it will make you see even stories you’ve read a hundred times afresh.
Clare is a British poet and playwright whom I was not previously familiar with. Now I’m going to have to check out her poetry too! And, in case you’re wondering, the cover art for this book was created by fave British illustrator Emily Sutton. 🙂
3. Time for a ceramics fix: this lovely teapot caught my eye (as interesting teapots are wont to do) in my internet travels recently. For one thing, it’s BLUE, and though the design is simple overall, there’s just something about that whimsical arm handle and smiling face on the lid. Wouldn’t using this teapot every day make you happy? 🙂
This stoneware hand thrown piece was made by London-based ceramicist Ximena Heasman, who developed a love for ceramics while studying in Bogota, Colombia. She then trained privately with different British potters after moving to London.
Her style has strong influences from her cultural roots and her theme is mankind and the joy and beauty of the relationships between people and with nature. Also the importance of symbols, rituals and festivities.
Why yes — in case you’re wondering, there are matching mugs. I’ve always had a thing for hands . . .
For more of Ximena’s work, check out her Etsy Shop.
4. New picture book alert: just released August 13 is Korean Celebrations: Festivals, Holidays and Traditions by Tina Cho and Farida Zaman (Tuttle Publishing, 2019).
Korean Celebrations takes young readers on an exciting exploration of Korea’s colorful festivals and family celebrations—wonderful days that are filled with exciting activities and delicious foods.
This book allows children to experience Korean culture firsthand by involving them in games, crafts, stories, foods and other activities like the following:
- Preparing and enjoying delicious Songpyeon—sweet dumplings that everyone loves to eat on Chuseok (Korea’s version of Thanksgiving)
- Folding a paper carnation—a favorite Parent’s Day gift!
- Making your own board game to play Yut-Nori—a game of luck and strategy that’s played during Seollal, Korea’s all-important New Year celebrations
- Writing simple Korean phrases using the Hangul alphabet, Korea’s written language—which is celebrated with its own holiday (Hangul Day)!
- Making a paper fan—something kids always like to do when the hot summer holidays roll around!
- Making your own Pepero chocolate cookies or pretzel treats—which have their own just-for-fun festival day called Pepero Day
In this book, kids will learn about many special Korean celebrations and festivals such as:
- Dano—the end of the planting season which is full of fun competitions like wrestling and swinging contests
- Children’s Day—a spring day off from school, when parents take their kids out for a day of fun
- Daeboreum—a holiday to celebrate the moon, filled with special dances, twirling fire, lots of walking and, of course, special foods
- Special birthdays—(like turning one, or turning sixty) and other family celebrations.
- Buddhist and Christian holidays—like Christmas and Buddha’s Birthday.
…And plenty more. Because in Korea, a holiday or celebration is always just around the corner! Korean Celebrations allows kids to immerse themselves in the lives of their Korean counterparts with these interactive multicultural activities.
I’m really anxious to see this one because, quite frankly, most of the information is new to me. Yes, I’m Korean, but I was raised in Hawai’i, where my family didn’t celebrate any of the holidays listed (except for birthdays, Christmas, and New Year’s). Since I’ve never visited South Korea, I’m woefully uninformed about many of their wonderful cultural traditions. Time to change that!
Learn the backstory of this book (which was 9 years in the making!) at Tina’s site.
5. And now I wish I could read Japanese, cause then I’d be able to tell you more about these cool teabags!
They’re made by Ocean-Teabag, and I first saw them on Dan Santat’s FB page. Love all the adorable animals and sea creatures — some of them really seem to come to life when immersed in liquid, too.
You can purchase these via the Ocean-Teabag website, though you won’t be able to understand any of the descriptions unless you know Japanese. They do ship internationally and recently announced they are working on an English catalog. Yay! Meanwhile, have fun browsing their offerings — they have a FB Page too. Tea-licious!
6. Are you excited about the new “Little Women” movie coming out in December? Did you know there’s not one, but two Little Women cookbooks being published this month?
Experience the exciting and heartwarming world of the March sisters and Little Women right in your own kitchen.
Here at last is the first cookbook to celebrate the scrumptious and comforting foods that play a prominent role in Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel Little Women. If your family includes a Little Women fan, or if you yourself are one, with this book you can keep the magic and wonder of the beloved tale alive for years to come. Do you wonder what makes the characters so excited to make—and eat!—sweets and desserts like the exotically named Blancmange or the mysterious Bonbons with Mottoes, along with favorites like Apple Turnovers, Plum Pudding, and Gingerbread Cake? Find out for yourself with over 50 easy-to-make recipes for these delectable treats and more, all updated for the modern kitchen.
From Hannah’s Pounded Potatoes to Amy’s Picnic Lemonade, from the charming Chocolate Drop Cookies that Professor Bhaer always offers to Meg’s twins to hearty dinners that Hannah and Marmee encourage the March sisters to learn to make, you’ll find an abundance of delicious teatime drinks and snacks, plus breakfasts, brunches, lunches, suppers, and desserts. Featuring full-color photos, evocative illustrations, fun and uplifting quotes from the novel, and anecdotes about Louisa May Alcott, this is a book that any Little Women fan will love to have.
Yummers! And coming out October 29 is The Little Women Cookbook: Novel Takes on Classic Recipes from Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy and Friends by Jenne Bergstrom and Miko Osada (Ulysses Press, 2019):
Join the March family for joyous Christmas breakfasts, lovely lunches, scrumptious desserts, and more!
You already adore the story of these four sisters who, with little means, find their own paths in a tale full of laughter, love, loss, and family. Now, experience Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel in an entirely new and delightful way―as a cookbook.
You’ll learn to make ice cream with Meg, molasses candy with Jo, baked squash with Beth, pickled limes with Amy, and so much more. For a creative twist, these delicious step-by-step recipes are adapted from vintage Civil War-era cookbooks for the modern kitchen.
A perfect gift for Little Women fans everywhere, the book is packed with beautiful color photographs, timeless illustrations, favorite passages, historical trivia, and additional commentary by the authors, founders of 36 Eggs, the literary food blog.
I can hardly contain myself! Must check out both these books. I was not previously familiar with the 36 Eggs blog, so I have a lot of catching up to do. One thing is certain: there’ll be no shortage of delicious ways to celebrate the movie’s release, and of course the recipes will probably make us want to reread the beloved novel yet again. The only other LW related cookbook I own is The Louisa May Alcott Cookbook, published back in the 80’s, so I’m really glad we’ll be able to expand our Alcott love with these new titles.
7. Have you been longing for a new poetry anthology? Kiss me, you fool!
Yes, Terrapin Press recently released a kiss and tell, blow me a kiss, excuse me while I kiss the sky collection to get us contemplating the different kinds of kisses we experience in our lives. When you really think about it, kisses serve different purposes, and though generally regarded as a sign of affection, there are interesting distinctions. Check out A Constellation of Kisses, edited by Diane Lockward (Terrapin Press, 2019):
A kiss is never just a kiss–heat-seeking, information bearing, coded. In this inspired collection, poet and editor Diane Lockward has assembled over 100 poems about kisses written by many of our best contemporary poets. You’ll find kisses longed for, kisses auditioned, kisses rehearsed. Ritualistic kissing. Delicious kissing. Kissing that comforts the grieving. Kissing that blesses a union … Kisses in this anthology may be romantic or funny or comforting or erotic or mournful–and more … We may hope that kissing always begins in delight and keeps on being delightful. But the truth, of course, is otherwise. This is, after all, a constellation of kisses … May there be no end to the most genuine kisses, the right kisses, the ones that are good and meant for us to savor. And while we’re at it, let’s wish for no end to poems about kissing. (from the Foreword by Lee Upton)
Some of the poets featured include Ellen Bass, Andrea Potos, Kim Addonizio, Kelli Russell Agodon, Dorianne Laux, Kurt Brown, and Richard Jones.
Sounds intriguing, no? *blows you a kiss*
8. Do you belong to the Moomin Fan Club? I do. You don’t have to be a member, though, to enjoy the super cool Moomin website. It’s a virtual paradise for all Moomin fans, not only featuring interesting tidbits about the books and TV series, but also a shop that’s chock full of Moomin merchandise!
And when I say chock full, I mean they have anything and everything Moomin related for every room in the house, in addition to adult and children’s clothing, stationery, toys, jewelry, and of course books (in English, Finnish and Swedish).
Oh, and did I mention they also have Moomin FOOD!??!!
Check out the Moomin coffee, tea, cocoa, candy, even chewing gum! I have no idea how any of these items actually taste, but they’ve sold me with the packaging (guess they could see me coming for miles). 😀
Very happy making and perfect for gift giving!
Just cause you’ve been so well behaved throughout this roundup, here’s a peek at the new Moominvalley animated TV series (just released earlier this year), starring Taron Egerton as Moomintroll:
9. And now to top everything off, the incredible icing on the cake: still can’t believe these beautiful cakes with frosting that looks like embroidery!
These tapestry cakes were created by cake artist and instructor Leslie Vigil of Ontario, California. What began as a hobby (she watched her mom bake during her childhood), led to an all-out passion for baking and her life’s work.
Leslie attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and now works at Tasteful Cakes in Corona, California. She does offer workshops — you can sign up for the upcoming November 9 – January 31 class via her website.
Amazing artistry. Definitely too beautiful to eat. Do visit Leslie’s website. She’s a nature lover and also creates striking and unusual garden and bouquet themed cakes. Worth a look!
For our blue song this week, here’s “For You Blue” by the Beatles, which was included on their final album, “Let It Be” (1970). This is a George Harrison composition, a 12-bar ‘country blues’ tune he wrote as a love song to Patti Boyd.
When writing “For You Blue”, Harrison was partly influenced by his stay with Bob Dylan and the Band in Woodstock over November–December 1968. Whereas that visit had been a musically rewarding experience for Harrison, the Beatles first worked on the song amid an atmosphere of discord, during the filmed rehearsals that made up part of the Let It Be documentary film. Recorded at the group’s Apple Studio in London in late January 1969, the song includes a lap steel guitar part played by John Lennon.
HAPPY TUESDAY, HAPPY WEEK
DON’T LOSE HOPE
READ A POEM EVERY DAY
DREAM IN COLOR
EAT PIE, OF COURSE
BELIEVE IN BLUE
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**Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.