soup of the day: spaghetti smiles by margo sorenson and david harrington (+ a pasta recipe)!

Ciao a tutti! Hello Everyone!

Today we’re happy to be celebrating the official release of Spaghetti Smiles by Margo Sorenson and David Harrington (Pelican Publishing Co., 2014).

This playful, lip-smacking story has been cooked up with just the right ingredients: a book lovin’ boy, a crazy-fun uncle, lots of savory, tomato-y, kiss-your-fingertips Italian food, the joys of reading with family, and the importance of a close-knit community.

But more about the book in a minute.

First, a few party accoutrements. 🙂

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soup of the day special edition: ben clanton dishes on the table sets itself

Ahoy there!*

The Alphabet Soup table is all set to welcome story-scribbler, picture-squiggler, fun-socks-wearer Ben Clanton, whose second self-illustrated picture book, The Table Sets Itself (Walker BFYR, 2013), is officially hitting shelves today! WooHoo!

Until I read this charming, whimsical story, I thought I was the only one who had a meaningful relationship with cutlery. I loved reading about how Izzy and her friends Dish, Fork, Knife, Spoon, Cup, and Napkin finally get the chance to set the table themselves. But because they soon tire of being in the same spots day after day, they decide to switch places. Uh-oh.

Is this front endpaper cool or what?

This leads to a few small disasters and a big ooh-la-la adventure for the runaway Dish and Spoon, whose absence turns Izzy into a complete mess because no other plate or spoon will do. How will she get them to return to the table? Generous sprinkles of punny jokes and visual humor (I bet you never knew a cup could lift a cow) make for a rollicking read aloud, and did I mention macaroni and cheese is instrumental in setting things right again?

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the great (almost disastrous) cornelius caper

Last week, these lollipops mysteriously appeared in the mail.


Cornelius had been dying to taste a caper-flavored lollipop ever since he read Dan Krall’s The Great Lollipop Caper. 


Despite the warning, he was sure he’d never be appalling.



He removed the wrapper. The lollipop was strangely smooth and unsticky. No smell.




Lick lick.

Nope, not him. He was a good bear, a likeable bear — no lollipop in the whole wide world could ever change that.


Without asking permission, he raided the cookie jar.


When he got thirsty, he took to the bottle.



Then, I’m sorry to report, he began writing nasty words.


*covers eyes*

Lick lick lick lick lick lick lick lick.

He decided he would do every naughty thing the children did in the book!



And that wasn’t all.

My stars, you WILL NOT believe what he did next.


Desecrated the title of an otherwise tasty book. GASP!

Beyond appalling!

Antidote lollipop to the rescue!





Lick lick.


Guess Dan’s story is true.

Read The Great Lollipop Caper with great caution.

DO NOT eat any caper-flavored lollipoopspops unless you have Antidote lollipops on hand.

Cornelius has learned his lesson. He’s back to being his well-behaved self.


Well, almost.

* * *

lollipop caper cover

♥ For a chance to win a SIGNED COPY of The Great Lollipop Caper + lollipops, enter the giveaway at this post  (if you dare).

Deadline for entries: Midnight (EDT) Friday, May 24, 2013.


Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

soup of the day and a giveaway: the great lollipop caper by dan krall!


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.

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soup of the day: forest has a song by amy ludwig vanderwater and robbin gourley

The chickadees in our woods are chirping the happy news: today, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s very first poetry book, Forest Has a Song (Clarion, 2013), is officially out in the wild! Hip hip hooray!

As I’ve said many times before, this is a big reason to celebrate because there is only one “first book” in an author’s life. This moment in time usually represents years of writing, hoping and waiting. No matter how many books Amy publishes down the road, this one will always hold a special place in her heart.

amy with book
Proud author with her new book baby.

Like me, many of you know Amy through Poetry Friday and her wonderful Poem Farm blog. Did you also follow along as she posted a poem every day for an entire year back in 2010? I’ve been honored to share several of her poems right here at Alphabet Soup: she was a Poetry Potluck guest in 2011, sharing her famous Pineapple Slices, she brought a peanut butter jellyfish sandwich to our Peanut Butter Lovers Month celebration not too long ago, and her lovely poem “Apple Pockets” was featured in Nicole Gulotta’s guest post.

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