soup of the day: happy birthday, bunny! by liz garton scanlon and stephanie graegin

bunny nine

Happy Happy Birthday Birthday!

It’s time to put on your party clothes and fancy shoes: for our first Soup of the Day for 2013, we’re celebrating a birthday book’s book birthday! Got that?

And I’m doubly, even triple-y excited because it was written by one of my favorite author/poets, Liz Garton Scanlon, and beautifully illustrated by Brooklyn-based artist Stephanie Graegin, who did such a brilliant job that it’s hard to believe it’s her very first picture book. You know how much I love featuring “first books.” 🙂 I totally agree with Kirkus, who called Stephanie “an up-and-coming artist to watch” in their *starred review*. Hooray!

But more about Happy Birthday, Bunny! (Beach Lane Books, 2013), right after we suit up for the festivities.

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soup of the day: oh, nuts! by tammi sauer and dan krall

Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.

Well, not only do we feel like a nut, we ARE nuts about OH, NUTS! (Bloomsbury, 2012), a brand new picture book by Tammi Sauer and Dan Krall, which officially drops today!



You know the old saying, “It takes one to know one”? Ahem, Tammi Sauer, Dan Krall. Need I say more? Totally qualified in the nuts department. But somebody should get on their shells about slacking off. Tammi = 5 books out this year. Dan = 2 books out this year. If they’d only stop polishing their pecans, attacking acorns and waltzing with walnuts, they’d have time to make more books! Yeah!

*crowd grows restless* “Par-tay! Par-tay!”

So, are you ready to channel your inner chipmunk? I hope Tammi and Dan have time to drop by today’s celebration. They were last seen at the City Zoo, “meeting their public.” Throngs of peanut nibblers want their copies signed.

Tammi and Dan Chipmunk are the biggest attraction at the zoo today: DO NOT FEED. (This illo fashioned by Dan just for Alphabet Soup)!

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soup of the day: happy birthday, tree! and the schmutzy family by madelyn rosenberg (and a double giveaway)!

What could be better than celebrating a first book by a fellow Virginia author?

Why, celebrating TWO first books, of course, yes TWO — by our favorite guitar playin’, Bob Dylan-lovin’, popcorn eatin’ ace reporter turned fiction writer Madelyn Rosenberg!!


And this is just as it should be — since Maddie (I can call her that cause I’m older) is twice as nice, twice as smart, and twice as cute. We are thrilled to be sending out twice the love♥ today for her two debut picture books, The Schmutzy Family, illustrated by Paul Meisel (Holiday House, 2012); and Happy Birthday Tree!: A Tu B’Shevat Story illustrated by Jana Christy (Albert Whitman, 2012).

Art © 2012 Paul Meisel

I hope you’re in double the partying mood cause we’ve got lots of pictures and snacks and tasty things to say about both of Ms. Rosenberg’s new books :). We’re even revealing a little-known secret: Madelyn may be a very talented writer and all-around good person, but . . . she’s a tad messy! *ssshhh* More on that later.

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soup of the day: flying the dragon by natalie dias lorenzi

“The dragon is a creature of the sea,” Grandfather said. “When it takes to the sky, it is looking for something precious it has lost. When it finds what it was looking for, it returns to the sea in the form of rain.”

Konnichiwa! Hello!


We’re especially excited today to be celebrating the official release of Flying the Dragon by Natalie Dias Lorenzi (Charlesbridge, 2012). Not only is Natalie a Virginia author, but this is her debut middle grade novel. As I always say, no matter how many books you go on to write, or how rich and famous you might become, there will always be only one first book, with its own special brand of pride, joy and feelings of accomplishment. We LOVE to celebrate first books!

Friends, I’m so glad you’re here to join us. Let’s get the party started by suiting up.

First, please select a t-shirt. Depending on your mood, you may feel like building a kite,

or noshing on sushi:

With all the mouthwatering Japanese food in the book, you should probably put this on, too:

Lookin’ good!

Can’t eat a plate of yakisoba without a good pair of chopsticks. Choose your favorite color:

All set?

Now, a little about Flying the Dragon:

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soup of the day: see you at harry’s by jo knowles (and a giveaway)!

Why hello!

You’re just in time to help us celebrate the official release of See You at Harry’s (Candlewick, 2012), a brand new middle grade novel by the lovely and supremely talented Jo Knowles!

Little Jo, Champion Cone Licker

I’ve been really excited about this book ever since I first heard about it a couple of years ago, not only because I’m a big fan of Jo’s writing, but because this particular story was inspired by her childhood experiences of growing up in the restaurant business in Laconia, New Hampshire.*swoon*

Keller’s was the first of several restaurants owned by Jo’s family in New Hampshire.

Could there be anything better than having your family own a restaurant that’s also an ice cream factory?! Bring me Apple Orchard Pancakes and a Spanish Omelette for breakfast, a Knickerbocker Sandwich for lunch, Stuffed Hamburg Casserole for dinner (extra cheese, ham and mushrooms, please!), and of course, a hot fudge sundae, root beer float or strawberry ice cream cone every day after school. Yum — my idea of culinary heaven! It had to have been fun getting to know some of the customers, helping out with odd jobs, and seeing how large quantities of ice cream was made.

Lick your screen. You know you want to.

But where are my manners? Before I give you the full scoop on this wonderful book, a few delectable party favors.

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