[ribbeting review] A Spoonful of Frogs by Casey Lyall and Vera Brosgol

Ah, soup season! 

You know, nothing hits the spot like a tasty bowl of Frog Soup. Made fresh. By a witch.

Welcome to the Bewitching Kitchen cooking show, where our pointy-hatted host will teach you how to make this easy and healthy dish at home.

We first learn that Frog Soup is the witch’s favorite treat. The model of sweetness and light, she joyfully takes us step by step through the recipe. After placing her cauldron on the fire, she adds salt, pepper, 22 (!) cloves of garlic, six potatoes and three carrots. Mustn’t forget a cup of fly extract.

Finally, the most important ingredient of all: a spoonful of frogs – to add “a kick of flavor and a pop of color.”

Well, easier said than done. She gently tries to “place the frogs on the spoon.” Seems they have other ideas – frogs, after all, like to leap, jump and hop. She tries to grab, get, find, scoop, chase, and trap them in a pot.

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[sticky review] Paddington’s Easter Egg Hunt by Michael Bond and Karen Jankel, with art by R.W. Alley

Guess what?! The Easter Bunny left a surprise on our doorstep – a brand new Paddington Bear picture book! WooHoo!

Needless to say, all the furry Alphabet Soup kitchen helpers, especially the 70-something resident Paddingtons, are simply beside themselves. After several jubilant paw pumps and back flips, they cartwheeled from room to room before finally settling down long enough to actually crack open the book.

This new story is a welcome treasure, truly a rare gift for all Paddington fans, since dear Mr Bond passed away in 2017 (and we’ve all missed him terribly). But. It seems his agent discovered an old story Mr Bond had written with his daughter Karen Jankel for a charity newsletter back in 1995. Why not turn it into a picture book?

So Paddington illustrator extraordinaire R.W. Alley created some brand new illustrations, and, I must say, he’s really outdone himself. 🙂

In this toothsome tale, Paddington’s organizing an Easter Egg Hunt for his neighborhood’s fundraising extravaganza. Much to his dismay, the chocolate eggs he wanted to buy from the supermarket are sold out. After checking a boutique shop down the road, he learns their eggs are too expensive. “They cost fifteen pounds each?” – and that was for the smallest egg. He needs at least 20. Activate hard stare.

What to do? 

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