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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totally kewl: fork, knife, spoon

#45 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet.

Confession:  I LOVE to set the table.

Even more than cooking the food that goes on it. Not quite as much as I like eating the food, but still. Give me soup bowls and cups and saucers and teapots and little dessert plates and best of all, dishes with words on them. Let me stack them, place them, wink at them. Shiny dishes, see-yourself-in-their-reflection dishes, the promise of sustenance-to-come dishes.

And what would these peachy keen dishes be without cute cutlery? Only some of us lick our plates, but most of us lick our spoons and forks (at carefully prescribed times after licking our chops). Ecstasy!

I’m here today to tell you word lovers who revel in fine flatware that it’s possible to kick up your enjoyment yet another notch: behold vintage silverware you can actually READ! Oh sweet literary feasting!

Bella Jackson Studios of Napa, California, lovingly hand stamps delicious bon mots on silver knives, forks and spoons. They’ve got something for everyone — lines of poetry, witticisms, puns, nursery rhymes, holiday greetings, expressions of endearment, names of cheeses and spices. And of course they’ll custom stamp anything you like to fit the occasion. I like the idea of pieces selected for their charm and uniqueness, each with a distinctive patina and the “imperfections” resulting from hand-stamping one letter at a time.


Got any cheese?

These make such fun gifts; something for the birthday girl, the bride and groom, the coffee or tea lover in your life. Have a friend who fancies gardening? Check out these cool garden markers. Love them!



Visit the Bella Jackson Studios Etsy Shop for lots more! Their repurposed silverware is a cut above (sorry, couldn’t resist).

What’s your favorite table utensil? I love spoons spoons spoons. “SPOON” is a perfect word, when you really think about it. Say it. Notice how your lips tap together gently like a little kiss and teasy pout. Perfect!


Happy Eating!

♥ More Alphabetica here.

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Certified authentic alphabetica. Handmade just for you with love and sassy spoons, titillating tines and naughty knives.


Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.