#52 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet.
A chowder is a robust goop That’s more akin to stew than soup. It can be brackish or divine. Sit down and take a taste of mine.
So begins Alpha Beta Chowder, a wry, witty, and deliciously wicked ABC poetry bookby husband and wife team Jeanne Steig and William Steig. This classic 26-verse feast of wacky wordplay was originally published by HarperCollins in 1992 and reissued by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books last month.
I admit this title has been on my radar for years but I only recently had the chance to read it. Of course I’m a longtime William Steig fan — I still sigh and swoon over Brave Irene and Dr. DeSoto, especially — but I wasn’t familiar with Jeanne Steig’s work, and boy, have I been missing out!
Goodbye, boring “A is for Apple” and “Z is for Zoo” — Jeanne’s cheeky alliterative rhyming poems feature a motley crew of odd and quirky mock heroes, many you’d rather read about than meet in person. God forbid you get stuck in a room with Noisome Naomi, a nervy newtish nightmare whose “voice is like a needle,” or come within hearing distance of Coaxing Carrotina and her blister inducing shrill cadenzas on the concertina. *covers ears*
We must celebrate with what so many of us are craving after such a long hard winter: COLOR!
But why settle for plain blue when you can have indigo or blue moonshade? As for green, make mine Elysian. Let’s bask in the evocative names of colors and the flights of fancy they inspire. And yes, you may call me Sheba. 🙂
POEM FROM A COLOUR CHART OF HOUSEPAINTS by Wendy Cope
Limeglow of leaves –
in Elysian green,
in the forest.
She is froth, the tang
of julep, capering
among the ferns.
Passion, the firedance
of her fantasy,
fireglow of poppy
and corona, ember.
She burns, a firefly,
Her sandgold hair,
spun silk kimono,
melon and lemon sorbet
on the balcony,
white wine, gardenias.
That honeysuckle year –
if he could ransom
one sunlit day!
Indigo seascape –
Melissa in cool,
she commands the bay,
the midnight swell,
the surf, pale gossamer.
Autumnal in brogues,
beige twinset, russet
tweeds, she takes
coffee at eleven,
sherry at noon –
dreams of Tarragona,
castanets, a man
who called her Sheba.
is violet, nocturnal.
wisteria delight her
more than roses.
Solitude, a purple
robe, a last
long hazy evening.
To celebrate warmer days and the earth’s reawakening, we’re giving away one medium size (13″ x 19″) archival print of any one of Julie Paschkis’s paintings available at her new shop Julie Paprika! That’s right! Your choice!
Here are a few examples:
Gorgeous work! And any one of these (or another of your choosing) can be yours! Simply leave a comment at this post telling us what you’re most looking forward to now that Spring is here, no later than midnight (EDT) Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Giveaway open to U.S. residents only, please. Winner will be announced next Friday. Special thanks to Julie for this generous dash of Paprika in our Soup :). Good Luck!
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♦ 2015 POETRY MONTH KIDLITOSPHERE ROUNDUP ♦
If you’re doing something special on your blog for Poetry Month in April, please email me with your information: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com, so I can include you in my Roundup post. Can’t wait to see what everyone will be up to!
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Beautiful and gracious Catherine is hosting today’s Roundup at Reading to the Core. Throw on a silk kimono, pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy the full menu of poetic goodness being shared in the blogosphere this week. Is it still too cold for lemon sorbet on the balcony?
When last we called upon the erudite, ever-reliable mathematical genius Monsieur Random Integer Generator, he was feasting on veal piccata in Milan. As you can imagine, it is not easy tracking down this raconteur connoisseur globe-trotting flaneur restaurateur. Wherever he goes, people want him to pick his nose numbers and winners.
He’s always in demand. Yes, he’s that good.
And for you, dear readers, we would never settle for anything less.
So we sent him a special telegram requesting his services.
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.