10 Cool Things on a Tuesday

1. Virginia author Madelyn Rosenberg has two new books out! Remember when we featured How to Behave at a Tea Party (Katherine Tegen Books, 2014), a picture book about bossy Julia wanting everything just-so, while her younger brother Charles and his friends have different ideas? Well, Julia and Charles are back in How to Behave at a Dog Show!

Is Rexie cut out to be Best in Show? Probably not. Does Julia enter him in the Happy Tails Best of Breed Dog Show anyway? She sure does. This companion to How to Behave at a Tea Party offers readers more laugh-out-loud silly fun with sister-brother duo Julia and Charles and their lovably mischievous dog, Rexie.

With subtle themes of losing gracefully and celebrating the things that make each of us winners in our own ways, this book is perfect for preschool and early elementary children, for readers who enjoyed the How to Babysit a Grandpa series, and for anyone who has ever loved a less-than-perfect pet.

Julia and Charles end up hosting a pet show of their own—don’t be surprised if young readers are inspired to do the same!

Ruff ruff! Sit up and beg for this funny tail, which is again illustrated by Heather Ross. 🙂 Check out this cute trailer:

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AND, Nanny X fans will be happy to know she’s back in Nanny X Returns (Holiday House, 2015):

Something fishy is up and Nanny X, an agent for Nanny Action Patrol, and her young charges plan to investigate in this sequel to NANNY X, which was called “a fun and funny blend of Spy Kids and Mary Poppins” by Kirkus Reviews.

In their second adventure, eleven-year-old Ali, eight-year-old Jake and baby Eliza go fishing with Nanny X, only there is something odd about their catch, it’s robotic! While the gang wonders about this strange occurrence, a robotic squirrel shows up and tries to steal Nanny X’s computer, which is disguised as a box of baby wipes. Meanwhile, a mysterious person known as The Angler is threatening the nation’s treasures if the President doesn’t install a statue of a fish on the White House lawn. Nanny X wonders if these weird incidents are connected, and a series of investigations surrounding a jealous artist yields non-stop action and humor.

Be sure to check out both Nanny X chapter books, written especially for ages 7-10!

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celebrating colin firth’s birthday with goodnight mr. darcy, a recipe and a special giveaway!

 

Dear Mr. Firth,

You must allow us to tell you how ardently we admire and love you.

To celebrate your 54th birthday, we’re serving up a 3-course repast here at Alphabet Soup: a brand new picture book, a spot of tea, and you.

Whether as Fitzwilliam Darcy or Mark Darcy, you truly take the cake. May we be so bold as to say you are stunning wet, dry, and everything in-between?

And boy, can you rock a cravat and waistcoat.

We remain your loyal fans, wishing you the best birthday ever.

With deep affection and hearts a-flutter,

Every female in the world with a pulse
xoxoxoxo

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♥ FIRST COURSE ♥
Goodnight Mr. Darcy by Kate Coombs and Alli Arnold

 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that an earnest writer and a department store sniffing artist in possession of talent and wit must be in want of a good parody.

For award winning author Kate Coombs and award-winning illustrator Alli Arnold, a send-up of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice à la beloved children’s classic Goodnight Moon was just the thing to set their bonnets a-twirl.

In the great ballroom
There was a country dance
And a well-played tune
And Elizabeth Bennet —

So begins this tidy tale of moonlight and romance, as all are gathered at the Netherfield Ball — Lydia and Kitty looking pretty, Mr. Darcy surprised by a pair of fine eyes, Jane with a blush and Mr. Bingley turned to mush, and let’s not forget a certain gossiping mother and a father saying ‘hush’.

Those familiar with Pride and Prejudice know that the Ball is a crucial scene — where Darcy has singled out Elizabeth, and caught off-guard, she agrees to dance with him. They are allowed to engage in unchaperoned conversation (gasp!), their unguarded repartee ever-so-temptingly weakening their resolve.

In Goodnight Mr. Darcy (Gibbs Smith, 2014), Kate has retained the simple rhyming structure and lulling cadence of Brown’s Goodnight Moon, but with a brilliant tongue-against-blushing cheek makeover that outlines all the delectable aspects of the prim and proper Darcy/Lizzy conscious coupling from ‘cute meet’ at the dance to mutual mooning over each other at home to happily ever after. The Mr. Bingley and Jane pairing adds a bit of ‘mushy’ humor boys will appreciate, while the whole concept of a fancy dress ball with tipping of top hats, flitting of fans and oh-so-civilized how-de-do’s will have special appeal to girls.

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friday feast: tea and bread pudding for jane

“At 9 o’clock she made breakfast — that was her part of the household work —  The tea and sugar stores were under her charge.” ~ Caroline Austen (My Aunt Jane Austen: A Memoir)

It’s December 16th! A most noteworthy date to be sure.

In 1773, an impassioned group of colonists held a certain Tea Party in Boston Harbor, and just two years later, on this very same December day, Jane Austen was born at Steventon Rectory.

Why not celebrate Jane’s birthday with a fine cup of tea and a treat? The Alphabet Soup kitchen helpers are serving English Breakfast Tea by the English Teddy Bear Company. Please help yourself to a steamy cup while reading Jane’s poem.

The Jane Austen Centre calls this 11-stanza verse, “sprightly.” Indeed, it reveals her keen wit and charming powers of persuasion. It was written a few years before she moved to Chawton House with her mother, sister Cassandra and dear friend Martha Lloyd, who later married Jane’s brother Frank. Seems Jane was trying to find a way to have Martha come and visit her.

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thought for the week: a girl after my own heart

 
                                                                   
 
                                    image.jpg picture by jamesmargaret3rd apple_pie101203big.jpg picture by jamesmargaret3rd

“I am glad the new cook begins so well. Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.”

                   Jane Austen (17 October, 1815) 

(Click here for an authentic Regency recipe for Baked Apple Pudding!)