[#MoreforAKR] celebrating amy krouse rosenthal’s birthday with COOKIE book illustrator jane dyer (+ amy’s favorite cookies and a giveaway!)

“INSPIRE means, Seeing what you’ve done here fills me with energy and new thoughts and the desire to now try to see what I can do!” ~ Amy Krouse Rosenthal (One Smart Cookie: Bite-Size Lessons for the School Years and Beyond)

About ten years ago, I read my first Amy Krouse Rosenthal book, her adult memoir Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. It spoke to me because I’m an alphabet freak, and I’d never seen anyone tell her life’s story in a series of quirky alphabetized entries, a free-flowing yet carefully curated non-linear celebration of simply being alive.

I loved Amy’s penchant for cataloging ideas, recalibrating time, pruning memory. She embraced spontaneity and serendipity, indulging an irrepressible passion for making, creating and connecting. In the playground of her brilliant mind, she made the muddy, crystal clear; the cliché, passé; the ordinary, extraordinary.

Amy Krouse Rosenthal lost her battle with ovarian cancer on March 13, 2017.

After reading her memoir, I looked forward to each of her children’s picture books. Like a fairy godmother, Amy could wave her intuitive magic wand and make time-worn concepts and storylines fresh, relevant, and fun. Her joy and heart were infectious, and she had an uncanny knack for imparting advice and wisdom with a light, whimsical touch.

Goldie and Baby Bear

About twenty-five years ago, I purchased a copy of Baby Bear’s Bedtime Book, written by Jane Yolen and illustrated by Jane Dyer. As an avid teddy bear collector, I was mad for bear books and instantly fell in love with Goldie and Baby Bear. There was such warmth in Jane Dyer’s pictures, a quaint old-fashioned charm and innocence that made me feel safe and comforted.

I’ve been a Dyer fan ever since, swooning over her work in Piggins, Time for Bed, Animal Crackers, I Love You Like Crazycakes, Blue Moon Soup, the Little Brown Bear series, and more recently, Oh My Baby, Little One, The House That’s Your Home, and All We Know. Sweet, but never cloying, gentle and endearing, her human and animal characters are always rendered with such love.

from The House That’s Your Home, written by Sally Lloyd-Jones (2015)

I want to inhabit her cozy interiors with their wainscoted walls, polka dot curtains and checked tablecloths, and befriend the adorable dogs, cats, bunnies and sheep dressed in human clothing.

GENEROUS means offering some to others (COOKIES: Bite-Size Life Lessons)

Needless to say, I was over the moon when I saw Amy and Jane’s first COOKIE book. Two of the very people I’d admired for so long in the same book!  Double the goodness, double the joy! 🙂

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sing a song of soup, or, may peace soup be with you

Mixed media soup collage by Melissa Sweet

Since January is National Soup Month, thought we’d celebrate with a bit of art, a heartening song and a bowl of homemade soup. 🙂

Pictured above is one of my prize possessions — an original Melissa Sweet watercolor I won in a Small Graces auction back in 2010. It all started in 2009 when Newbery Honor author/illustrator Grace Lin donated 11 original paintings to benefit the Foundation for Children’s Books (now Wondermore). In 2010, twelve different illustrators donated their work, and each month a new painting was auctioned off.

Guess what was featured in January? Melissa Sweet’s SOUP painting had my name written all over it and I was thrilled when I won. This piece continues to feed my soul every single day. 🙂

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hotTEAs of Children’s Literature: Jane Dyer

I began my career as a kindergarten teacher and my students’ parents said I should be illustrating children’s books. My first book was GOLDILOCKS AND THE THREE BEARS in 1984, and I have illustrated over sixty books since then. (Pictured here with my lamb Blossom in our summer playhouse in Western Massachusetts.)

 

☕ CUPPA OF CHOICE: My newest favorite tea is Peppermint Bark from The Republic of Tea, which is made with organic green rooibos, peppermint, vanilla, and cocoa. But I begin each morning with their Double Dark Chocolate Maté. As you can see, there is a theme here.

☕ HOT OFF THE PRESSES: The House That’s Your Home, written by Sally Lloyd-Jones (Schwartz & Wade, February 2015). Forthcoming: All We Know, written by Linda Ashman (HarperCollins, March 2016).

 

☕ FAVE FOODIE CHILDREN’S BOOK(s): Thundercake by Patricia Polacco (Philomel, 1990); Fanny at Chez Panisse by Alice Waters and Ann Arnold (HarperCollins, 1992)Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal (HarperCollins, 2006) and Blue Moon Soup: A Family Cookbook, written by Gary Goss (Sky Pony Press, 2013).

☕ Visit Jane Dyer’s Official Website and blog.

☕ ☕ JUST ONE MORE SIP: Read aloud of Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons:

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☕ ☕ ☕ CAN’T GET ENOUGH: Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love:

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Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

nom nom, supreme cookie love ♥


“CONSIDERATE means, I waited until you got home so we could lick the bowl together.”


‘Tis the season of cookies!

Put on your aprons so we can mix up some butter, sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla and baking soda in our blue striped bowl. See, I waited for you to get here so we could lick the bowl together and sample some of the heartwarming cookie-centric definitions in Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s brand new book, Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love (HarperCollins, 2009)!

Just released in October, Sugar Cookies is the third installment in Rosenthal’s New York Times bestselling series, following Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons (2006) and Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons (2008).

I love all of them (I like to keep my cookie jar well stocked). In Sugar Cookies, Rosenthal defines 22 words that are associated with love — all its little nuances, and some of the different ways people show it.

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