soup of the day: spaghetti smiles by margo sorenson and david harrington (+ a pasta recipe)!

Ciao a tutti! Hello Everyone!

Today we’re happy to be celebrating the official release of Spaghetti Smiles by Margo Sorenson and David Harrington (Pelican Publishing Co., 2014).

This playful, lip-smacking story has been cooked up with just the right ingredients: a book lovin’ boy, a crazy-fun uncle, lots of savory, tomato-y, kiss-your-fingertips Italian food, the joys of reading with family, and the importance of a close-knit community.

But more about the book in a minute.

First, a few party accoutrements. 🙂

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guest post: margo sorenson on norwegian lefse (flatbread)

I’m happy to welcome dear friend and award winning author Margo Sorenson back to Alphabet Soup today. 🙂

The good news is that her middle grade historical novel, Tori and the Sleigh of Midnight Blue (first released in paperback back in 2003), is now available as an ebook!

Eleven-year-old Tori and her family are struggling with the Great Depression in North Dakota, and the death of her beloved Papa has been the severest blow of all. To aspiring writer Tori, everything is changing for the worse—her friends are acting too grown-up, and her little brother Otto invades her privacy. When a Norwegian bachelor-farmer begins courting Mama, Tori writes in her journal that her life will be ruined. What will Tori discover about forgiveness and acceptance as she tries to keep her life from changing?

I enjoyed learning about Scandinavian customs through this beautifully written novel, which reminded me of childhood favorites like All-of-a Kind Family and the Little House Books, where family ties, simple pleasures and a strong sense of community sustain the characters through difficult times.

In the chapter “Missing!”, Tori reluctantly helps her mother roll lefse for Thanksgiving. She usually loves making the traditional flatbread, but this would be their second Thanksgiving without Papa, and besides, she was angry that Mama had invited suitor Bjorn Oppestadt to dinner. How dare she? He wasn’t family!

Today, Margo talks about rolling lefse with her own family. It sounds like such delicious fun. Adopt me, please :).

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author chat: a special aloha from margo sorenson

Of all the wonderful things Hawai’i has to offer — breathtaking natural beauty, world-renown beaches, stunning tropical flora, rich cultural diversity, divinely delicious variety of ethnic foods — its most valuable commodity is, and always will be, the genuine warmth and friendliness of its people.

Because I’ve always wished that this “spirit of Aloha” was more prevalent in the United States, I was especially pleased to read Margo Sorenson’s latest picture book, Aloha for Carol Ann (Marimba Books, 2011). In her heartwarming story, which is illustrated in bright colors by Priscilla Garcia Burris, Margo gives the “new kid in school” theme a tropical treatment. And there’s a nice twist: it’s a multicultural book where the main character is Caucasian.

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