Since spring is Beatrix Potter time in the Alphabet Soup kitchen, thought we’d serve up a blend of old and new, courtesy of Peter Rabbit and Jemima Puddle-duck.
For the last several days, while trying to decide which stories to talk about, we heard a constant quacking in the butler’s pantry. Stray feathers drifted in whenever we opened the front door, and the odd egg or two would appear in unexpected places — next to the toaster, inside the oatmeal box, in front of the clock.
Quite curious, wouldn’t you say?
Well, Clever Cornelius knew eggsactly what was up: Jemima Puddle-duck was jockeying for the spotlight.
Not wanting to quash her quack, we decided to share a newish board book in which she appears with Peter Rabbit, in addition to her classic tale published in 1908.
A SPRING SURPRISE
In A Spring Surprise, the fifth title in the adorable Peter Rabbit Tale board book series by Fiona Munro and Eleanor Taylor (Frederick Warne, 2019), Peter and his family are busy preparing for an Easter picnic.
Everyone except Peter knows what they’re bringing. For Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-tail, it’s blackberry juice, wildflower garlands and jump ropes.
Wanting to bring something just as perfect, Peter goes around asking for suggestions. His mother, who’s making sandwiches, suggests “something sweet,” while Benjamin Bunny (busy with his kite) is in favor of “something fun.” Squirrel Nutkin tells him to “take something that’s a bit different.”
Well, this only makes Peter feel worse because he can’t think of anything sweet, fun, or different . . . until he suddenly spots something small and yellow amongst the bluebells. A flower? No, it’s moving! A butterfly?
Ooh, a tiny duckling! He scoops it right up. As he scampers along the path, he sees another, then another and another! Peter knows these ducklings belong to Jemina Puddle-duck, who must be worried sick. When he shows up with them at the picnic, Jemima is ecstatic, and everyone claps and cheers. Peter definitely couldn’t have brought anything sweeter, more fun or different to the picnic. 🙂
Now, despite the missing ducklings, Jemima really likes this story because she gets to do some quazy joyous quacking at the end, and the appearance of her four ducklings kinda picks up right where The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck leaves off.
Do you recall that somewhat harrowing farmyard tale?
I must say you’re even more good looking today than you were last week. How is that even possible?!
I see by the twinkle in your eye that you’re hungry for good words and good food. You’ve definitely come to the right place. Please help yourself to some freshly brewed Kona coffee and homemade mango bread. 🙂
♥ TODAY’S POEM ♥
Actually, I’m on a mango kick this week. I reviewed the breathtakingly beautiful Moon Mangoes the other day, and today I’m sharing Lesléa Newman’s mouthwatering “Mangoes” from The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School,compiled by poetry goddesses Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong (Pomelo Books, 2013).
Though I’m a tad extremely partial to Week 10 (Food) and Week 11 (More Food) in the anthology, I was thrilled when Lesléa’s poem appeared as a delicious surprise in Week 31 (Different Forms) for Seventh Grade (page 165).
“Mangoes” is a ghazal, an Arabic lyric poem that incorporates the repetition of the same ending word in each couplet. When it comes to mangoes, Lesléa is a poet after my own heart, for her chosen end word is “heaven.” What better way to describe that luscious golden fruit personifying the sun-drenched days of summer?
Peel it back, cutie pies, and let those juices drip down your chin.
MANGOES by Lesléa Newman
I’ve got to know before I go,
do mangoes grow in heaven?
Without that treat that tastes so sweet
don’t want no seat in heaven.
If there ain’t none — at least a ton —
won’t be no fun in heaven.
If they substitute another fruit
I’ll give the boot to heaven.
A mango a day like the good doctor say
and I’ll make my way to heaven.
Will a mango slide through my fingers and glide
down my throat as I float up to heaven?
Now say for real, are there mangoes to steal
and peel on the way up to heaven?
If you say no, Lesléa won’t go —
no mangoes isn’t heaven!
Please leave your links with the fun-loving Mr. Linky below. Don’t forget to include the title of your poem or the book you’re reviewing in parentheses after your name. I will add your links manually to this post throughout the day.
Trust me, you need to make this mango bread sometime soon. It’s super moist, not overly sweet (golden raisins!), and is even better the next day.
The recipe calls for diced mango, but I put mine in the food processor because I like even distribution of fruit in my bread. Since my mangoes were medium ripe, the consistency was sort of like grated carrots. Choice of nuts is up to you — unsalted macadamias are divine and add a nice Hawaiian flavor. 🙂
Mmmm Good Mango Bread (makes one loaf)
2 cups flour 2 teaspoons baking soda 1-1/2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons cinnamon 3 eggs 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1-1/2 cups sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup golden raisins 1/2 cup chopped nuts 2 cups diced mango 1/4 cup flaked coconut (optional)
1. Grease a one pound loaf pan or a bundt pan.
2. Sift flour, soda, salt and cinnamon into large mixing bowl. Make a well and add the remaining ingredients, mixing thoroughly.
3. Pour into pan and let stand for 20 minutes.
4. Bake in a 350 degree oven for an hour.
(adapted from A TASTE OF ALOHA by the Junior League of Honolulu, 1983)
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P.S. Happy 72nd Birthday to my man Bob Dylan! He’s knock knock knockin’ on heaven’s door — probably checking for mangoes.
Have a fabulous holiday weekend, and thanks for poetry-ing with us. Hello, Summer!