end-of-summer picture book picnic!

Before we bid a fond farewell to summer, I think we should celebrate with one last picnic.

My favorite picnic scene in children’s literature takes place in the opening chapter of The Wind in the Willows, where Mole meets Ratty for the first time, and he is astonished with the contents of Ratty’s veddy British picnic hamper:

“There’s cold chicken inside it,” replied the Rat briefly;
gingerbeerlemonadesodawater –“

“O stop, stop,” cried the Mole in ecstasies: “This is too much!”

“Do you really think so?” enquired the Rat seriously. “It’s only what I always take on these little excursions; and the other animals are always telling me that I’m a mean beast and cut it VERY fine!”

So begins a fine friendship and bucolic adventure that includes messing with boats in the best way, gypsy caravans, wild car rides, and forays into the wild woods and back. No matter your age, or what ails you, this classic by Kenneth Grahame is just the ticket.

Say what you will about your own brand of picnic; the British are definitely onto something with their wicker picnic hampers, real china, and sumptuous provisions. In this story, the delicious dreaminess of glorious summer days is spread upon an expansive cloth for all to savor, as the longings and foibles of dear Ratty, Mole, Badger, Otter, and even crazy Mr. Toad feed our imaginations and touch the heart. 

Today I’ve rustled up some picnic-friendly picture books to satisfy your cravings for sandwiches, fried chicken, cold ham, pickles, watermelon, hunks of cheese, and crusty bread. It’s good to know that this wonderful feeling of sharing food outdoors with good friends need never end, because the picnic, whether you prefer yours at the beach, in a park, or on a river bank, is essentially a state of mind. Hold onto it as we move into the cooler days of autumn!

via Sarah Lauren Photography

*spreads checked picnic cloth on the grass*

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three tasty bites

photo by amber in norfolk.

♥ Don’t miss the August Carnival of Children’s Literature, hosted by Sarah at In Need of Chocolate. She’s arranged all the posts according to a Back-to-School subject theme. Click through for a delicious variety of reviews (children’s/YA books), thoughts about writing/publishing and more.

  Elvis’s Banana Pudding is the perfect way to top off the month. Cakespy.com has a delicious post with the recipe and a little Elvis trivia.

  ♥ Booksigning Alert: Kristy Dempsey will be signing her new picture book, Me with You, at Hooray for Books! in Alexandria, Virginia, this Sunday, September 6th, at 2 p.m.! You may remember we celebrated this book’s release with a Soup of the Day post. Now I’m looking forward to meeting Kristy in person. Hope to see you there!

just for fun: alphatot spot

#15 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet.

Why settle for boring tater tots or plain frozen fries when you can eat these?

They only take 20 minutes in a 475°F oven.

So yummy when warm and a little brown around the edges.

How do you spell delish? Kids and short grown-ups can’t resist them. Munch on a few crispy letters today ☺!

Hope you had a nice weekend. Happy Monday! ♥


P.S. The letters, “Y – E – S” taste especially good.

 Certified authentic alphabetica. Handmade especially for you with love and a lot of happy, highly literate Idaho spuds.

friday feast: flirting with a fritter

by Lucien Levy-Dhurmer (1896),
rosewithoutathorn84’s photostream.

Take a deep breath, my friends, for today you must be brave.

It’s confession time.

Have you ever hidden food you really love (like chocolate) so no one else would eat it?

Even worse, have you ever “cheated” on your S.O. with fine pastry?

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between the slices (part two): sandwich personalities

ants illo by lisa.loo77.

So, writers crave reubens and grilled cheese, while Paddington lives for marmalade (never mind that a sandwich stored under his hat for weeks could be misshapen, soggy and covered with fur).

Harriet the Spy favored tomato sandwiches, Wimpy scrounged hamburgers, and of course, Elvis noshed on peanut butter, banana and bacon.

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