Friday, February 26, 2016

Crafty Friday: Little Stitcher's Cinderella and Snow White and Rose Red

This week's Crafty Friday is courtesy of a SurLaLune reader who sent me the link and a short email:

I spotted these new releases on The Little Stitcher's blog and thought of you.

Jo P

Thanks for sharing, Jo, and thinking of SurLaLune. If you are curious, you can also visit Jo's blog at Serendipitous Stitching.

These images come from the designer's blog at The Little Stitcher. They are available for sale in her Etsy Store.

About the designs:

For these designs I wanted to put together some details of two versions of the story of Cinderella, the first by the Brothers Grimm and the second by Charles Perrault. I warmly suggest you to read both fairy tales because they are beautiful, much more the cartoon adapted by Disney.

The detail of the Fairy Godmother, who asks Cinderella to bring her a big pumpkin, and then the mice - and even six lizards that the Fairy turns into lackeys - comes from the fairytale collected by Perrault, while in the version collected by the Brothers Grimm, which in my opinion is so sweet, there is the lovely white bird, which lives on a hazel tree grown on the grave of the mother of the maiden. The bird hears the prayers of Cinderella and launches her the clothes she will wear in the three evenings of dance at the court.

In both tales there is the detail of the little shoe left at the castle, but if in Perrault's version it is made of transparent glass, in the one by the Brothers Grimm it always change, depending on the different and beautiful dresses worn by the girl.

I am tickled that the designer is Italian and chose to draw inspiration from the German and French Cinderellas. No murderous Cenerentola for her! But I am thrilled that she has also created designs for other fairy tales. If you have always wanted to stitch Snow White and Rose Red, here's your chance! She has that pattern, too.

She has a few other surprises in her shop, too, but I think I will save those for later. Unless you want to spoil the surprise and visit her shop yourself.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Program with Fairy Tale Highlights for ICFA 37 in March 2016

A reminder that ICFA 37, the Thirty-Seventh International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts will take place in just a few weeks March 16-20, 2016 in Orlando, FL. The theme for this year is "Wonder Tales." I will be attending the entire conference and will sit on one panel, #95 Wonder Tales in Conversation on Friday of the conference.

The full program for ICFA 37 for the conference has been posted and can be found at

I am going to share some of the panels that are especially relevant to SurLaLune readers. It's a long list, but much shorter than the full program of 150+ sessions:


Opening Panel: Wonder Tales Ballroom
Moderator: Gary K. Wolfe
Terri Windling
Holly Black
Cristina Bacchilega


7. (CYA/FL) The Power of the Female Body in YA Fairy Tale Adaptations Captiva A
Chair: Amanda Firestone
The University of Tampa

“And they lived ever after, whether they were happy about it or not”: Rediscovering Possibilities for Female Agency and Exploring
Trauma in Re-Imagined Young Adult Fairy Tales
Annika Herb
University of Newcastle, Australia

Your Body is a Wonderland: Fantasy and Desire in Francesca Lia Block’s The Rose and the Beast
Mandy Mahaffey
Valencia College


15. (CYA/FL/SF) Parents Just Don’t Get It: Mother-Daughter Conflict in Fairy Tales Oak
Chair: Rebecca Rowe
Kansas State University

Burdened Beauties: Parental Control in Of Beast and Beauty and A Long Long Sleep
Jill Coste
University of Florida

My Mother, Myself: Mother-Daughter Conflict in “Snow White”
Martha P. Hixon
Middle Tennessee State University

An 11-year-old Anti-Christ Saves the World: The Post-Apocalyptic Hero in Good Omens
Amy L. Kozina
Indiana University of Pennsylvania


28. (VPAA/FL/H/CYA) Wondrous Transgression in Gothic Fashion, Music, and Subculture Maple
Chair: Renée T. Coulombe
Banshee Media/Improvised Alchemy

Shattered Glass Slippers and Blood-Red Hoods: Fairy Tale Fashion and Gothic Aesthetics in/as Narrative
Brittany Warman
The Ohio State University

“Goth’s Crepuscular Zone between God and the Devil: Symbols, Spaces, Sounds”
Isabella van Elferen
Kingston University London

Acid Adventures in Wonderland: Psychedelia and Goth Music
Claire Rebecca Bannister
Kingston University London


36. (IF/FL/CYA/FTV) The Wonder of Ambiguity, Conquest, and Retellings Cove
Chair: Andrés García Londoño
University of Pennsylvania

Pleasurable Ignorance in the Films of Hayao Miyazaki
Eric Reinders
Emory University

The Wonder of Conquest: “Virgin of Guadalupe” and “La Llorona” as Wonder Tales
Karen Dollinger
University of Pikeville

References to Fairy Tales in The Witcher by Andrzej Sapkowski
Dorota Surdy
University of Wrocław


38. (HL/FL/CYA) This Old Haunted House: Structure and Narrative Oak
Chair: Gina Wisker
University of Brighton

A Field Guide to the Uncanny: The Eerie Interplay of Point of View, Psychic Distance, and Mis En Scene
Jenny Green
Algonquin College

Grim Tales: Fairy Tale Intertexts in Contemporary Crime Fiction
Cassandra Bausman
Trine University

Fairy Tales Old and New: Transforming Source Material in Peter Straub’s Shadowland
Bernadette Bosky
Olympiad Academy


42. (CYA/FL/FTV/SF) Post-Disney: Going Deeper into the Theoretical Rabbit Hole Captiva A
Chair: C.W. Sullivan III
Hollins University

Ugly Hearts, Ugly Faces?: Depictions of Cinderella’s Stepsisters and Equating Beauty with Goodness
Kate Goddard
Hollins University

Her (2013): The OS, The Human, and Sexuality
Erica Law
The Ohio State University


44. (IF/FTV/FL/CYA) The Object of My (Re)Interpretation Captiva C
Chair: M. Elizabeth Ginway
University of Florida

French-Canadian Wonder Tales: Film Adaptations of Fred Pellerin’s contes de village, Babine (2008) and Ésimésac (2012)
Amy J. Ransom
Central Michigan University

Under Tales: Probing the Boundary Beneath in International Literature and Media
Sharon Diane King
UCLA Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies


49. (VPAA/FL/CYA/FTV) Wonder and Commerce in Global Visual Culture Cove
Chair: Carrie J. Cole
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

‘Alice’ in Japanese Pop Culture: Transformation through Translation
Jun Ichikawa
Nippon Sport Science University

Where Is the Pointy Hat and the Magic Broom? What Might Witches Look Like in Japanese Video Games?
Sylvain Payen
Tag Lab Concordia

It's All about the Shoe: Conspicuous Consumption as a Cinderellaesque Means to a Happy Ending
Pamela Painter DeCius
Saint Leo University


54. (CYA/FL/H/IF/SF/VPAA) Visual Creations of Wonder in Fairy Tales & Children’s Fiction Captiva A
Chair: Martha Hixon
Middle Tennessee State University

Age(s) of Wonder(s)
Andrew Seeger
Miskatonic University

“How many goodly creatures are there here?”: The Faces of Wonder in Nineteenth-Century Children’s Book Illustration
Eugene Giddens
Anglia Ruskin University

The Wondrous and the Mundane: Everyday Foods in Fairy Tales
Rose Williamson
University of Chichester


62. (IF/FL) Nineteenth-Century Women Writing Wonder: Subverting Tradition Pine
Chair: Adrion Dula
Wayne State University

Post-Revolution Revisions of “Cinderella” by Stéphanie Félicité de Genlis and Félicité de Choiseul-Meuse
Anne E. Duggan
Wayne State University

Real-izing the Fantastic: A Move toward Realism in British Women’s Fairy-Tale Adaptations and Ambiguity in Elizabeth
Gaskell’s “Curious, If True”
Shandi Lynne Wagner
University of St. Thomas

More Original than the Original: Ownership and Metanarratives in German Women’s Fairy Tales
Julie Koehler
Wayne State University


67. (CYA/FL/VPAA/FTV/H) From Appalachia to Arabia: Wonder, Power, & Horror in Regional Fairy Tales & Fantasy Captiva A
Chair: Rodney Fierce
Independent Scholar

Regional Adaptations of Wonder Tales: Strong Women in Appalachia
Tina L. Hanlon
Ferrum College

The Wonders of Home: Horror, Black Children, and the Southern Fantastic
Lynette James
Independent Scholar

Storyteller or Sultan?: Power in Recent YA “Arabian Nights" Adaptations
Jen McConnel
Hollins University


68. (CYA/FL) Understanding Villains and Monsters: Trauma, the Posthuman, Monstrous Bodies, and Why It’s Not Easy Being Bad Captiva B
Chair: Kacey Doran
Hollins University

Villainous Ever After: The Role of Trauma in Reimagining Fairytale Villains
Jenn Coletta
Hollins University

What Makes a Villain? The Case of the Big “Bad” Wolf
Jeannie Coutant
Simmons College

The Darkness of the Human Heart: The Post-Human Tradition in Fantastic Literature for Children
Susan M. Strayer
The Ohio State University


76. (CYA/FL) What’s Wrong With Being a Girl?: Gender Identity and Patriarchal Conflict in Fairy Tale Adaptations Dogwood
Chair: Katy Day
University of Cambridge

The Antithesis of Cricket: Gender, Cross-Dressing, and Non-Normative Bodies in the Works of Evelyn Sharp
Amanda Hollander

The Mirror Crack’d: Mirror Symbolism in Pop Culture Retellings of Snow White
Shannon Branfield
Utah State University

“A Proper Princess Would Die!”: Generational and Gendered Conflict in Modern Wonder Tales
Sabrina Montenigro
Simmons College


83. (IF/FL/VPAA) Wonder Tales Aslant: Rereading, Redrawing, Rewriting Pine
Chair: Anne E. Duggan
Wayne State University

Snow White and the Trickster: Race and Genre in Helen Oyeyemi's Boy, Snow, Bird
Kimberly J. Lau
University of California, Santa Cruz

Dis-Orienting Wonder: Tahar Ben Jelloun’s Mes contes de Perrault (My Perrault’s Fairy Tales)
Lewis C. Seifert
Brown University

The Heroine’s New Clothes, or Laying Personality Bare in Translation
Christine A. Jones
University of Utah


85. (CYA/FL) Illustrating the Fantastic: Wizards, Wonder, and the Narrative Power of the Visual Dogwood
Chair: Mandy Mahaffey
Valencia College

The Wonder of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Jessica Stanley
George Mason University

‘You will see some wonders that will outwonder all the wonders that wonderful people have ever wondered’: Reading
Wonder in Arthur Rackham’s Illustrations for Children
Zoe Jaques
University of Cambridge

The Carnival of Oz: A Bakhtinian Reading of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz – and two adaptations!
Daniela Escobar M
Simmons College


91. (CYA/FL) Blurred Lines: Defining the Genres of Fantasy and Fairy Tales Vista D
Chair: Rodney Fierce
Independent Scholar

Redefining Middle Grade Fantasy: The Doldrums and Inescapist Literature
Elizabeth Thrall
Northwestern University

When Is a Fairytale Not a Fairytale?: Retelling Cinderella as Fantasy in Ella Enchanted
Katy Day
University of Cambridge

Fantasy or Fairy Tale?: Pam Munoz Ryan’s Echo on the Taxonomist’s Couch
Marek Oziewicz & Ali Zimmerman
University of Minnesota


92. (VPAA/FTV/CYA/FL) Multi-Medial and Multi-Sensory Wonder Cove
Chair: Whitney Borup
The University of Utah

Organized Sound, Unbounded Space: Edgard Varèse, Poème Électronique, and the Wondrous Promise of Midcentury Soundscapes
Nicholas C. Laudadio
UNC Wilmington

Wonder Tales in Three Dimensions: Theme Park Story Experiences
Carissa Baker
University of Central Florida

Monetizing Transmedial Wonder: Participatory Storyworlds as a Subject/Object of Artistic Labor within the Corporate Calculation
of Profit-to-Creativity Ratios at Disney v. Universal Parks
Ida Yoshinaga
University of Hawai'i-Manoa


95. (CYA/FL) Wonder Tales in Conversation Dogwood
Moderator: Christy Williams
Terri Windling
Cristina Bacchilega
Anne Duggan
Heidi Anne Heiner


109. (CYA/FL/H) The Wonder in Teaching: Children Literature as Educational Tools Maple
Chair: Megan MacAlystre
Clemson University

Rudyard Kipling’s Stories of How Human Beings Learned to Write
Marie Nelson
University of Florida Professor Emerita

Scary Stories For Children: A Course Rationale
Jaquelin Elliott
University of Florida


111. (CYA/FL/VPAA/FTV) Magic on Stage & Screen: Theatrical Adaptations of Fairy Tales Captiva A
Chair: Crystal A. Smith
Valencia College, East Campus

The Not-So-Light-Princess: Tori Amos and Samuel Adamson’s Reimagining of George MacDonald’s Classic Fairy Tales
John Pennington
St. Norbert College

“But Mother, I’m a Man Now”: Adapting Childhood in the Musical and Film Versions of Into the Woods
Rebecca Rowe
Kansas State University

Rereading Beauty and the Beast: Social and Narrative Construction of Wonder through Performance
Nicole T. Cunha
Simmons College


117. (HL/FL/VPAA) Folkloric Monsters Old and New Cove
Chair: John Glover
Virginia Commonwealth University

Sasquatch 101: The Monsters, The Tricksters, the Horror
Richard McKee
State College of Florida

All the Better to Eat You With: The Werewolf and Wolf-Shifter in Romance and Erotic Fiction
Alexandria Leonzini
Freie Universität Berlin/Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Slender Man and the Culture of Horror
Timothy H. Evans
Western Kentucky University


128. (CYA/FL/VPAA) Panel: Once Upon a Pedagogue: Teaching with Fairy Tales Vista D
Moderator: Jessica Stanley
Leisa Clark
Amanda Firestone
Jeana Jorgensen
Linda J. Lee


132. (CYA/FL/FTV) Fear the Beasts and Children: The Power of Monstrous Bodies in YA Fantasy Dogwood
Chair: Amanda Hollander

Wonder-ful Monsters: Adaptation and Transformation in the Young Adult Supernatural Romance
Meghanne Flynn
University of Cambridge

Feminist Fangs: Disabled Femininity in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Series
Crystal A. Smith
Valencia College, East Campus


134. (CYA/FL) Happily Ever After?: Gender Politics & Fairy Tale Endings in Cinderella Magnolia
Chair: Rodney Fierce
Independent Scholar

The Anti-Utopia of Ever After
Cole Atcheson
Simmons College

“I’m sure it will wear off by midnight”: Prince Cinders and a Queer Invitation to the Revisionists’ Ball
Jennifer Orme
Independent Scholar


Monday, February 22, 2016

New Release: The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire) by C. J. Redwine

(Amazon US and UK Links)

The Shadow Queen (Ravenspire) by C. J. Redwine was released last week in the US. It will be released on March 3 in the UK. This is a Snow White retelling if the black apple on the cover wasn't obvious enough. :) I sometimes miss those clues myself. Redwine has a following from her Defiance series and this new book in a new series is getting positive reviews.

Book description:

A dark epic fantasy inspired by the tale of Snow White, from C. J. Redwine, the author of the Defiance series. Perfect for fans of A Court of Thorns and Roses and Cinder.

Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She'll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol's father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic of his own—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman—and bring her Lorelai's heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn't going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Crafty Friday: Crochet Stories: Grimms' Fairy Tales by Vanessa Putt

Crochet Stories: Grimms' Fairy Tales (Dover Knitting, Crochet, Tatting, Lace) by Vanessa Putt is today's Crafty Friday offering. I couldn't find many images to share but there's enough to entertain for today.

Book description:

"Incredibly innovative, fun, and creative, Crochet Stories: Grimms’ Fairy Tales is something you can share with your loved ones for many years and it will surely inspire you to go on to create even more fairy tale characters." —Erisea Mag

Practitioners of amigurumi, the Japanese art of crocheting stuffed dolls, will adore this collection of sixteen playful patterns for fairy tale figures. Projects include the witch and the gingerbread house as well as the hero and heroine of "Hansel and Gretel"; the giant and the golden goose's eggs of "Jack and the Beanstalk," in addition to the beanstalk and Jack himself; the long-haired captive of "Rapunzel," her lonely tower, and her rescuer, the prince; the animals of "The Hare and the Hedgehog" plus a juicy carrot; and the wee subject of "Tom Thumb" and his cow.

Clear instructions for creating the characters are accompanied by color photos of the finished products along with charming retellings of all five fairy tales. An introductory chapter offers general notes and tips, including pointers on working in the round, stuffing, measurements, and finishing.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Book: Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths by Marilyn Singer

O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful! And yet again wonderful, and after that, out of all hooping.

Yes, it is a little strange to use Shakespeare to discuss a new book about Greek myths but it perfectly describes my happiness about this new release. Echo Echo: Reverso Poems About Greek Myths by Marilyn Singer (Author) and Josee Masse (Illustrator) is officially released today. This makes the third offering by this team. I have gushed over their earlier two books plenty of times, see New Book: Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse by Marilyn Singer and New Release: Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer to read about those.

Well, this book doesn't use fairy tales but mythology for inspiration. Remember, you can click on images to see them larger and to read the sample pages of poems I am sharing here.

Book description:

A new book of unique reversible poems based on Greek myths from the creator of Mirror Mirror

What happens when you hold up a mirror to poems about Greek myths? You get a brand-new perspective on the classics! And that is just what happens in Echo Echo, the newest collection of reverso poems from Marilyn Singer. Read one way, each poem tells the story of a familiar myth; but when read in reverse, the poems reveal a new point of view! Readers will delight in uncovering the dual points of view in well-known legends, including the stories of Pandora’s box, King Midas and his golden touch, Perseus and Medusa, Pygmalion, Icarus and Daedalus, Demeter and Persephone, and Echo and Narcissus.

These cunning verses combine with beautiful illustrations to create a collection of fourteen reverso poems to treasure.

This means that the reading the poem in one direction tells the story from one perspective. Then reading the reverso poem gives a different character's perspectives on the events of the tale or myth. It makes an excellent classroom book for teaching writing, perspective, fairy tales, so much!

Here's an excerpt from the Little Mermaid poem from a previous book that illustrates:

For love,
give up your voice.
Think twice.

And in reverse:

Think twice!
Give up your voice
for love.

Finally, the poems are enhanced by Josée Masse's illustrations once again. The bright colors and opposites portrayed are charming and will pull in younger readers. I love them myself. And really, this book is for all ages, especially who enjoys clever writing and stories, in this case mythology in particular.

And I will be sharing this book with the Kensie niece who is currently enthralled with all things mythological. She even got an Athena costume for her birthday a few weeks ago. She will especially love this two page spread:

Monday, February 15, 2016

Family Moment: The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Mary Finch and Roberta Arenson

A few years ago I wrote about sharing a favorite book with my niece Kensie at Three Billy Goats Gruff Toys and My Favorite Book Version. She still enjoys the story sometimes but her brother Clark has taken over biggest fan status. I wrote about my storytime adventures with him a little last week at Family Moment: The Three Little Rigs by David Gordon, but he also surprised me with this one--he actually surprised the entire family since his grandparents, Mom, and Uncle John were in the room, too, albeit mostly doing their own things.

This has been a standard in my book bag for years and particularly with Clark since about last summer when he was 2.5 years old. Again, we hadn't read it in several months and he has other versions in his home library, but not this one. He pulled out the book--The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Mary Finch (Author), Roberta Arenson (Illustrator)--and the Manhattan Toy finger puppets set that I have used for storytimes for about 15 years now. The text is perfect for reading aloud and the illustrations suit a larger audience sitting at your feet.

I especially love Finch's text for these lines which are quite fun to sing:

"I'm a troll, from a deep dark hole,
My belly's getting thinner,
I need to eat--and goat's a treat--
So I'll have you for my dinner."
Turns out, Clark does, too! I've read the book several times to him as I mentioned but not in a while. When we got to the Troll's "song" the first time in the book, suddenly Clark was reciting all of the words before I could.

Here's a page:

See, non threatening overall with playful colors although the troll is brown and mean, but not too mean.

In the finger puppet set, the middle goat is a sister, not a brother, which adds to the fun. And while the colors are muted in the page image above, the goat is actually a bright fuschia pink in the book edition I have. I don't know if that has changed in newer editions. So it's a fun version with a fun song that now Clark gets to sing without me when we share the book.

Bargain Ebook: Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture

Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture by Peggy Orenstein has been temporarily dropped to $1.99 in ebook format. It was $2.99 a few years ago during another sale, but this is the lowest price I've seen for it to date, probably the lowest it will ever be.

I posted some thoughts and opinions about the book a few times when it was released, see New Book: Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture and More Cinderella Ate My Daughter.

As I've said previously, for this price, it's a good book to have around as a touchstone in the fairy tale gender discussions, although the book is more slanted towards Disney discussions specifically if I remember correctly. I've continued to see articles related to the book in the three years since it was published, so this has been an important influence in recent discussions in the mainstream world.

Book description:

The rise of the girlie-girl, warns Peggy Orenstein, is no innocent phenomenon. Following her acclaimed books Flux, Schoolgirls, and the provocative New York Times bestseller Waiting for Daisy, Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter offers a radical, timely wake-up call for parents, revealing the dark side of a pretty and pink culture confronting girls at every turn as they grow into adults.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Crafty Friday: Fairy Tale Amigurumi: Crochet Patterns by Lis Sun

I am trying to get organized enough to get some regular blog posts going again. So Crafty Friday is returning with Fairy Tale Amigurumi: Crochet Patterns by Lis Sun. Since most of you are like-minded and mostly want to enjoy the pictures and cleverness of the crafts, I have pictures! Enjoy!

I really do like the Amigurumi style.

Book description:

This compilation consists of the fairy tales that we grow up with. The stories of red riding hood and the big grey wolf, the nursery rhymes of dumpty humpty, the little pinocchio that grows a long nose when he lies, the beautiful rapunzel saved by the charming prince, and the famous Chinese teaching on the frog in the well.

This book consists of written pattern instruction and well illustrated pictorial instruction with generous spread of photos to guide you along.

Skill level: *Easy
*Patterns use basic stitches such as sc, dc, hdc, inc, dec, ch, sl st etc.

I found many of these images on Lisa Sun's various internet hangouts. At SAPlanet, she tells a little more about this pattern's inspiration, which is not the expected European frog, well, etc. stories:

One of the most commonly used Chinese phrase would be ‘frog in the well’ – ( 井底蛙 )

This usually refers to one who thinks too full of himself, and thinks he knows everything, neglecting the fact that there is a bigger world out there than the shallow well he stays in.

And let's not forget Humpty Dumpty...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Bargain Ebook: The Book Lover's Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature, and the Passages That Feature Them

The Book Lover's Cookbook: Recipes Inspired by Celebrated Works of Literature, and the Passages That Feature Them by Shaunda Kennedy Wenger and Janet Jensen is on sale for 99 cents in ebook format. No, there are not any fairy tales inside, but there are books that draw from fairy tales, like Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This has been on my wishlist for a while so I was thrilled to add the ebook version to my library for a buck. There is a treasure trove of books I love saluted within.

Book description:

Wake up to a perfect breakfast with Mrs. Dalby's Buttermilk Scones, courtesy of James Herriot's All Things Bright and Beautiful and Ichabod's Slapjacks, as featured in Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. There's homey comfort food like Connie May's Tomato Pie, created with and inspired by Connie May Fowler (Remembering Blue); Thanksgiving Spinach Casserole (Elizabeth Berg's Open House); and Amish Chicken and Dumplings (Jodi Picoult's Plain Truth) . . . Sample salads, breads, and such soul-warming soups as Nearly-a-Meal Potato Soup (Terry Kay's Shadow Song); Mr. Casaubon' s Chicken Noodle Soup (George Eliot's Middlemarch); and Mrs. Leibowitz's Lentil-Vegetable Soup (Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes) . . . After relishing appetizers and entrees, there's a dazzling array of desserts, including Carrot Pudding (Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol); Effie Belle's Coconut Cake (Olive Ann Burns's Cold Sassy Tree); and the kids will love C.S. Lewis's Turkish Delight from The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Sprinkled throughout with marvelous anecdotes about writers and writing, The Book Lover's Cookbook is a culinary and literary delight, a browser's cornucopia of reading pleasure, and a true inspiration in the kitchen.

Shaunda Kennedy Wenger is author of two YA/MG novels: The Ghost in Me and Reality Bites, Tales of a Half-Vampire (2012 Book of the Year Award Finalist, ForeWord Reviews), as well as an award-winning chapter book: Little Red Riding Hood, Into the Forest Again. Her newest cookbook, From Rivets and Rails, Recipes of a Railroad Boarding House Cookbook, is based on the cookery journal of her great-grandmother. Her work has been published in Babybug, Ladybug, Wonder Years, ByLine, and Short-Short Stories for Reading Aloud (The Education Center, 2000). She regards her monthly book club meeting as one life's essential ingredients.

Janet Kay Jensen is author of Don't You Marry the Mormon Boys (Cedar Fort) and the upcoming Gabriel's Daughter's (Jolly Fish Press). She has received numerous awards for essays, poetry, and short stories, including three ByLine Magazine honorable mentions. A speech-language pathologist, she holds degrees from Utah State University and Northwestern University. She is writing a novel, teaches poetry classes to jail inmates, and is a literacy tutor. Married and the mother of three sons, she is a consultant at Utah State University.


Jo's Best Omelette . . . Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
No Dieter's Delight Chicken Neapolitan . . . Thinner by Stephen King
Extra-Special Rhubarb Pie . . . The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas
Grand Feast Crab Meat Casserole . . . At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
Persian Cucumber and Yogurt . . . House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
Tamales . . . Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
Bev's No-Fuss Crab Cakes . . . Unnatural Exposure by Patricia Cornwell
Macaroni and Cheese . . . The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
Veteran Split Pea Soup . . . The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
Alternative Carrot-Raisin-Pineapple Salad . . . Midwives by Chris Bohjalian
Summer's Day Cucumber-Tomato Sandwiches . . .
Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
Refreshing Black Cows . . . The Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
Dump Punch . . . Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Not Violet, But Blueberry Pie
. . . Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Innocent Sweet Bread . . . The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Daddy's Rich Chocolate Cake . . . Fatherhood by Bill Cosby

. . . and many other delectable dishes for the literary palate!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Family Moment: The Three Little Rigs by David Gordon

So last week I gained a very great affection for The Three Little Rigs by David Gordon. Why? Family, of course.

About once a month, I take a small suitcase filled with books and puppets and such to visit my sister's family. Kensie and Clark, my niece and nephew, are 6 and 3 years old, so Clark is overall more interested in most of the books and puppets these days since Kensie is aging out on some of the younger books for now. (Not that I ever did.) She loves books, bless her parents who have been literally reading to her every day since the day she was born, and this visit coincided with her birthday. She was as excited about the books I gave her as any of her other gifts. She and I had some fine reading moments that day, too, but this is about Clark this time.

(I found this image of my bag online--this is for sale for a crazy price, but this is what my storytime bag looks like. Lots of fun pockets for treasures and plenty of space for books without breaking my back. I love it and so do the kids.)

Clark is all boy and his attention span is getting shorter although he is a great reader, too. But he likes to be on the move. And he loves, loves, LOVES vehicles of all kinds. So I have peppered my offerings with various books over the last year. In the fall, I added The Three Little Rigs to my bag. We have read it about three times together now. Problem is, I wasn't sure if he was enjoying it. I had removed all of the regular books from my bag to make room for holiday titles. And The Three Little Rigs failed to make it back in the bag this month. I had reshelved it and forgotten it.

So Clark and I read about three books when he went digging in my bag again and looked up at me with a plaintive look in his eyes. "I want the Big Bad Wrecking Ball," he said. I looked back at him blankly for a few seconds before it hit me he was requesting this book. He hadn't had it read to him in over two months, but he remembered it and requested it. I was suddenly just as disappointed as he was that it wasn't in my bag.

So if you have a child in your life who loves, loves, LOVES vehicles I also recommend this one. It is still in print and a reasonable price. David Gordon also wrote Hansel and Diesel and The Ugly Truckling which I didn't own but have now ordered so I have them to share with Clark when I see him again later this month. They are out of print so their prices fluctuate wildly.

And, yes, the first time we read it, Clark understood perfectly well that this was a Three Little Pigs story. He prefers this version though because VEHICLES. I always make sure there are fairy tales on offer in my bag but that isn't all I add. So it is a sweet moment for me when the fairy tales are beloved by the kids, too.

Book description:

"Little rig, little rig, let me come in!"
"Not by the chrome on my chinny chin chin."

"Then I’ll crash and I’ll bash and I’ll smash your house in."

When the three little rigs set out to build their own garages, each one thinks that his is going to be the strongest. But then the big bad wrecking ball comes to call and threatens to smash their new homes to smithereens. The brothers learn that it’s only by bravery and teamwork that they can win the day. A comic sequel to the ugly truckling.