Outlandish Fun with Bannocks and Biscuits, Parritch and Kilts (+ a holiday blog break)

Jama's Alphabet Soup

Don your kilts and pour yourself a wee dram. Today we’re serving up a little festive cheer à la Outlander.

Sláinte Mhath! Cheers!

While others may be channeling elves, sugarplum fairies, and red-nosed reindeer, we in the Alphabet Soup kitchen are getting our Scots on.

Je suis prest. Et vous?

Ever since experiencing a long Scot summer binge-watching the Outlander TV series and taking a deep dive into Diana Gabaldon’s novels, all we can think about is men in kilts fascinating Scottish history time traveling between the 18th and 20th centuries.

Central characters Claire (Caitriona Balfe) and Jamie (Sam Heughan) contemplate potatoes.

You can really work up an appetite falling through the stones and zipping around places like Boston, Inverness, Edinburgh, Paris, Jamaica, and North Carolina. Thank goodness for the fortifying recipes in Theresa Carle-Sanders’s Outlander Kitchen cookbooks.

Based in Pender Island, Canada, chef and diehard Outlander fan Carle-Sanders…

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November 10 – It’s Young Readers Week

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Book Giveaway: CALVIN GETS THE LAST WORD by Margo Sorenson

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Little Calabash

Book Review Cafe

by Margo Sorenson and Illustrated by Anneth Lagamo

About the Book:

It seems as if everyone in the kitchen has an important job to do ― everyone except for Little Calabash. Even though he’s little, he wants to be a big help, too!” As Keoki’s mother begins preparing for his birthday, she uses everyone else in the kitchen except Little Calabash. “Just because I’m small, doesn’t mean I’m not special, does it? “Stop whining” says the Goblet! “Chill out”, says the refrigerator! With little support from the rest of the kitchen, will Little Calabash get the chance to show how important he can be too? This book will teach you that everyone is special no matter what your size is, and that good things will come if you continue to believe in yourself. In Hawai`i the word “Calabash” refers to a large serving bowl, made from the calabash gourd, which…

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Book Giveaway: LITTLE CALABASH by Margo Sorenson

Writing and Illustrating

Margo Sorenson has a new  picture book titled, LITTLE CALABASH, illustrated by ANNETH LAGAMO and published by Island Heritage. They have agreed to send a book with one lucky winner living in the US.

All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Thank you for helping Margo and Anneth.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

It seems as if everyone in the kitchen has an important job to do ― everyone except for Little Calabash. Even though he’s little, he wants to be a big help, too!” As Keoki’s mother begins preparing for his birthday, she uses everyone else…

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November 10 – It’s Young Readers Week

November 10 – It’s Young Readers Week

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-calvin-gets-the-last-word-cover

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-calvin-gets-the-last-word-cover

About the Holiday

Sponsored by Pizza Hut and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress since 1989, Young Readers Week is celebrated during the second week of November to improve literacy and raise awareness of the benefits of reading. Schools participate in setting reading goals for their students who are then rewarded for meeting them. Adults are encouraged to provide a variety of reading materials for their kids – picture books, novels, graphic novels, magazines, newspapers, whatever will get them excited about reading. 

Calvin Gets the Last Word

Written by Margo Sorenson | Illustrated by Mike Deas

The moment Calvin wakes up, he grabs his dictionary and heads to the kitchen for breakfast. While Calvin may be well-rested, his dictionary tells readers that it is tired. “Why? Because Calvin loves words—I mean REALLY loves words,” the dictionary says. Calvin won’t rest until he’s found the perfect “word for everything—especially his rascally brother.” At breakfast, Calvin has just taken a big gulp of milk. It’s just the moment his brother’s been waiting for to tell his super funny joke. You can imagine what happens—and that’s why the dictionary’s page that contains the word revenge is soaked.celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-calvin-gets-the-last-word-cover

Image copyright Mike Deas, 2020, text copyright Margo Sorenson, 2020. Courtesy of Tilbury House Publishers.

But is revenge the right word for Calvin’s brother? Not quite. On the school bus as the kids are tossing a backpack, talking, laughing, and hanging over the seats, Calvin’s dictionary offers up mayhem, but that doesn’t completely describe his brother either. As Calvin struggles in geography class and passes notes during library story time, his dictionary helps describe the mood, but those words don’t really apply to his brother. On the way home, though, Calvin does discover a good word for himself when he stands up to a bully and helps a kindergartener.celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-calvin-gets-the-last-word-breakfast

Image copyright Mike Deas, 2020, text copyright Margo Sorenson, 2020. Courtesy of Tilbury House Publishers.

At Little League practice, the dictionary reveals, Calvin “loves to crush the ball during batting practice, sending it over the fence. That’s why the page that reads pulverize has grass stains on it.” Could pulverize be the right word for his brother? While Calvin thinks it could be fun, it’s not exactly right.celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-calvin-gets-the-last-word-bus-milk

Image copyright Mike Deas, 2020, text copyright Margo Sorenson, 2020. Courtesy of Tilbury House Publishers.

That night dinner turns into a repeat of breakfast—only in broccoli green. When Calvin goes to bed, he sits for a while, thinking. Then he grabs his exhausted dictionary and a glass of water and sneaks into his brother’s room. The dictionary thinks it knows what’s going to happen and riffles through its pages to find the right word, unconcerned whether it stays dry or not. And then, there on the page, is the perfect word! But wait, that doesn’t fit because now the brothers are laughing. The dictionary tries flipping to another page and a better word, but Calvin has it beat as he turns the pages and discovers the exact right word to describe his brother. What are all of these words? Come flip through Calvin Gets the Last Word yourself to find out!celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-calvin-gets-the-last-word-bus-stop

Image copyright Mike Deas, 2020, text copyright Margo Sorenson, 2020. Courtesy of Tilbury House Publishers.

In her funny and unique mashup of sibling rivalry and vocabulary, Margo Sorenson offers kids an engaging story of the singular type of love brothers share uncovered little by little through word-building. Calvin’s dictionary makes a sincere and charming guide through high-interest words that lend panache and nuance to events throughout Calvin’s day even if they don’t quite describe his brother. Astute kids may notice that the words the dictionary chooses for Calvin’s brother proves his loyalty to his favorite reader. Calvin’s spewed milk, whispered secrets, and home run batting add up to a real kid that readers will love. The words that the dictionary finds are fun to learn and say and will spark an enthusiasm in readers to do their own flipping through the dictionary and thesaurus. Sorenson’s endearing ending rings true with a word kids are sure to embrace.

Mike Deas’ glasses-wearing and sweat suit-clad Calvin, whose dictionary is always at the ready to define his experiences, is a character readers will respond to. Images of the sprayed milk and broccoli, rockin’ school bus, library story rug, and baseball field are full of familiar details and plenty of action. As Calvin prepares to play his trick on his brother Deas gives kids a cutaway view of the house from above, letting them tiptoe through the maze of rooms with Calvin. The final scenes of the brothers checking out the dictionary together in the light of a bedside lamp is sibling devotion at its best.

A delightful family story that can stir a love of language, Calvin Gets the Last Word would be a favorite addition to home libraries. The book is highly recommended for school and classroom bookshelves to enhance language arts, writing, grammar, and vocabulary lessons and for public library collections as well.

Ages 6 – 8

Tilbury House Publishers, 2020 | ISBN 978-0884488224

Discover more about Margo Sorenson and her books on her website.

To learn more about Mike Deas, his books, and his art, visit his website.

Young Readers Day Activity

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-big-words-vocabulary-word-search-puzzle

“Big Words” Word Search

Knowing and using a wide range of words allows you to express yourself in exact—and often—fun ways. Find the 26 “big” words—one for each letter of the alphabet—in this printable word search puzzle.

“Big Words” Word Search Puzzle |  “Big Words” Puzzle Solution!

YOU CAN FIND CALVIN GETS THE LAST WORD AT THESE BOOKSELLERS

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million

TO SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE, ORDER FROM

Bookshop | IndieBound

Picture Book Review

celebrate-picture-books-picture-book-review-calvin-gets-the-last-word-cover

About the Holiday

Sponsored by Pizza Hut and the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress since 1989, Young Readers Week is celebrated during the second week of November to improve literacy and raise awareness of the benefits of reading. Schools participate in setting reading goals for their students who are then rewarded for meeting them. Adults are encouraged to provide a variety of reading materials for their kids – picture books, novels, graphic novels, magazines, newspapers, whatever will get them excited about reading. 

Calvin Gets the Last Word

Written by Margo Sorenson | Illustrated by Mike Deas

 

The moment Calvin wakes up, he grabs his dictionary and heads to the kitchen for breakfast. While Calvin may be well-rested, his dictionary tells readers that it is tired. “Why? Because Calvin loves words—I mean REALLY loves words,” the dictionary says. Calvin won’t rest until he’s found the perfect…

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Simply 7 with Margo Sorenson–“Calvin Gets the Last Word”

Jena Benton

I’m always delighted when I find a picture book told from a unique point of view.  Today’s Simply 7 is definitely one of those!

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[guest post + recipe] Margo Sorenson on Calvin Gets the Last Word

Jama's Alphabet Soup

Haven’t we all wanted to have the last word at one time or another? Of course, we have! 😊 But, if you’re like me, that golden last word—the game-changer, the elegant riposte, the witty put-down, the conversation-stopper—bursts into my brain about an hour after I could have used it. Naturally.

In my newest picture book, CALVIN GETS THE LAST WORD (Tilbury House, October 2020), Calvin is constantly searching for the perfect word to describe his rascally, annoying brother. Yes, that’s the same brother who waits to tell a joke at the dinner table till Calvin has his mouth full of broccoli. You guessed it—Calvin sprays broccoli all over the table!

All illustrations © 2020 Mike Deas

Who wouldn’t want to find the right word for a bratty brother like that? When I first thought of writing this story, I was toying around with the idea of a kid who is…

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Lady Eleanor and the Coronavirus

Well, Lady Eleanor is quite beside herself! Because of the coronavirus, she is confined to the castle, and cannot see Lord Hugh, even though he would probably infuriate her as he is wont to do. Of course, he treats her condescendingly, thinking that women are less intelligent than men, and that she is a proper ninny. Ah, if he only knew! She could vanquish him at chess, and she is already planning how to capture his heart…if she can overcome her feelings of pique at his cavalier treatment of her. Her heart doth overrule her head, I fear. At the moment, she is languishing at one of her castle windows, hoping to catch a glimpse of him riding through the forest. Perhaps, when the quarantine is lifted, she might find a pretext to invite him to meet with her in the Great Hall. If only he doesn’t take her to task over the poaching in the forest, which he blames her for, naturally. She will have to keep her turbulent emotions under tight control! Keep posted, gentle readers!

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Release Day for SOMEONE ELSE’S SOUL!

Someone Else's Soul

Grab your copy now of this enthralling read! SOMEONE ELSE’S SOUL: From the back cover:
“There are 14 strangers who share her face, and one company is determined to erase them all.” https://amzn.to/2PNa7HV

Best-selling author Meradeth Houston, who knows whereof she writes—a professor of forensic anthropology in her “real life…”

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