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September 2011


All content © 2007-2011 Jama Rattigan. Please do not reproduce in any form without permission. All rights reserved.



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Dec. 7th, 2009


nom nom, supreme cookie love ♥

"CONSIDERATE means, I waited until you got home so we could lick the bowl together."

'Tis the season of cookies!

Put on your aprons so we can mix up some butter, sugar, flour, eggs, vanilla and baking soda in our blue striped bowl. See, I waited for you to get here so we could lick the bowl together and sample some of the heartwarming cookie-centric definitions in Amy Krouse Rosenthal's brand new book, Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love (HarperCollins, 2009)!

Just released in October, Sugar Cookies is the third installment in Rosenthal's New York Times bestselling series, following Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons (2006) and Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons (2008). 


I love all of them (I like to keep my cookie jar well stocked). In Sugar Cookies, Rosenthal defines 22 words that are associated with love -- all its little nuances, and some of the different ways people show it. 

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Feb. 17th, 2009

milk and cookies

milk and cookies with amy krouse rosenthal

We've got a very special treat today: extremely prolific, New York Times best selling children's book author, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, has stopped by for a quick snack!

You probably know her from such gems as Little Pea and Little Hoot, or maybe, like me, you couldn't resist tasting her fresh baked cookie wisdom in Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons, and Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons (which I reviewed here).


But as I mentioned in this post about her new film project, The Beckoning of Lovely (a mammoth undertaking which received enthusiastic response from around the world), Amy's creative endeavors include not only children's books, but a best selling adult memoir, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life (which I loved!), gift books and journals, parenting books, humor columns, videos, book reviews, and a gig as a public radio talk show host.

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Dec. 17th, 2008


the beckoning of lovely

Back in September, crcook posted a truly lovely and cooler than cool 7-minute video called, "The Beckoning of Lovely." It totally caught me by surprise, chased my evil, cynical tendencies out the window, and made my heart flutter with hope.

Making things. Creativity. Coming together. Sharing. Good vibes all around.

The woman in the video arrived on the scene with her yellow umbrella, and in a few hours, changed the lives of everyone there. Strangers worked together to "make an 18th lovely thing." I admired the young woman's ingenuity and spontaneous, free-spirited social experiment.

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Dec. 15th, 2008

plum pudding

pass the cookies!

CHRISTMAS COOKIES: BITE-SIZE HOLIDAY LESSONS , by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, pictures by Jane Dyer (HarperCollins, 2008), all ages, 32 pp., On shelves now.

Season's Greetings! (Please greet me with cookies.)

I squealed with delight when I saw Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons (HarperCollins, 2008), the scrumptious follow-up to her New York Times Bestseller, Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons (HarperCollins, 2006).

This time, we are treated to 23 more delectable cookie-centric definitions to inspire, enlighten and delight readers of all ages. Have you ever tried to explain such abstract terms as "Prosperity," "Charitable," or "Perseverance" to a child? Pretty tricky, huh?

That's where these cookies come in. "Prosperity means, My goodness, just look at all those cookies!" "Charitable means setting a big batch aside to give to people who maybe don't have any cookies at all." And "Preseverance means, We tried and tried and tried, and finally we made the perfect not-burned batch."

"GRACIOUS means putting out a plate for our special guest."

With cookies, everything becomes clear. Especially when the definitions feature charming, curly haired, multiethnic kids and their gentle animal friends working together in the kitchen.

''FRUSTRATED means, I can't believe we burned them again!"

If ever there was a perfect pairing of author and illustrator, these cookie books are it. Jane Dyer's winsome watercolors perfectly capture the candy-striped, multicolor-frosted, sugar-sprinkled celebration that is Christmas without being cloying or overly cute. Kids will love how humans and animals, equally enthusiastic about cookies, inhabit the same world. Since these crunchy chunks of wisdom can be nibbled on one tasty morsel at a time, or gobbled up in one fell swoop, it is suitable for picky eaters as well as established gastronomes. No holding back here. Open the book to any page, cozy up to the table, and help yourself to pure yummy-ness.

"SHARING means, Thanks for giving me a taste. Would you like a bite of mine?"

I am a huge fan of both Rosenthal's and Dyer's work, and highly recommend both of these Cookie books. Created from what seems like the perfect recipe, these gems satisfy to the very last crumb.

To browse inside Christmas Cookies, click here.

For the Christmas Cookie recipe included in the book, click here.

If, by some chance, you were visiting another planet and missed the first Cookie book, take a peek inside it here.

pictures by Jane Dyer (HarperCollins, 2006), all ages, 32 pp.

**This book inspired me to write my own Bite-Size Writing Lessons here!

Special thanks to R. Michelson Galleries for permission to post interior spreads from Christmas Cookies. All images included here are available for sale (watercolor on paper, 8.5" x 8.5"). Click here for more information on these and other illustrations from Jane Dyer's books.

*All interior images copyright © 2008 Jane Dyer, published by HarperCollins. All rights reserved.

Dec. 18th, 2007


if you give a writer a cookie . . .


 Have you seen this picture book? 

If so, you know that it's a mini dictionary containing 22 words, each defined by a life lesson in cookie terms. For example, "MODEST means, you don't run around telling everyone you make the best cookies, even if you know it to be true." And "WISE means, I used to think I knew everything about cookies, but now I realize I know about one teeny chip's worth."

Take Amy Krouse Rosenthal's gentle wisdom, add Jane Dyer's curly haired children and adorable animals dressed in old fashioned clothes, and you have one of my favorite picture books from last year.
I thought it might be fun to write my own bite-sized lessons for writers, using some of Rosenthal's words:

97cf726f.gif mini cute image by kkeroko80 COURAGEOUS means, I am going to write my story, even though I will be very lonely, and everyone (or no one), will see me for who I really am.

97cf726f.gif mini cute image by kkeroko80 PATIENT means, Waiting for a good idea to come. Waiting for the words to come. Waiting for the right editor to like my story. Waiting for my book to get printed. Have I turned into a mummy yet?

97cf726f.gif mini cute image by kkeroko80 PROUD means, I wrote this book and it's my best work!

97cf726f.gif mini cute image by kkeroko80 MODEST means, When you tell me how good my book is, I blush, and say, "Really?"