Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Literary Food for the Soul

"Marge and Lola took one look at the poster on the barn door and almost lost their cluck. Elvis Poultry was top bird. They had to win those tickets."
This opening line just drew me right into this picture book as well the captivating illustrations. Dan Santat who illustrated Chicken Dance was the keynote speaker at a recent children's literature I attended. His illustrations are just the perfect compliment to this goofy, witty tale about two chickens on a mission to win the barnyard talent contest, The prize two concert tickets to see the famed singer Elvis Poultry. The story has tongue and cheek humor that children as well as adults will enjoy.
Another picture book that caught my attention was Book Speak! by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Josee Bisaillon. Laura is a local writer in the Twin Cities area who also teaches writing classes. Each poem gives voice to those who seldom get a voice...the books themselves. The illustrations are a superb a mixture of collage, drawings and digital montage that highlight the poetic voice of books.

A Character Pleads for His Life
Open the cover and liberate me!
Turn the first page.
I'll be boundless and free!

Both of us want to be daring and bold.
Make the decision.
Let magic unfold.

I'll help you be something you've never been.
Surfer dude, scientist, sea turtle, twin...

If you don't help me, I will not survive.
Only your actions can keep me alive.

I'll swim in the ocean
I'll breathe the salt air.
I'll feel the waves breaking, get sand in my hair.

Don't close the cover and don't walk away.
Don't leave me squished in here day after day.

Please open the cover and liberate me!
Turn the first page.
We'll be boundless and free.

Carrot Cake


  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 2 tsp. soda
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1-cup brown sugar
  • 2 TB. Cinnamon
  • 1-1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple –drained
  • 1-3/4-2 cups grated carrots
  • 1-1/2 crushed nuts
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1-cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup coconut-optional


  • Beat eggs till fluffy and add rest of ingredients
  • Mix well about 2 minutes
  • Bake @ 350 in a greased 13 x 9 pan for 25-30 minutes
Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 TB. vanilla
  • 1 3-oz. package softened cream cheese
  • Add milk as needed to get right consistency
  • Sprinkle crushed nuts on top
  • Frost and refrigerate
  • Take out of refrigerator about ½ hour before serving
Halloween idea: Make the cake batter but put it in Halloween cupcake liners. After it is baked and frosted use Halloween sprinkles on top. It is very festive looking!

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