Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mmmm, Tasty!

I was watching Iron Chef the other night when Chef Symon made a version of green eggs and ham. This was the second or third time I've seen green eggs and ham on Iron Chef and it got me to thinking about cookbooks for children. I own "The Spatulatta Cookbook," a great book written by sisters, Isabella and Olivia Gerasole. They host and are kids cooking for kids. The green eggs and ham, however, had me thinking of Dr. Seuss. So I decided to review the "Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook." Maybe next time I will review the "Star Wars Cookbook" or "Fairies Cookbook."

By Georgeanne Brennan
Illustrated by Dr. Seuss
Photography by Frankie Frankeny
For ages 7 – 14
A great book to help expose chidlren to cooking and food fun. Rated 4 (tasty and fun recipes, kid context, Seuss rhymes)
Have you ever wondered how the crazy foods in Dr. Seuss’ books might taste? How about some Green Eggs and Ham or Gunker Stew? Georgeanne Brennan answered the question with the “Green Eggs and Ham Cookbook.” It is filled with wonderful creations inspired by the good doctor himself. Try a swig of Pink Ink Yink Drink or a bite of a Daisy Head Maisy Burger. More than 40 recipes will keep you and your children busy and excited about cooking.

Each recipe is accompanied by the original "inspirational" verse and often by Seuss' illustrations as well. The book is spiral bound for easy page flipping. Each page is also laminated to help prevent damage from spills and splatters.

Dr. Seuss fans and crazy kids alike will have fun in the kitchen and at the dinner table with this book. Bon appetit.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Write What You Know: An Interivew with Author, Meg Walsh

I recently reviewed a picture book, “Mama, Won’t You Play With Me?” for my monthly magazine column. In the process of getting the book and reviewing it I had a chance to communicate with the author through forums and social media. So what follows is a short interview with Meg Walsh.

MF: What inspired you to write a children's book?

MW: I never expected that I would have written a children's book. I always thought it would be the Great American Novel, but personal experience changed that rather quickly. I had a very severe Lupus flare when my two boys were very young (1 and 3). What I remember most vividly is the look on their faces when I said that I was in too much pain to play with them. Looking at them, you would've thought that I said that I didn't love them. I then realized that even though they were very young, they needed an explanation and support in getting through this as much as my husband and I did. It was my hope that, “Mama, Won't You Play With Me?” would help open the lines of communication between ill or disabled parents and their children, and help the children cope a bit better.

MF: Were you interested in writing before you began "Mama, Won't You Play With Me?

MW: I have enjoyed writing for as long as I can remember. You could always find me writing poems and short stories in high school and college. More recently, I have written articles for a few magazines.

MF: How long did it take you to write, and rewrite, before you completed the final book we see today?

MW: I find that I write in a strange way. I woke up one morning in June, ran to my desk and wrote it from start to finish. I never revised it or corrected it -- it was what it was and it came from the heart. I remember doing the same with an article that I had written years ago.

MF: Did you share the book with anyone else for input as you were writing it?

MW: I actually kept it all to myself until the very last moment. I got nervous right before I submitted it to the publisher that it might actually be horrible, and so I broke down and showed my husband.

MF: What was the greatest obstacle you faced in publishing your book?

MW: My greatest obstacle was finding a talented and reasonably priced illustrator. I had a publisher interested in taking a look at my story but they would not pay for an illustrator, and I couldn't afford the prices here in the US. I was very lucky to find a wonderful illustrator named Aga Korfanty, from Poland, who was interested in working with me and she did an amazing job.

MF: What made you decide to self-publish, using AuthorHouse, as opposed to using traditional publishers?

MW: I had submitted to one publisher who wanted to take a second look after the illustrations were complete but I never resubmitted it. I had heard such horror stories about the length of time it takes to find a publisher and to get the book to print and I was anxious to get my message out. I wanted to get to print quickly so that I could begin promoting the book and raising money for illness and disability. A portion of the proceeds from each book sold through May will be donated to the Lupus Foundation of America. Other illness-related charities will receive these donations in subsequent months.

MF: Are you working on any new books at this time?

MW: At this moment, I have the ideas brewing for three new books. I am just waiting for the next morning that I wake up and put it all in writing.

Now I need to say thank you Meg for taking the time to speak with me. Please take a look at her book, “Mama, Won’t You Play With Me?”