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Viewing Post from: Jama's Alphabet Soup
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an eclectic feast of food, fiction and folderol
1. [review + recipe + giveaway] Fresh Delicious: Poems from the Farmers’ Market by Irene Latham and Mique Moriuchi

Grab your shopping baskets and bags, let’s go to the Farmers’ Market!

In Fresh Delicious (Wordsong, 2016), Irene Latham and Mique Moriuchi invite us to join a group of adorable animal friends as they celebrate the wonders of farm fresh fruits and veggies. This mostly free verse smorgasbord of 21 poems is chock full of mouthwatering sensory details, clever imagery and playful metaphors to whet the appetite and tease the imagination.

While nibbling on these whimsical poems, curious munchkins will meet basil (“a bouquet of minty green butterfly wings”), delight in how ears of corn listen to the sun, and consider that okra is really “a mountain of mouse-sized swords/stored in fuzzy sheaths.” Afterwards, they’ll likely be anxious to see, smell, touch and taste the produce in person, making up little scenarios so they can write their own poems.

Does crookneck squash really look like a question mark? How is zucchini like an exclamation point? Will wild honey really make our tongues “buzz with pleasure”? Can’t wait for summer, when it’ll be time to propel those seeds out of our mouths “like shooting stars.”

Oh, the fun! Mique Moriuchi’s vibrant color-saturated acrylic collages make the flavors and textures of Latham’s chewy, juicy, crunchy words really POP!

Kids will have a ball not only counting and identifying the fresh produce, they will also love seeing exactly what their animal friends are up to. Can’t help but love a blue elephant balancing a red bell pepper with its trunk, a cute gray bunny sheltering himself from the rain with a big lettuce leaf, or a thoughtful fox tucking potatoes in a dark dry drawer so they will feel at home. Please don’t miss the monkey on a skateboard or the moose and bear canoeing with their pea passengers. :)

The book is infused with a childlike sensibility that’s refreshing and endearing; the simple two-word title of this collection couldn’t be more apt — Fresh Delicious allows us to see familiar things in new ways as it charms us with the tasty possibilities of language — just what we crave with good poetry. There’s absolutely no chance of going away hungry with six kid-friendly recipes topping off this joyous feast: Cool Tomato-Cucumber-Onion Salsa, Fruit Kebabs with Yogurt Dip, Lettuce Wraps, Cheesy Confetti Frittata (recipe below), Mini (Many) Veggie Pizza, and Easy Strawberry Ice Cream. Mmmmm!

Today I’m pleased to share a little Fresh Delicious sampler platter. Hope you’re wearing your best bibs and aprons, and that this little burst of summer’s bounty will chase away your winter blues. Enjoy!


Art © 2016 Mique Moriuchi (click to enlarge)


White tents
shade truck beds
that sprout
homegrown peaks
in summertime hues.

Farmers call.
Empty baskets sway
as they wait

for tomatoes, corn,
peaches, and more.
What will
we carry home



a fleet
of green

in a wicker sea



Right-side up
they shine
like ornaments

strung and hung
on a holiday

Flip them
upside down
and they

a sunset-colored


(click to enlarge)


are sweet
but not
too sweet.

One fits
and thumb.

They burst
like flavor-filled
in waffles
and muffins.

But the best
thing about
is the way
they change

your lips
and teeth
and tongue
from regular
to purple-blue.



A dozen

or green.

the secret

and find
a trove
of farmer’s



What you need:

  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tomato
  • 2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 oz. grated cheddar cheese
  • 4 eggs
  • nonstick cooking spray

Ask a grown-up helper to turn on the oven and chop the onion, bell pepper, and tomato.

Combine all ingredients except eggs in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, crack the eggs. Remove any shell bits. Whisk the eggs until blended.

Pour the contents of both bowls into an oven-safe dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. (I like to use an iron skillet.)

Ask a grown-up helper to bake the dish at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the mixture is firm.

Ask a grown-up helper to transfer the frittata to a plate.


FRESH DELICIOUS: Poems from the Farmers’ Market
written by Irene Latham
illustrated by Mique Moriuchi
published by Wordsong, 2016
Picture Book Poetry Collection for ages 4-8, 40 pp.
*Includes 6 recipes
**Glowing reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus
***Now available for pre-order:
On shelves March 8, 2016!

♥ Nice pairing with Too Many Tomatoes by Eric Ode and Kent Culotta :)

♥ Click here to read a wonderful interview at Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme, where Irene talks about the genesis of Fresh Delicious and her other new book When the Sun Shines on Antarctica.


For a chance to win a brand new copy of Fresh Delicious, simply leave a comment at this post telling us what your favorite fruit or vegetable is no later than midnight Wednesday, February 24, 2016. You can also enter by sending an email with “FRESH DELICIOUS” in the subject line to: readermail (at) jamakimrattigan (dot) com. Winner will be announced next Friday. Good Luck!


poetry fridayThe lovely and talented Donna Smith is hosting the Roundup at Mainely Write. I imagine she’s a big blueberry fan :). Scamper over and check out the full menu of poetic goodies on this week’s menu. Have a fresh and delicious weekend!!


*Interior spreads from Fresh Delicious posted by permission of the publisher, text copyright © 2016 Irene Latham, illustrations © 2016 Mique Moriuchi, published by Wordsong, 2016. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2016 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

7 Comments on [review + recipe + giveaway] Fresh Delicious: Poems from the Farmers’ Market by Irene Latham and Mique Moriuchi, last added: 2/19/2016
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