Tag Archives: children’s books

Savoy Cocktail of the Week: The Little Princess

I chose to sample The Little Princess Cocktail for purely childish reasons: One of my favorite books growing up was Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A Little Princess. In fact I still have my childhood copy on my bookshelf, shelved between a collection of plays by Georg Büchner and an archaeological history of Paris, A Roman City. 

The Little Princess

1/2 Italian Vermouth
1/2 Bacardi Rum

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.

I quite enjoy Sweet [Italian] Vermouth. I remember the first time I had it, a little after dinner liqueur offered up at by a family friend years and years ago. It was delicious. I filed away the information that not only did there exist multiple kinds of vermouth, but that this previously unknown variety was sweet and dessert-like.

Since starting this Savoy Cocktail Book Project, I have gone through multiple bottles and brands of Italian Vermouth, and though I often do not love it mixed with too many ingredients in one cocktail, this simple half and half mix with rum really hit the spot. It was nice not to only get the sweetness of the vermouth as one of several ingredients, but to savor the full taste of it, backed by the rum.

Of course, being half vermouth and half rum this sweet libation was potent as usual, but less abrasive than some. Very nice for sipping, it did not deteriorate as it warmed, and the final color was a warm brandy-like shade. This prompted one taster to suggest that it would be a great after dinner cocktail with which one could camouflage oneself amongst the brandy and cognac drinkers of the world… if one wished to do so.

Regardless, it was a nice, sippable concoction, albeit it very simple; therefore, it is not a prime choice if you are looking for something jazzy or extremely cocktail-y.

Next week we shall tackle the Lord Suffolk Cocktail

1/8 Italian Vermouth
1/8 Cointreau
5/8 Gin
1/8 Maraschino

Shake well and strain into cocktail glass.


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Mr. Men in French: Collection Bonhomme, Monsieur Curieux

One of the only—if not the only—bright sides to the disgusting sewer back-up flood in my parent’s basement was the discovery of yet more Mr. Men and Little Miss books by Roger Hargreaves of recent Google Doodle joy.

And guess what?! One of them is in French: Monsieur Curieux!

And from whence did this gem come to me? I will tell you.

When I was a kid, my family lived in Paris for a brief time whilst my mother did research at the National Archives for her dissertation. This left my Dad to entertain me all day. One of these entertainments was going to Burger King and figuring out how to ask for a paper crown in French. The success of this endeavor (near and dear to my five-year-old heart) coincided with a Kids Meal. As you can see from the image (Ce livre t’est offert par Burger King), this Hargreaves book was apparently the toy/gift included with the meal.

Love it.

As might be expected, Monsieur Curieux does rude and nosy things like read other people’s newspapers in the train.

Don’t you hate when people do that?

Don’t you hate yourself when you catch yourself doing that?

I was already familiar with the series (known in French as the Collection “Bonhomme”), and although I do not remember the moment this came into my life, I do remember forcing my mother to translate it for me over and over again before bedtime.

Good times.

As a bonus and related to a recent “Word of the Week” post, there is a Monsieur Grincheux located at the lower right-hand corner of the back cover! M. Grincheux is way more evocative than Mr. Grumpy.


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Busytown Google Doodle: Who Doesn’t Love Richard Scarry?

Sunday’s Google Doodle  was another amazing childhood shout out: Richard Scarry’s Busytown folk brought so much joy to my youth. The tattered tomes still reside in my parent’s basement. It’s a magical place.

Scarry’s birthday was June 5, 1919—hence the Busytown doodle celebration from yesterday.

When I was really  little, I somehow convinced myself that my parents knew Richard Scarry and that the books were actually from him. I have no idea how I came up with this alternate reality, but I it would have been super cool. Super. Cool.

Later today I will probably venture to dig out a battered copy of What Do People Do All Day? and Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy Town. And I will have a great time reminiscing. I will.

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Update to Little Miss & Mr. Men: Bossy & Greedy Books

I raided my parents’  basement in an effort to locate Lady Lovely Locks and the Pixietails: Silkypup Saves the Day, but instead I came upon my collection of Little Miss and Mr. Men books by Roger Hargreaves, as recently featured by Google and myself.

They’re more than a little battered. There are a few stains. There is also great advice at the end of Mr. Greedy: “Beware of giants!”

It’s just good advice. For children of all ages. Timeless.

P.S. Remember when you could buy a new book for one dollar? Sigh.

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Nostalgia Lane: Remember Lady Lovely Locks?


Last week an entirely random urge came over me. I was compelled to scour Netflix (and beyond) for what I can only infer is an obscure 1980s cartoon, vaguely ensconced in the foggy mists of my memory.

Once on the road of 1980s cartoons for girls there was no turning back.

First of all, in my mind the cartoon I am thinking of is linked to something called “Gigi,” but according to my excruciatingly time-wasting internet research… it is not. People fly. There are clouds. We rented it from our local video store in the mid-1980s. I have no idea.

At any rate, my search brought me to many a 1980s cartoons website. It was a little magical. One post dedicated to girly cartoons reintroduced Lady Lovely Locks to my memory. The 80’s Toy Ark is flush with collectibles and memories as well.


I never saw the actual cartoon, but I did own an “Enchanted Island” edition of Lady Lovely Locks herself and a Little Golden Book entitled Lady Lovely Locks and the Pixietails: Silkypup Saves the Day.

I loved that book. I loved that doll.

Lady Lovely Locks came with little magical creatures called pixietails that lived in her (and her friends’ hair). My doll came with three aquatic pixies, being the Enchanted Island variety.

Her dog—as you may have guessed—was named Silkypup. She had a posse of similarly charmed friends and an enemy (who obviously had black hair to denote her evilness) named Duchess Raven Waves.

It would appear that the whole affair was mainly geared towards selling merchandise rather than establishing a classic cartoon… but then again, I have not bothered to watch more than the intro to the cartoon on YouTube.

Ah memory lane.

I am more than a little saddened to realize that my precious Lady Lovely Locks doll and the even more awesome pixietail barrettes (yeah I wore them in my own hair) perished in a flood that swept many a childhood memory out of my parents’ basement.

Those barrettes would have looked really great clipped to my dog’s ears. She could have been Silkypup for Halloween. Unfortunately, she will have to stick with her bumblebee costume.


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Best Google Day Ever: Little Miss & Mister!

Growing up, I adored the Little Miss and Mr. Men books by Roger Hargreaves. The earliest tomes I recall are Little Miss Bossy Boots (whose boots ran her all over town until she learned not to be bossy) and Mr. Greedy (who ate and ate, got fatter and fatter, but hungrier and hungrier).

When I was in college, Urban Outfitters started selling t-shirts featuring the characters. Guess who owns the Little Miss Bossy tee? I also may have caused a minor scene in a bookshop on Charing Cross Road when confronted by an entire rack of my beloved childhood books, unencountered for many years up to that point.

So much love.

Imagine my delight when I hopped on Google this morning and chanced to spy this logo of joy. Obviously, I clicked through.

Turns out today would have been Mr. Hargreaves 76th birthday, hence the Google-bration.

And there are so many more! So much joy.


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