Monday, May 3, 2010

Popcorn - Cinnamon Popcorn

"There was so much popcorn it filled the whole house."  - Popcorn, Frank Asch




I was thrilled to learn my county library system is in possession of a copy of Frank Asch's Popcorn, which was published in 1979 and has been difficult to find for quite some time. I owned a copy of this book as a child and have long wanted to share it with my boys. Only problem is that somehow, between childhood and adulthood, I lost track of it. It's not a surprise; my parents worked in education (my mother was a junior high teacher and my father an elementary school principal) and often took our old books to their schools as we outgrew them in order to make space on our shelves for new books.

In Popcorn, Sam's parents leave him alone at home while they go to a Halloween party. While they are gone he has a party of his own. Each guest brings popcorn to share. Eventually they decide to pop all of the popcorn--you can guess where this leads. There is so much popcorn that the kettle overflows and the popcorn fills the room...then several rooms...then the entire house. The only solution, it seems, is to eat every last kernel before Sam's parents come home.

The one thing I remembered very vividly about this story is the way the popcorn is shown taking over the entire house. There's just something about those illustrations with all those tiny pieces of popcorn.



 Even today I marvel at this spread:


It's funny because we happened to be visiting family this weekend and my mom asked what this week's recipe was going to be. When I told her it was popcorn she actually said, "Oh, you should read the boys that book! Remember, the Halloween book with the bear who has the party and all his friends bring popcorn?" My mom remembers it as fondly as I do.


My kids love popcorn. Their favorites are kettle corn and cinnamon popcorn. We make cinnamon popcorn using a simple recipe my husband came up with.

Cinnamon Popcorn






Ingredients:
  • 1/3 cup popcorn
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • pinch of salt
  • cinnamon
Additional equipment: hot air popper

1. Place popcorn kernels in popcorn maker and turn on machine.



2. While popcorn is popping, make the cinnamon butter. Melt butter in microwave. Add salt and shake in some cinnamon (to taste). Stir together.

3. When popcorn is ready, pour the cinnamon butter over it and toss to coat. Sprinkle on additional cinnamon if desired.











I am glad I was able to find Popcorn because, as I had suspected, my kids loved it. It was especially fun to see them laugh out loud at the same places I laughed at as a child. It is not billed as an easy reader but the text is simple enough that my six year old, who is beginning to read juvenile chapter books, was able to read it. He especially liked the pages that featured speech bubbles; he is beginning to get interested in graphic novels and books that feature a combination of traditional text and graphic novel elements. One of the things he's learned in his writing workshops at school is how different written devices (like speech bubbles, captions and labels) can help tell a story. So it's nice to see this in practice, as it helps reinforce that idea.


According to author Frank Asch's website, Popcorn has recently been reissued by CQ Products. Copies of the edition I remember as a kid are available from online used booksellers like Alibris and Abebooks. And if you still can't find it but want to share it with your kids, check out the animated book at Asch's website.

6 comments:

Mary Ann Dames - Reading, Writing, and Recipes said...

Yummy. I remember this book. Hmm. I suddenly have a craving for popcorn.

Paula (Belgium) said...

I saw your reply on Kidlithosphere and read your Pop Corn post. My daughter and I made pop-corn today. However, I should have your blog post first, our popcorn would have been much yummier. :-)

Deborah Graff said...

We make cinnamon-sugar popcorn often (your recipe, plus a couple teaspoons of white sugar added to the butter/cinnamon). This book looks great--I'm going to try to get a copy for us.

Paul said...

Hi, just thought I'd share that I found this page while trying to figure out what the book I had from my childhood was called. I haven't seen that book in ages, but i appreciated seeing some of the pages you scanned. This is the first book I can recall reading, and I used to read it all the time!

Sally said...

Thank you SO much for posting this. I just recalled this book from my childhood and could remember the popcorn filling up the pages, but I couldn't remember anything else. I searched high and low to see some of the inside pages. Thank you SO much for scanning it, so I could remember the book. It brought me so much joy as a child, as it did my brothers and sister. We were all on Skype this Christmas and recalled the book. My brother is now looking for a copy to share with his 2 month old. Thanks again!

Sally said...

Thank you SO much for posting this. I just recalled this book from my childhood and could remember the popcorn filling up the pages, but I couldn't remember anything else. I searched high and low to see some of the inside pages. Thank you SO much for scanning it, so I could remember the book. It brought me so much joy as a child, as it did my brothers and sister. We were all on Skype this Christmas and recalled the book. My brother is now looking for a copy to share with his 2 month old. Thanks again!