Friday, April 18, 2008

Stone Soup

Stone Soup
Marcia Brown
Simon & Schuster, 1947

A Caldecott Honor book, Ms. Brown is most famous for the Caldecott Medal winners Cinderella ('55) and Once a Mouse ('62), and according to the Wiki... "she has won the Caldecott Medal three times, the only person to do so until David Wiesner in 2007." (David Wiesner being the amazing illustrator of such contemporary, wordless classics as Tuesday and Flotsam.)

My son digs Stone Soup because it is about people getting tricked... every toddler's laugh riot, no? A threesome of forlorn soldiers arrive at a village looking for shelter and food, but when the greedy villagers deny them, they cook up a plan (and a soup) that makes everyone generous and happy.

Then the first soldier called out, "Good people!"
The peasants drew near.
"We are hungry soldiers in a strange land.
We have asked you for food, and you have no food.
Well then, we'll have to make stone soup."
The peasants stared. Stone soup?
That would be something to know.

I'm not sure what the moral here is -- all kid's books have to have a moral right? -- but I think it must along the lines of "a sucker is born every minute" or "be generous or someone smarter than yourself will come along and take you for a ride". Ms. Brown's drawings are quaint and appealing, and I personally happen to love how she draws noses, all long and crooked.


  1. truly a timeless book. I was just telling the hubby recently that we needed to add this one to the collection.

  2. We need to add everything to the collection... that's the problem with my life right now.

    what's that old cheesy saying...

    so many books so little time.