Stone Soup Books

January is National Soup Month and us grups (that’s grown ups for you non Star Trek fans) have eaten soup several times during the month (MBS is a very picky eater). While he wouldn’t eat any of the soups he has enjoyed reading about the folk tale stone soup.

First we read The Real Story of Stone Soup written by Ying Chang Compestine & illustrated by Stéphane Forisch. This clever version of the tale is told from the point of view of a fisherman, who describes himself as hardworking and his 3 nephews as lazy when the pictures show a different story. When they stop on a beach to make lunch his nephews fool him into believing they are making soup just from stones, when in fact they are distracting him and adding other ingredients. It is a cute story and the illustrations nice but it really went over MBS’s head, to get the humor you have to be able to examine the pictures and see what is happening and he’s just not there yet.

Our second stone soup tale was Stone Soup retold & illustrated by Jon J Muth. This version of the tale has 3 monks coming to a village that had survived many hard times, making the villagers weary and untrusting, and only took care of themselves. This story wasn’t about the monks tricking the villagers into making the food so much as them bringing happiness and caring back into the villagers lives. It was a lovely story and the author’s note at the end has information about Buddha story tradition’s and traditional Chinese folklore and culture.

Our final version of stone soup was Fox Tale Soup written by Tony Bonning & illustrated by Sally Hobson. This is the more traditional tale of the trickster getting a free lunch and it was our favorite of the three versions. The trickster in this version is a fox who stops by a farm on his travels and asks if they can spare any food, of course all the farm animals say no. So the fox decides to make himself stone soup. What made this book the best? The illustrations!!!! Oh my, these are some of the cutest farm animals I’ve seen.

The fox setting up his pot over the fire.
The animals smelling the soup.

Aren’t those chickens the cutest?  Sadly, it is out of print so we’ll just have to remember to get it from the library again.

I’m linking up to There’s a Book for the picture book challenge.

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