Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Variations on a Classic: Stone Soup

Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
This engaging folk tale tells the story of a group of soldiers coming into a small French village.  They tell the villagers not to worry about feeding them because they are going to make stone soup.  Starting with the stone they convince the villagers to keep adding more and more ingredients to the soup until they have a wonderful flavorful broth.  A little trickery and a little cooperation make this a fun story for all. Find below two variations on this wonderful tale. Winner of the 1948 Caldecott Honor.

Kallaloo! A Caribbean Tale by David Gershator. 
In this Caribbean version of stone soup a poor hungry woman convinces the town to help her make Sea Shell Soup.  The sea shell keeps asking for more ingredients for the soup and the townspeople comply. After the soup is done cooking the whole village enjoys a meal together.  The dialog is lively and the illustrations are wonderfully vibrant and bright.

Cactus Soup By Eric A Kimmel. 
Set during the Mexican Revolution this tale follows the original story with a Mexican twist.  Delicious chiles, beans, and garlic are added to the soup along with traditional tomatoes and carrots.  When the soup is done tortillas, tamales, and chorizo are added to the meal and a grand fiesta with dancing and music is enjoyed by the whole village.

Reading these three books together would create wonderful opportunities for comparing and contrasting the stories.  Additionally, the illustrations in each book are wonderfully engaging, but so unique. What is each illustrator trying to say with their illustrations? A book illustrated in 1948 has a much different look than a book illustrated today, why is that?  

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