From Publishers Weekly
Scottish author Bonning and Hobson (Three Bugs Full) don't change the recipe for the folktale "Stone Soup," but they do serve up a satisfying retelling. Down a dust-brown country road comes a brick-red fox, toting a blue backpack. He stops next to a wall of smooth, round stones, and calls to some farm animals, "Can you spare a little food for a hungry traveler?" When they refuse, the fox empties his backpack which contains only an iron-gray pot and "Sheep, who was slightly kinder than the others," gets some water. As the curious animals watch, Fox selects a rock for his soup, then graciously requests a pinch of this and that. As Bonning succinctly describes the sequence, Hobson focuses on each animal's role. Donkey brings a carrot by the greens, and Goat leans forward so that Fox may lift a cabbage off his horn; in the end, all the animals crowd in a semicircle around the bubbling soup, which Fox shares. The illustrator models curved, dense shapes on an opaque field of leafy green, and her full-bleed spreads harmonize with the calm, concise writing. Fox exchanges a smile with his cooperative friends as he takes his leave, confirming the peaceful sense of balance in this time-tested trickster story. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
reSchool-Grade 1--In this delightful retelling of "Stone Soup," a weary fox stops by a farm with the hope of getting some spare food. The stingy animals decide that they won't share with him, so he resorts to his wily ways to get some sustenance. Asking for a "drop of water to make some soup," the fox pulls a pot from his backpack, lights a fire, and drops a stone into the pot. As in the original, he declares that the soup is just "not quite right," wondering whether some salt and pepper, turnip, carrot, cabbage, and corn would enhance its flavor. With predictable results, the animals gather the necessary ingredients and enjoy a steaming bowl together. The illustrations add to the flavor of this story, as Hobson garnishes the pages with vivid green and blue backgrounds upon which a cartoon-looking sheep, cow, goat, donkey, and hens romp. While the original version of the story is as charming as ever, Fox Tale Soup is still an attractive addition.Lisa Gangemi Krapp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.