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Grandpa's Soup Paperback – February 16, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Since Grandma's death, Grandpa has been too sad to do anything; he just sits in his house all day. One morning, he decides to make a batch of his late wife's meatball soup. Pulling his smallest pot from the shelf, the man sings the song she sang as she cooked ("Boil the water./ Roll the meatballs round..../ Add a little salt and pepper./ Add a little butter"). Three mice appear in the kitchen, drawn by the aroma, and Grandpa invites them to eat. Only a small portion remains for Grandpa, who is disappointed to find out that his soup doesn't taste as good as his wife's. On successive days, Grandpa prepares soup in progressively larger pots, each time remembering a new line of the cooking song ("Chop some tiny onions"). The drop-in guests multiply, finally including a handful of animals and 10 amiable children. Ichikawa's (Dance, Tanya) lifelike paintings brim with particulars, such as figures outlined on the door's curtain to foreshadow the identities of each batch of hungry diners. Spot art (which depicts Grandpa's range of pots, china bowls appropriately sized for his various visitors and the additions to his evolving recipe) appears alongside the text, helping youngsters read between the lines. Originally published in Japan, this endearing book features a multiethnic cast, and the message, too, transcends cultures. Ages 2-8. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2-After his wife dies, Grandpa sits alone, day after day, barely eating and depressed. Finally one morning, he wakes up with a craving for the soup she used to make. Assuming he will need only enough for himself, he uses the smallest of his pots. When the soup is done, he hears a knock at the door. Three mice have smelled the soup, and he willingly shares it with them. Each day thereafter, the old man uses a successively bigger pot and remembers another missing ingredient, as first a cat, then a dog, and finally a group of children all come to share his meal. Grandpa's loneliness is eased, and he looks forward to the next day, when he will make soup "using all my pots." The talking animals add a jarring note of fantasy to what is otherwise a realistic story about grief and healing. The illustrations, done in soft earth tones, match the gentle atmosphere of this warm, but additional tale.
Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The first time he makes it, he uses the smallest pot. Three mice join him and so there is just a small bowlful left for him after sharing. BUT the soup doesn't taste like Grandma used to make. The next day he makes it in the next size up pot and remembers another ingredient needed as he sings the rhyme Grandma used to sing. The cat joins the three mice to share the soup. It still doesn't taste like Grandma used to make. This continues until Grandpa uses the biggest pot of all. As he sings, he remembers all the ingredients and is quite surprised at how many join him to eat. This time though it tastes just like Grandma used to make.
A wonderful story and a great addition to the family library.