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Pumpkin Soup: A Picture Book Paperback – August 11, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
This enchanting story explores the ups and downs of close-knit camaraderie. Beginning with a peek through a window where Cat, Squirrel and Duck are making music together, Cooper (The Boy Who Wouldn't Go to Bed) invites youngsters into their cozy pumpkin-shaped home. There's a rhythm to their lives: each has his own instrument to play and his own duties when it comes to cooking their famous pumpkin soup ("the best you ever tasted"). But one day, Duck decides to be the stirrer instead of the salt pourer, and an all-out battle ensues. Here the warm golden glow that has permeated their dwelling turns an angry orange-red with paws, wings and "@#$!"s flying. After Duck waddles off in a huff, the remaining pair heads out to hunt for himAto no avail. In a charming time-lapse sequence, vignettes of Cat and Squirrel moping on the steps of their house form an arc along the side of a spread ("So they waited.../ All that long afternoon..."). Mimicking grade-schoolers everywhere, Cat and Squirrel next decide to carry on with the cooking, adopting a we'll-show-him attitude. Of course the soup is too salty and the repentant pals begin to imagine scary scenarios of where Duck might be. But Duck does return, to a warm welcomeAuntil he suggests a turn on Cat's bagpipes. Thanks to Cooper's uncanny ability to capture the dynamics of friendship, children will be able to laugh at this trio (and themselves) and recognize that true friendship can weather most any storm. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—Three friends—a squirrel, a cat, and a duck—live happily together in the forest. They make the most delicious pumpkin soup in the world, and each has a specific job in preparing and cooking the soup. Cat slices the pumpkin, Squirrel stirs in the water, and Duck tips in just the right amount of salt. But what happens when Duck decides it would be fun to change jobs? Kathleen McInerney reads Helen Cooper's warm and expressive text (Farrar, Straus, 1999), giving each character a unique voice. No page turn signals are included. Occasional background music and sound effects enhance the production. This would make a good listening center and fit in nicely with autumn storytelling.—Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary School, Federal Way, WA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
Top customer reviews
The illustrations themselves are enough to make this book stand out, so discovering the deliciousness of Cooper's text further solidified this on my list of favorites. After all, this is about "Pumpkin Soup. The best you ever tasted." It is made by these three adorable creatures whose individual tasks are meticulously divided between themselves. All goes smoothly, until Duck decides to break the mold. He thinks stirring the soup would be more interesting than adding his pipkin of salt. It seems a simple enough change, yet leads to quite the kerfuffle!
This story is so creatively crafted in both text and illustration that there's abundant enjoyment to be found even on a superficial level. There is a deeper message, however, that is just as beautiful. Though Duck's curious and adventuresome spirit can grate on his friends' resistance to change, each discovers the value of their friendship and their need to look outside themselves in order to maintain it. Don't we all need that reminder at times?
In the end, Duck lives his dream of stirring the soup and even though it is the messiest soup ever made in that quaint home, his friends do not breathe a word of disagreement. All peace is restored . . . until Duck decides that playing bagpipes would be more interesting than singing!
Recommended for ages three to eight.