Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Picture Book Review: Bone Soup: a spooky, tasty tale by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Bone Soup: a spooky, tasty tale by Alyssa Satin Capucilli. Illustrated by Tom Knight. unpgd. A Paula Wiseman Book/ Simon & Schuster, July, 2018. 97814811486088. (Review from finished copy courtesy of Blue Slip Media.)

Three hungry witches find that their cupboards are bare, save for one little bone one Halloween morning. Naggy Witch tosses the bone into their cauldron and suggests they go door to door soliciting additions to their "bone soup!" The village is filled with ghoulishly delightful inhabitants like a monster, a ghost and a werewolf, all of whom contribute ew-worthy additions like claws and worms and even toenails. As the hungry crowd grows impatient, the witches find they need a little help from a little monster and all is well when the bone soup is ready.

The rhythmic text occasionally floats and meanders in larger, playful fonts on the page, inviting participation. The palette, with ghoulish green, black, orange and purple predominating, adds to its Halloween appeal. The illustrations have a bit of a retro feel to them and feature the characters that are a nice mix of cartoonishly approachable and scary.

It's a pleasing variation of the Stone Soup tale and a nice addition to any collection. Bonus points for doing double-duty as a Halloween story. The ESL teacher has a "Stone Soup" unit and is delighted to add Bone Soup to it. An author's note and a recipe for the bone soup (with edible substitutions) are found on the final page. Visit the author's webpage to download a story time kit.

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