Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pinch and Dash Make Soup

Marcia Brown's Stone Soup, Sendak's Chicken Soup with Rice, Lobel's Mouse Soup, Mercer's Octopus Soup. What is it about soup that gets it featured in so many books for kids? My all-time favorite soup story is the "Tear Soup" chapter in Lobel's Owl at Home, which Owl makes by thinking sad thoughts and filling his bowl with his own salty tears.

And now there's another easy reader with soup on the menu--Pinch and Dash Make Soup. The two friends, animals of indeterminable woodland species, live next door to each other. Hungry but too lazy to cook or walk to the local Chat and Chew, Pinch drops by Dash's home hoping to snag a free meal. Pinch is in luck. Dash is at the stove preparing a lunch of "skinny soup" and invites his friend to join him. Unimpressed by the skimpy meal, Pinch travels back and forth fetching supplies from his own kitchen until the soup is "fat." Pinch, however, likes his soup spicy and wants to add black pepper and hot sauce to the bubbling brew. Dash does not. They squabble with results disastrous to the soup though luckily not to the friendship.  

Beginning readers will find a lot to like in this engaging new series. Pinch and Dash are yin-and-yang friends characteristic of so many classic readers, and the text and illustrations work together to underscore the humor. For instance, to get ingredients for the soup Pinch must walk "all the way home," which the art depicts as being next door in an attached house. My only criticism? The soup sounded so yummy I wish a recipe was included, and I'd add black pepper and hot sauce for sure!

Pinch and Dash Make Soup
by Michael J. Daley
illustrations by Thomas F. Yezerski
Charlesbridge 48 pages
Published: February 2012

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