Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Read Scary: Bone Soup: A spooky, tasty tale by Alyssa Satin Capucilli, illustrated by Tom Knight

Capucilli, author of Biscuit and many other titles, turns out a cheerful, if rather gross, Halloween book. In a play on the classic "Stone Soup" story, Naggy, Craggy, and Scraggy Witch have nothing to eat but a bone - so they decide to make bone soup! They carry their cauldron and bone to a town and begin knocking on doors. With cheerful exclamations, "Piff-poof! It's no trick." they request help from the various monsters, ghosts, and ghouls they meet and add to their bone water, eyeballs, crunchy lizard tails, dead leaves, and more.

Just when the monsters are getting restless, a little monster supplies the final, magic ingredient and they all settle in to enjoy a bewitching and "bone-chillingly delicious" treat.

The final page includes a recipe for Naggy Witch's Bone Soup (it can be made with a turnip or ham bone and a variety of vegetables) and a note from the author on the origins of the story and how she chose to reinterpret it.

This isn't the first reimagining of Stone Soup for Halloween; Cambria Evan's 2008 title, Bone Soup was a more straight-forward reimagining of the tale with a wandering, round-faced monster interesting a variety of monstrous villagers in whipping up a batch of "bone soup" after they refuse to feed him or bring out their delicacies. This title is more text-heavy but lighter in feeling, with no hints of a trick, just sharing amongst monsters. While both are reviewed as not scary, I still wouldn't use them with a toddler or preschool audience, especially where there are concerns about Halloween celebrations. Save this one for elementary students who can sit through a longer story, are comparing folktale versions, or want to try out a little cookery on their own.

Verdict: A fun addition with activities to your Halloween collections; purchase where Evan's Bone Soup and other ghoulish treats are popular.

ISBN: 978148148608; Published July 2018 by Simon and Schuster; Review copy provided by the publisher; Donated to the library

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