CM . . .
. Volume XV Number 6. . . .November 7, 2008
Loris Lesynski. Illustrated by Michael Martchenko.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 1996/2008.
32 pp., pbk. & hc., $6.95 (pbk.), $18.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-2-55451-142-6 (pbk.), ISBN 978-2-55451-143-3.
Problem solving-Juvenile fiction.
Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.
Review by Barbara Taylor.
He said with a whimper,
'My everything aches.'
Readers of Boy Soup may, as I did, go back for another serving of this delightful, slightly wicked tale of a giant suffering from a giant-sized cold. Big G, our lovable but grumpy giant, consults his "Giants Home Medical Guide" and decides the remedy for his cold is a nice steaming bowl of boy soup.
Big G reaches down from the sky and scoops a handful of boys from the top of a tree. Inadvertently, he also scoops up a girl named Kate who outwits the giant by convincing him that it is not "boy soup" he needs to cure his cold, but a soup made by boys.
The results, both clever and humorous, portray camaraderie among the children under Kate's leadership in saving the boys from their "stew." The outcome of this predicament is positive for all involved.
Loris Lesynski has a gift with rhythm and rhyme. There is no wasted or awkward wordiness, and the story flows effortlessly.
The boys cooked the carrots
the boys boiled the peas
then seasoned the soup with a handful of fleas
They put in
some thick yellow glue
and a generous dollop of dandruff shampoo
Teachers may wish to use this book in conjunction with other giant stories. Boy Soup would also coincide well with stories like Stone Soup or one of my favourites, Wombat Stew by Mem Fox.
Michael Martchenko, best known as the illustrator of Robert Munsch's stories, illustrates Boy Soup. His colourful illustrations are well suited to the humorous nature of the stories, and he captures the startled, curious, and determined expressions of the children. He also captures the giant in his stuffed up, grumpy misery.
The book is targeted to ages 4-7 and would likely be enjoyed by older children as well.
Barbara Taylor, an Early Childhood teacher and freelance writer, is presently enrolled in the MLIS program at the University of Western Ontario.
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