“Stone Soup” gets a Halloween remake.
Three hungry witches, finding only a dry bone in the cupboard, take their cauldron door to door collecting ingredients for their bone soup. Both the neighbors, who are initially suspicious of the witches, and their additions to the pot will be unfamiliar to children used to grandma’s chicken soup: A ghost contributes a giant’s eye; a ghoul brings a lizard’s tail; a werewolf adds old toenails. The beguiling smell attracts more and more creatures, and as their hunger increases, their patience grows thin: They will not put up with any tricks from the witches. (Capucilli’s wordplay here is a delight: “ ‘Let’s wrap this up now,’ mumbled the mummy. / ‘Don’t rattle me further,’ clattered the skeleton.”) Just as it looks as if the witches will be part of the soup, a monster child saves the day, and bone soup is shared and enjoyed by all. Knight’s illustrations, made with charcoal and pencils and colored digitally, have just the right mix of creepy and humorous, treading the line between scary and fun. His palette is suitably Halloween-y.
Just right for sharing with neighbors this October—either the tale or the (real) recipe that follows, or maybe both. (author’s note) (Picture book/folktale. 4-8)