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FANDANGO STEW by David Davis


by David Davis & illustrated by Ben Galbraith

Age Range: 3 - 10

Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4027-6527-8
Publisher: Sterling

In this flavorful Wild West version of the classic "Stone Soup" tale, penniless Slim and his grandson, Luis, ride into the town of Skinflint, where, in the face of tremendous odds, they manage to rustle up a delicious stew with only one bean, inveigle in participation with his repetition of, “Chili’s good, so is barbecue, but nothing’s FINER than FANDANGO STEW!” The toe-tapping refrain repeats in two- to 47-part harmony, as the sheriff who wants to run them out of town, the scoffing mayor and the shopkeeper become curious enough to let the two loco hombres make stew for the whole town with just one fandango bean. As the curious townspeople, including the teacher and schoolchildren and the Skinflint Culture Club ladies, gather around, each volunteers ingredients, and each joins in what becomes a fandango stew fiesta and “the best dang stew shindig” ever seen. The chorus of voices repeating the refrain begs to be read aloud with audience participation, and Slim’s parting advice that “Any bean makes a fine fandango stew. Just add generosity and kindness,” hits the spot. Galbraith’s mixed-media illustrations brim with humor, and design elements such as old-timey poster display type and colorful bandana endpapers provide just the right accompaniment to the folksy tale. (Picture book. 3-10)