PUMPKIN SOUP by Helen Cooper


Age Range: 4 - 8
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Cooper (The Boy Who Wouldn’t Go to Bed, 1997, etc.) tries for a shaggy-dog story, whose details are less compelling than page after page of charmingly snug illustrations. Deep in the forest, in their squash-like abode, live three little creatures: a cat, a squirrel, and a duck. They are a harmonious trio, especially when they concoct their pumpkin soup. Cat dices the pumpkin, Squirrel stirs in the water, and Duck adds the all-important pipkin of salt. Then Duck decides to take over Squirrel’s responsibilities. Squirrel tells him to take a hike, which the disgruntled Duck does. Without his touch with the salt, however, the soup is a disaster, and Cat and Squirrel just plain miss Duck. They set out to find him, fret, fuss, worry that he’s been hurt, or worse, found new friends. When they don’t find him, they return home crestfallen, where Duck is waiting. Both his earlier desertion and return fall woefully flat, but readers will be smitten with Cooper’s smart and utterly disarming artwork. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Aug. 4th, 1999
ISBN: 0-374-36164-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1999


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