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SURPRISE SOUP by Mary Ann Rodman

SURPRISE SOUP

By Mary Ann Rodman (Author) , G. Brian Karas (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-670-06274-4
Publisher: Viking

Rodman does surprise readers by introducing a big subject (Mom’s coming home with a new baby) and switching a bit abruptly to the subject of, well, soup. Dad tells Kevie, a little bear, that mom and baby are coming home tonight and asks Kevie and his older brother Josh what they want to make as a welcome-home dinner. They decide on soup, which becomes “Surprise Soup” as a secret ingredient is added on the advice of Kevie, who has learned a special trick from helping his mom. The story is filled with typical bickering and competing between the brothers, but a gentle humor nicely perks up the writing and Karas’s soft, rustic part-drawn/part-collaged illustrations. The new-baby theme ultimately serves as more of a distraction to the real story—that Kevie, in the soup-making process, proves to his bossy older brother and himself that he has something useful to add to the family. Functions better as a story for picked-on little brothers than for new siblings. (Picture book. 3-6)