Friday, February 21, 2014

Commumity Soup - Perfect Picture Book Friday

     This was another case of love at first sight! 
     And I fell hard.
      My selection this week is a visual delight! It also tells a good story. AND it has a recipe to try. Yum-yum-yummy on so many levels.

     Title: Community Soup
     Author/Illustrator: Alma Fullerton
     (note for use with young readers: author also writes YA and her profile page
     references suicide. She does not have a teacher's guide for Community Soup on her site.)
     Publisher: Pajama Press, Inc., 2013
     FICTION
     Intended Audience: 4-7
     
     Theme: Kenya, Gardens, Problem-solving
     Opening: "It's soup day! 
                   Outside the schoolhouse, the teachers stir the broth. 
                   But where are the vegetables?"

     Synopsis: Children outside a Kenyan school go to harvest vegetables from their garden, but one classmate's goats escaped their pen and made their way to the garden.

     What I like love about this book: The collage illustrations give an amazing three-dimensional sense to the story. I've seen other great collage work (Knock, Knock springs to mind), but the cover of this book made me want to kiss the goat! (and yes, I'm a goat-kissing kind of person) Just the right amount of fuzzy texture and playful flint in it's eye. For me, this is a book where the illustrations grabbed me and wouldn't let go. Sticks and grass layered with colored sand. Simple items combined into exquisite illustrations. The trees, the children's faces, everything conveyed a joyous, playful feeling. Don't get me started on the hoof prints that pepper the text. The only thing that stopped me, for a moment, was the goat-owning child's reaction to the goat's mischief. Thankfully, one of her classmates has a MUCH better idea. (can't give away the ending!). To top off the book love fest, the back jacket flap says "A portion of the proceeds of this book will be donated to the Creation of Hope Project, which supports schools in Kenya in the building of community gardens." Smitten.
How could you be mad at this face?! p.14
     Activities and resources: The last page of the book is a recipe for Pumpkin Vegetable soup. Need I say more? With the snow this weekend, I haven't gotten to the store to get all the ingredients to try it yet, but it looks delish. And a great "excuse" to eat more vegetables if you don't already. 
     Plant your own garden. If it's still too cold to get started where you live, plan the garden out on paper and order the seeds from one of the big online retailers like Burpees or buy them (my local supermarkets have a good selection of vegetable seeds - but they sell out early!). 
     Make collages. Extra points for recycling items from nature.
     Visit a local petting zoo and scratch a goat behind its ears! I bet you'll both enjoy it.
     Learn more about Kenya. Time for Kids had great comprehensive content including a fun read and speak lesson in Swahili and a quiz on the site's content that home-schooling families might find useful. National Geographic Kids included an interesting video about the flamingos of Kenya. But DO NOT MISS Kids-4-Kenya. This site is offering a FREE 32-page workbook for teachers who request it during 2014. The site is a resource for their fund-rising effort, and I'm not a teacher, so I didn't want to use their funds to have it sent to me. Even without the workbook there is a wealth of information and links to recipes and online exercises. A real winner!
     Kirsten Larson reviewed another book by Ms. Fullerton for Perfect Picture Book Friday (thanks for introducing me to this author!). Compare Community Soup with A Good Trade.

     We are FINALLY seeing above-freezing temperatures that have me in the mood to think about the garden again. I enjoy fresh-picked leaf lettuce. Do you grow a favorite veggie?

This review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday) where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. Along with tons of writing wisdom, she keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. #PPBF



    

24 comments:

  1. Oh, this looks like an awesome book - and I just happen to have some frozen pumpkin from my garden. Gonna have to find this fast so I can make some soup.

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    1. Clever you! When we grew pumpkins, they exploded. Who would have guessed?

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  2. Ohhhh, I love Fullterton. Her books are such a great way to learn about other countries. I haven't seen this one, but will pick it up.

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    1. I linked to your post of her other book, Kirsten!

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  3. This looks great! Just recently, We tried African Peanut Stew with sweet potatoes, kale and oh-yes- peanuts! It is wonderful. It is a requested dish ---I'll have to look into the pumpkin soup and invite a goat to dinner!

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    1. I'm good with everything but the peanuts!

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  4. My kind of book too! Love to learn about customs of other cultures. Will have to look for it at the library. Love the recipe at the end. Does sound yummy.

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  5. That goat's face is so winning! I don't know this one, thanks so much for the recommendation, Wendy!

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    1. Glad you think so, Joanna. I hoped it wasn't just me!

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  6. Oh my goodness, Wendy!!! What is not to LOVE about this book? I'm totally with you on the goat kissing, love the whole concept, and want pumpkin vegetable soup right now! Perhaps I'll swing by the library, get the book so I can read it, pick up ingredients and make soup! (Okay. I hear you laughing. But maybe at least I'll get the book :))

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    1. We're under a tornado watch so I'm skipping the errands for now. Maybe I'll send you my list? LOL

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  7. I think you have an interesting title in there too: Kiss the Goat!

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    1. You can be my idea fairy, Julie! It does sound good . . . .

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  8. The goat does look darling! I've been wanting to get a goat for milk but I'm not sure I'm willing to commit to milking it daily. :} Maybe I'll just read this book as a substitute.

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    1. Maybe get one just because it's so darn cute! (forget the milk).

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  9. This looks like a winner in every category! My library list is growing. I was to see the art for this one!

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    1. It will make you want to pick up every twig you see and DO something with them.

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  10. This sounds great! I love the goat's face! :D

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  11. I know all about goats in gardens! And other places that get them in trouble! I'm with you about the illustrations! I love collage stuff. This looks like an excellent book! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You could chase those goats for us, Rhythm! Or make friends. :)

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  12. Beautiful book. I love reading about other cultures. Yummy recipe. My favourite vege to grow are tomatoes.

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    1. Good for you! My tomatoes last year were terrible. Black spot and cracks . I wasn't paying good attention to them.

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