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Community Soup

Overview

In a garden outside a Kenyan schoolhouse, children are working together to harvest the vegetables they have grown and make them into a soup for everyone to share. But Kioni is having trouble: her mischievous goats have gotten into the garden and are wreaking havoc on the vegetables! Luckily, the resourceful children find a solution that ensures a tasty soup while saving Kioni's four-legged intruders at the same time.

Using rollicking verse with echoes of "Mary had a Little ...

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Overview

In a garden outside a Kenyan schoolhouse, children are working together to harvest the vegetables they have grown and make them into a soup for everyone to share. But Kioni is having trouble: her mischievous goats have gotten into the garden and are wreaking havoc on the vegetables! Luckily, the resourceful children find a solution that ensures a tasty soup while saving Kioni's four-legged intruders at the same time.

Using rollicking verse with echoes of "Mary had a Little Lamb," Alma Fullerton tells a lively story about communal projects and finding creative solutions that help everyone contribute. This tale for young readers is graced with Alma's striking mixed-media collage art.

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. Learn more at http://creationofhope.com.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The recipe for Fullerton’s second picture book, after A Good Trade, involves a bit of “Stone Soup,” a dash of “Mary Had a Little Lamb,” and a rural Kenyan setting. Outside a schoolhouse, children harvest vegetables for soup: “In the community garden, Jomo picks a pumpkin. Dalila plucks some beans. But where is Kioni?” Fullerton’s illustrations mix paper collage with mixed-media elements, and the next page shows a girl with big brown eyes and a yellow cloth dress carrying bundles of grass, finishing her chores. When Kioni finally arrives at school, her goats follow, wreaking minor havoc and letting Fullerton riff on a familiar nursery rhyme: “Kioni has a herd of goats,/ with hair of calico./ And everywhere Kioni goes,/ those goats are sure to—go!” The shift from prose to verse is awkward, and story ends abruptly, but there’s much to enjoy in Fullerton’s textured illustrations, from the goats’ wooly hides, to the dark green vegetation in the garden and thickly painted hills in the distance. A portion of sales benefits the Creation of Hope Project, which supports building community gardens in Kenya. Ages 4–7. (Aug.)
CM Magazine
"Fullerton's incredible 3D collage illustrations in mixed media fairly leap off the page and cleverly complement the text. Sticks, grass, ropes, material, and fur are all put to inventive use and enhance the marvelous paper artwork. Adding to the energetic feel of the art is the use of the bold colors and expressive faces...Community gardening is at the heart of this delightful picture book, and one can sense the importance of this concept to the author...Highly Recommended."
Quill & Quire
"The book’s spare text warmly invites the reader into the daily life of the village. The simple sentences have a conversational tone and the superb pacing makes for a lively read aloud...[Fullerton's] paper-sculpture illustrations are a visual feast...Textures seem tactile, from the rough, peeling bark on twigs to the softly curling tufts of the goats’ hair.Community Soup offers a satisfying blend of cooperation, hard work, and play."
Reading Today Online
“'It’s soup day!' The first line of this story draws readers into a day-in-the-life of Kenyan school community, which Fullerton depicts with mixed-media collage and paper-sculptures that lend a diorama-like depth to each scene...A satisfying and worthy purchase, a portion of this book’s earnings goes to the Creation of Hope Project, which supports community gardens at Kenyan schools."
Resource Links
"A fun read that helps children the way of life of Kenyan school children and how different life is from their own."
International Reading Association Reading Today Online
The first line of this story draws readers into a day-in-the-life of Kenyan school community, which Fullerton depicts with mixed-media collage and paper-sculptures that lend a diorama-like depth to each scene.
Children's Literature - Kasey Giard
On soup day, everyone in the community gathers to contribute something for the meal. Teachers stir the broth and children gather vegetables, but Kioni and her goats are missing. She is home finishing her chores. Soon she finds the goats and wrangles them home again, but not before expressing her frustration about their escape. Still, she makes it back in time to add the final ingredient, goat's milk to the soup. Fullerton weaves a simple, humorous story about a girl and her goats, complimented by brightly colored illustrations that look like snapshots of highly textured artwork. Each picture contains elements of cloth, leaves, seeds, or dried grass, and often feature children with wildly expressive faces. The book concludes with a delicious-looking recipe for a pumpkin vegetable soup, the same as the soup mentioned in the story. Children can read the story and enjoy its outcome at the dinner table. Recommended. Reviewer: Kasey Giard
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—With echoes of "Mary Had a Little Lamb," this amusing tale set in a Kenyan school garden tells the story of students and their teachers making soup. A girl's recalcitrant goats, however, do little to help with the process: "Kioni has a herd of goats,/with hair of calico./And everywhere Kioni goes,/those goats are sure to…Oh, no!" Finally, one clever student realizes that the animals have just the right ingredient to add to the meal: their milk. This title will be a fun read-aloud, with lots of opportunities for listeners to predict the upcoming action. The full-color, mixed-media collages steal the show. The illustrations add texture and vibrancy to the tale and advance the plot on several wordless pages. The book ends with a recipe for pumpkin vegetable soup. A great choice for group sharing or for units on communities.—Sara-Jo Lupo Sites, George F. Johnson Memorial Library, Endicott, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Mary's little lamb becomes a village child's goats in this quirky, Kenya-set tale of making pumpkin vegetable soup. The story opens with children picking vegetables from a community garden. "But where is Kioni?" Kioni is looking for her goats. Suddenly, the text turns into a familiar rhyme, adapted to reflect its setting in an unnamed Kenyan village. Kioni's goats "with hair of calico" almost eat the vegetables, but they make a better contribution to the soup instead (never fear: It's just their milk). Textured collage illustrations combining natural materials and painted images show the busy children, the corn, pumpkin, sweet potato and other vegetables that make up the soup, and Kioni's calico-haired goats. The simple text is set on harvest-toned pages opposite full-bleed pictures. At one point, two consecutive images carry the action. Two double-page spreads emphasize highlights: goats in the garden ("GO!") and, at the end, goats and children each eating their appropriate foods. The story concludes with a recipe. Fullerton, who introduced young readers to rural Uganda in A Good Trade (illustrated by Karen Patkau; 2013), provides a positive picture of community cooperation in another rural setting, identified as Kenya in the publisher's cataloging. (A portion of the book's profits will go to Creation of Hope, a project supporting orphans from and around Kikima, Kenya.) For reading aloud or alone, a nourishing choice. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781927485279
  • Publisher: Pajama Press Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 961,730
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD340L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Alma Fullerton's free-verse novels for juvenile and young adult readers have earned her multiple nominations and awards, including the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award and the CLA Book of the Year Honour. Her first picture book, A Good Trade, has been a White Ravens Choice, a Bank Street Best Book, and a nominee for the OLA Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award and the Kentucky Bluegrass Awards. In 2013 Alma wrote and illustrated Community Soup, to great acclaim. Alma lives in Midland, Ontario.

Alma Fullerton's free-verse novels for juvenile and young adult readers have earned her multiple nominations and awards, including the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award and the CLA Book of the Year Honour. Her first picture book, A Good Trade, has been a White Ravens Choice, a Bank Street Best Book, and a nominee for the OLA Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award and the Kentucky Bluegrass Awards. In 2013 Alma wrote and illustrated Community Soup, to great acclaim. Alma lives in Midland, Ontario.

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