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Grandpa's Soup
     

Grandpa's Soup

by Eiko Kadono, Satomi Ichikawa (Illustrator)
 

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I want to eat hot soup, the meatball soup my wife used to make for me.

When Grandma dies, Grandpa is too sad to do anything. All day long, day after day, he sits by himself in his house. Then, one day, Grandpa wakes up and decides to try to make the soup his wife used to make for him. Though each batch he makes is bigger and better than the last,

Overview

I want to eat hot soup, the meatball soup my wife used to make for me.

When Grandma dies, Grandpa is too sad to do anything. All day long, day after day, he sits by himself in his house. Then, one day, Grandpa wakes up and decides to try to make the soup his wife used to make for him. Though each batch he makes is bigger and better than the last, Grandpa hardly gets a taste of it. Unexpected visitors, hungry for soup, keep arriving at his door. Soon, Grandpa discovers that sharing with his new friends is the best cure for his loneliness.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Ichikawa's lifelike paintings brim with particulars, such as figures outlined on the door's curtain to foreshadow the identities of each batch of hungry diners. Spot art appears alongside the text, helping youngsters read between the lines. Originally published in Japan, this endearing book features a multiethnic cast, and the message, too, transcends cultures.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Since Grandma's death, Grandpa has been too sad to do anything; he just sits in his house all day. One morning, he decides to make a batch of his late wife's meatball soup. Pulling his smallest pot from the shelf, the man sings the song she sang as she cooked ("Boil the water./ Roll the meatballs round..../ Add a little salt and pepper./ Add a little butter"). Three mice appear in the kitchen, drawn by the aroma, and Grandpa invites them to eat. Only a small portion remains for Grandpa, who is disappointed to find out that his soup doesn't taste as good as his wife's. On successive days, Grandpa prepares soup in progressively larger pots, each time remembering a new line of the cooking song ("Chop some tiny onions"). The drop-in guests multiply, finally including a handful of animals and 10 amiable children. Ichikawa's (Dance, Tanya) lifelike paintings brim with particulars, such as figures outlined on the door's curtain to foreshadow the identities of each batch of hungry diners. Spot art (which depicts Grandpa's range of pots, china bowls appropriately sized for his various visitors and the additions to his evolving recipe) appears alongside the text, helping youngsters read between the lines. Originally published in Japan, this endearing book features a multiethnic cast, and the message, too, transcends cultures. Ages 2-8. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Judy Silverman
Grandpa's state of mind at the beginning of this book verges on the clinically depressed. He's terribly lonely since his wife died. He drinks milk that is delivered and eats bread he buys at the store. But one day he decides to make the soup that his wife had made for him. He isn't quite successful. But he doesn't give up, and with the "help" of visiting mice, a cat, and a dog he eventually remembers the song she used to sing as she made it. Eventually all the children visit him, too, to help him eat his soup. The subtext, that mourning and grief, however deep, doesn't mean life is over, is never spelled out, but is painted gently. Why did Grandpa "snap out of" his depression? We're not told--he probably doesn't know himself. This book is lovely, and the illustrations are perfect for the text.
From the Publisher
AWARDS and RECOGNITIONS
American Booksellers AssociationBookselling This Week: "Kids Pick of the Lists" (2000)
Parent Council, Ltd.Selected as Outstanding (2000)
Bank Street CollegeBest of the Best, Outstanding Books of 1997 to 2001


Children's Literature
"This book is lovely, and the illustrations are perfect for the text."

 
The Horn Book Guide
"Unhappy after Grandma's death, Grandpa finally decides to re-create the soup she used to cook. With each try, he remembers another ingredient, and every day he shares his soup with an increasing number of guests ? from mice to children. In this simple but eloquent story, the illustrations become lighter, more colorful, and larger as Grandpa's spirits improve and expand."
 
Booklist
"The story is translated from Japanese, but its gentle lessons on coping with grief are applicable to any culture."
 
Publishers Weekly
"Ichikawa's lifelike paintings brim with particulars, such as figures outlined on the door's curtain to foreshadow the identities of each batch of hungry diners. Spot art appears alongside the text, helping youngsters read between the lines. Originally published in Japan, this endearing book features a multiethnic cast, and the message, too, transcends cultures."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802851956
Publisher:
Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/28/1999
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.26(w) x 10.12(h) x 0.36(d)
Age Range:
2 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Eiko Kadono was born in Tokyo. After graduating from WasedaUniversity, she has made a career of writing picture booksand fairy tales. She has received numerous book awards inJapan.

Satomi Ichikawa was born in Gihu, Japan, and moved to Parisin the 1970s. She is known for the warmth and charm shebrings to her characters and has won numerous awards forher book illustrations. Satomi is perhaps best known in theUnited States as the illustrator of Dance, Tanya byPatricia Gauch.

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