Pipkin of Pepper

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Overview

A companion to the best-selling Pumpkin Soup

Duck, Cat, and Squirrel, the three animal friends from Pumpkin Soup, are out of salt, a key ingredient of their special recipe. Duck insists upon coming along with Cat and Squirrel on the shopping trip to the city. It’s his first visit, and he’s a little scared, but he forgets everything when he spots a pepper store. What if they bought a pipkin of pepper to add to the soup? When he turns around to ...

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Overview

A companion to the best-selling Pumpkin Soup

Duck, Cat, and Squirrel, the three animal friends from Pumpkin Soup, are out of salt, a key ingredient of their special recipe. Duck insists upon coming along with Cat and Squirrel on the shopping trip to the city. It’s his first visit, and he’s a little scared, but he forgets everything when he spots a pepper store. What if they bought a pipkin of pepper to add to the soup? When he turns around to tell Cat and Squirrel about his great idea, he realizes they’re gone!

This perfect book about getting lost, with the sage reminder to stay put if you do, is illustrated with warm, cleverly detailed paintings.

A Pipkin of Pepper is a 2006 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cat, Squirrel and Duck, who first appeared in Pumpkin Soup (an "enchanting story that explores the ups and downs of close-knit camaraderie," said PW's starred review), think their newest batch of pumpkin soup is missing something in A Pipkin of Pepper by Helen Cooper. The trio heads to the city for spices, but gets separated. All ends well, however, with an appetizing finish. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Leap into young Duck's world. Duck is enthusiastic and oblivious and an altogether believable character that jumps out of the illustrations, giving the book the romping energy of a four- or five-year-old. In this continuation of Pumpkin Soup, the older Squirrel and Cat take Duck on a shopping trip. The every-present pot of pumpkin soup needs salt and salt is in the city. Unfortunately, Duck has a known tendency of wandering off. Squirrel tells Duck to stay put if he gets lost. "Better yet," says the Cat, "don't get lost at all." In the city, Duck sees a pepper shop and imagines peppered pumpkin soup. When he looks up his companions are gone. Suddenly, the pages are full of enthusiastic helpers working to reunite Duck, Cat and Squirrel. Brilliant colors with illustrations that jump off the page, and a safe lost and found story (along with good advice about what to do if you get lost) make this book appealing for pre-readers and their parents. 2005, Farrar Straus & Giroux, Ages 4 to 8.
—Amy S. Hansen
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-The trio from Pumpkin Soup (Farrar, 1999) is back again in another gentle tale of friendship and lessons learned. Once again, the animals are concocting their favorite brew of pumpkin soup when they realize that they've run out of salt. Cat announces that he's going shopping when directionally challenged, but headstrong little Duck insists on accompanying him. Cat relents only after Duck promises to "hold on tight" to avoid getting lost. A concerned Squirrel decides to bring up the rear on the trip to the city. With his friends on either side, Duck spies a pepper shop and decides that the flavoring would be a delicious addition to their soup. Squirrel begs to differ and he and Cat steam off in the direction of the salt shop, unknowingly leaving their distracted friend behind. Reminiscent of the panic of any youngster left alone in unfamiliar territory, Duck, in a terrible tizzy, becomes even more lost. A true-to-life, predictable resolution ensues although heightened by an overblown response by the police and fire departments. Readers will be reassured by this beguiling rendition of a common childhood experience. The rich coloration and expressive representations of the characters raise this story above the ordinary. Purchase this companion book where its predecessor is popular.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Cat, Squirrel and Duck, who live in a tea kettle-shaped house, are back to making their pumpkin soup when they discover they are out of salt-the only solution is to go into the city to buy more. Duck has never been there and begs to come along. Cat and Squirrel urge him to be careful and hold on tight and off they go. Duck, however, begins to think pepper would be a fine addition to their soup, and becomes completely distracted by the big city and his quest. He finds the pepper, but loses his friends and there's a great flurry of searching and calling Police Dogs and Fire Dogs. Nevertheless, all is well in the end. Cooper's glowing pictures are both gorgeous and delightful: The city is as detailed and richly colored as a mosaic, and the countryside where the trio live is full of leafy and golden tendrils and curlicues. Duck's packet of pepper turns out to be quite a lot (rather larger than a pipkin, in fact), but the friends pronounce the result "Delicious!" The type font is used quite inventively, with size, boldness and placement adding to the merriment. Two small bugs provide occasional snarky commentary. Cooper's Pumpkin Soup (1999) won the Kate Greenaway medal; this one's at least as charming. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374400248
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/2/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 0.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen Cooper was born in London in 1963. When she was two, she moved to a country town in Cumbria, in the north of England, where people collected their milk in cans from the farm, and fairies seemed to lurk in the wildflowers outside. It rained a lot and there weren’t enough kids to play with, but there were compensations: beautiful countryside, horses, and lots of time to write stories, draw pictures, play the piano, and read. When she grew up, Helen trained as a music teacher because that seemed sensible. Then she played in a band, and got a day job painting posh china animals to make ends meet. In the evenings, she taught herself to illustrate.

 

Her first book was published in 1987, and since then she has written and illustrated many books for children, including The Bear Under the Stairs, Dog Biscuit, Delicious! and Pumpkin Soup, winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and short-listed for the Kurt Maschler Award. Helen lives with her husband, Ted Dewan, who also writes and illustrates books. They live in Oxford, England, with their daughter, Pandora.

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