Soup for Breakfast


From the inner workings of Grandpa’s nose hair to noodles in a haystack, Calef Brown once again proves he is a master of hilarious poetic imponderables such as . . . donuts:

Why do all grownups like donuts so much?
They rave about flavors and fillings and such.
They praise all the glazes. They savor the dough.
Donuts are tasty. We get it! ...

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From the inner workings of Grandpa’s nose hair to noodles in a haystack, Calef Brown once again proves he is a master of hilarious poetic imponderables such as . . . donuts:

Why do all grownups like donuts so much?
They rave about flavors and fillings and such.
They praise all the glazes. They savor the dough.
Donuts are tasty. We get it! We know!!

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"As in Flamingos on the Roof (2006) and Brown’s other titles, the words’ playful sounds are a big part of the fun for young readers, and the lines are filled with the weird puns and unexpected rhymes . . . A good choice for energizing poetry units."—Booklist

"[Brown] once again demonstrates his inventiveness, both through his poetry and his pictures."
Horn Book

Publishers Weekly

Brown's (Dutch Sneakers and Flea Keepers) fun-filled poems feature an unpredictable range of topics and imagery. The poet-illustrator toys with pronunciation in his "Tongue Tester" ("Stealthy thieves/ in knit wool caps/ collect antiques/ in thick cloth sacks") and, again, in "The Egret," the mock-doleful tale of a man who "told a secret/ to an egret," and "got a talking-to/ from the cockatoo,/ and the cuckoo too." He offsets each poem with one of his flat, idiosyncratic paintings; with their oddball beasts and improbable color combinations, his pictures are somewhere between surreal and folk art. For the title poem ("I'm not a fan/ of toast and jam... / or even Cream of Wheat./ A bowl of cream of broccoli, / now there's a morning treat"), Brown depicts a fellow with lavender skin smiling crookedly at pea-green broth, while someone else brandishes an ordinary takeout coffee cup. In "Painting on Toast," an artist places some bread on an easel and composes a scene using dollops of jam and cream cheese. A smorgasbord of punditry and weirdness, this collection will remind kids that poetry and pictures can exist just for kicks. Ages 4-8. (Nov.)

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Children's Literature - Suzanna E. Henshon
Have you ever eaten soup for breakfast? In this delicious book young readers will enjoy sifting through the poems and pictures of Calef Brown's imagination. In his first poem, Brown writes, "I wish I had bear paws instead of hands./ No one understands." In the accompanying illustration, a boy shows off his bear claws. Children will enjoy exploring the parking lot that time forgot, the oilcloth table cloth, and the egret in poems that follow. "Architots" is particularly irresistible. Brown begins with the line, "Lots and lots of architects/begin their lives as ‘architots.'" Readers watch these children building houses, schools, and shops. Brown concludes, "What will they imagine next?/ Future famous architects." The title piece poem, "Soup for Breakfast," is at the center of the book and begins and ends with the line, "I like soup for breakfast." This book of poetry contains scenes children will gobble up—a family spilling orange juice under the table, a two-dimensional cat, two thieves ransacking a house, a man painting a masterpiece on a piece of toast, a young moth exploring the skies, and wonderful illustrations of children and adults consuming donuts. Children and parents will enjoy this humorous, fun book of poetry, and the illustrations capture these fun scenes perfectly. Reviewer: Suzanna E. Henshon, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 3-6

The combination of stylized illustrations and offbeat verse makes this collection both adventurous and fun. Brown's poems rhyme and roll easily off the tongue except for a tongue twister that playfully makes readers falter a bit. Ranging from the eponymous "Soup for Breakfast" to a selection about Grandpa's mustache, the poems are just off center enough to appeal to kids. "The Egret" is a silly selection packed with alliteration about regretting ever telling the blabbermouth bird a secret. "One to Ten" is a marvelous exercise in creativity embedded in a poem. Standing as a gentle reminder of our role in caring for others in this world is "The Mark." Brown's varied topics and deft touch coupled with his distinctive art make this title a must-have for both school and public libraries.-Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618916412
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 11/10/2008
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 796,038
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Calef Brown began his career as a tour guide at an early age, when he discovered the simple joy of pointing things out. He is also an artist, writer, and frequently a blue elephant. Mr. Brown’s illustrations have appeared in many magazines and newspapers, and his paintings have been exhibited in N.Y., L.A., S.F., and other places without fancy initials, like Osaka and Rome. He lives in Maine.
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