Uncle Wille and the Soup Kitchen

Overview

"A straightforward fictional view of an urban soup kitchen, as observed by a boy visiting it with his 'Uncle Willie,' who works there every day....The difficult lives of those fed (including children)—as well as the friendly, nonintrusive attitude of the kitchen workers toward them—are presented sensitively but without sentimentality.

DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan's sensitive text and pictures show a bustling, friendly group of workers who welcome the young narrator into the caring world of the soup kitchen as...

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Overview

"A straightforward fictional view of an urban soup kitchen, as observed by a boy visiting it with his 'Uncle Willie,' who works there every day....The difficult lives of those fed (including children)—as well as the friendly, nonintrusive attitude of the kitchen workers toward them—are presented sensitively but without sentimentality.

DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan's sensitive text and pictures show a bustling, friendly group of workers who welcome the young narrator into the caring world of the soup kitchen as she deals with the problem of hunger at the level for children to understand. Full-color illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-- If good intentions made great picture books, this would be a winner. A young boy accompanies his after-school companion, Uncle Willie, to a city soup kitchen where Willie works daily. In a ``bed-to-bed'' manner of storytelling, readers are informed of the operation of the soup kitchen as the unnamed boy assumes the role of helper and narrator. There are some discrepancies in the text. How could the steaming soup pots on the stove ``make the whole place smell delicious'' before any of the ingredients have been added? If the soup kitchen is ``small and bright,'' how does it hold 125 people? These inconsistencies, however, are not so much of a drawback as the didactic tone. The competent pictures in soft pastels are sufficient to tell much of the story, but the long, repetitive text makes this book difficult to use as a read-aloud for story hours. Although this seems to be an accurate picture of a topic that is certainly of current concern, the format suggests a younger audience than the one for whom the subject matter would be most interesting and relevant. --Martha Rosen, Edgewood School, Scarsdale, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688152857
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/1997
  • Series: Reading Rainbow Bks.
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 281,878
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 450L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 0.07 (d)

Meet the Author

DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan's books include Grandpa's Corner Store, A Castle on Viola Street, City Green and Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen. She lives in Philadelphia. In Her Own Words...

"When I was a girl growing up in Brooklyn, New York, the oldest sibling of one brother and two sisters, I never thought that my art was among the very best. My mother and father recognized my art ability early on. It was because of their sensitivity that I eventually began to acknowledge my talent and enjoy my life as an artist. I remember when I was eight years old, looking at a book one day and thinking: I can make a better book. It was from that day on that I knew I wanted to be an artist and author of children's books. Consequently, whenever anyone asked me if wanted to be an artist When I grew up, I answered, "I am all artist already."

"I always loved a sharp pencil and a new piece of paper. As a young girl, I drew all the time. Even as a teenager, I stayed in my room and drew for hours. My favorite books as a child were the Madeline series, anything by Dr. Seuss, The Five Chinese Brothers, and A Big Ball of String.

"After attending college a[ the School of Visual Arts in New York, I moved to Kansas City, Missouri" in 1978 to work with Hallmark cards. While living in Kansas City, I set tip interviews with New York publishers whenever I went back home. My first book was Published by Western Publishing in 1980. Since then, That New Baby has sold over one million copies. It is even printed in Indonesian!

"Before I begin a book I can see the whole thing. I can sense tile color and pacing. Depending on the type of manuscript I am working with, sometimes I take a lot of photographs, sometimes I need to do historical research, sometimes I draw from my head. Usually, it is very easy for me to draw. If I find myself erasing too much, I will start all over and try to envision the picture in a new way.

My characters are based on people I know or people I have seen. I want children to be able to see themselves or their neighbors when they look at my illustrations. I want them to feel familiar. Many of my personal experiences become the source of inspiration for my stories. The story of Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen was born from the three years I spent working at a soup kitchen while I lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn. City Green was inspired by the garden lot that I passed on my way there. Inspiration for Grandpa’s Corner Store comes from a local grocer with many loyal customers (including me) in Haddon Heights, New Jersey. Before writing, A Castle on Viola Street, I worked for several months building and renovating houses in Camden, New Jersey, through a nonprofit group like Habitat for Humanity. I donate a percentage of my royalties from each book to the organization that they support. This is my way of contributing back to the communities and purposes my books provide.

Currently, I live in a historical town just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I like living in a small town. It is quiet and easy to think. But the moment I cross the Verranzano Bridge into Brooklyn, I am enchanted by the man sweeping outside the little bodega. I am charmed by three women talking on a street corner, holding the red-and-white strings of their bakery boxes. There are teenagers in curlers and kids scooping puddle water with spoons. From fire escapes to gum spots I see life in the buildings and movement on the sidewalks. I take out my sharp pencil and a clean piece of paper. I am an artist already."

DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan's books include Grandpa's Corner Store, A Castle on Viola Street, City Green and Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen. She lives in Philadelphia. In Her Own Words...

"When I was a girl growing up in Brooklyn, New York, the oldest sibling of one brother and two sisters, I never thought that my art was among the very best. My mother and father recognized my art ability early on. It was because of their sensitivity that I eventually began to acknowledge my talent and enjoy my life as an artist. I remember when I was eight years old, looking at a book one day and thinking: I can make a better book. It was from that day on that I knew I wanted to be an artist and author of children's books. Consequently, whenever anyone asked me if wanted to be an artist When I grew up, I answered, "I am all artist already."

"I always loved a sharp pencil and a new piece of paper. As a young girl, I drew all the time. Even as a teenager, I stayed in my room and drew for hours. My favorite books as a child were the Madeline series, anything by Dr. Seuss, The Five Chinese Brothers, and A Big Ball of String.

"After attending college a[ the School of Visual Arts in New York, I moved to Kansas City, Missouri" in 1978 to work with Hallmark cards. While living in Kansas City, I set tip interviews with New York publishers whenever I went back home. My first book was Published by Western Publishing in 1980. Since then, That New Baby has sold over one million copies. It is even printed in Indonesian!

"Before I begin a book I can see the whole thing. I can sense tile color and pacing. Depending on the type of manuscript I am working with, sometimes I take a lot of photographs, sometimes I need to do historical research, sometimes I draw from my head. Usually, it is very easy for me to draw. If I find myself erasing too much, I will start all over and try to envision the picture in a new way.

My characters are based on people I know or people I have seen. I want children to be able to see themselves or their neighbors when they look at my illustrations. I want them to feel familiar. Many of my personal experiences become the source of inspiration for my stories. The story of Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen was born from the three years I spent working at a soup kitchen while I lived in Park Slope, Brooklyn. City Green was inspired by the garden lot that I passed on my way there. Inspiration for Grandpa’s Corner Store comes from a local grocer with many loyal customers (including me) in Haddon Heights, New Jersey. Before writing, A Castle on Viola Street, I worked for several months building and renovating houses in Camden, New Jersey, through a nonprofit group like Habitat for Humanity. I donate a percentage of my royalties from each book to the organization that they support. This is my way of contributing back to the communities and purposes my books provide.

Currently, I live in a historical town just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I like living in a small town. It is quiet and easy to think. But the moment I cross the Verranzano Bridge into Brooklyn, I am enchanted by the man sweeping outside the little bodega. I am charmed by three women talking on a street corner, holding the red-and-white strings of their bakery boxes. There are teenagers in curlers and kids scooping puddle water with spoons. From fire escapes to gum spots I see life in the buildings and movement on the sidewalks. I take out my sharp pencil and a clean piece of paper. I am an artist already."

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