Thursday, August 31, 2017

Blue Corn Soup

Blue Corn Soup
written by Caroline Stutson; illustrated by Teri Weidner
2017 (Sleeping Bear Press)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher

"What is this?" Mouse peeks outside.
Whiskers wiggle. Eyes grow wide.
Chipmunk, Rabbit, and Old Bear
smell her sopa, want to share.

Have you ever walked through a neighborhood during the summer and smelled the food someone was grilling? And wished they would invite you over? If you have, you will understand how the animals feel in Blue Corn Soup. With snow blanketing the ground, Mouse starts grinding corn. She's going to make sopa (soup) to keep her warm. Chipmunk lifts his head as he is chopping wood. Smelling the smoke, he wonders if someone is cooking soup. Abuelita (grandmother) stirs and sips. This sopa is going to need a little extra so she starts chopping pepper. While drawing water from a well, Rabbit smells the pinon smoke. He too wonders if soup is on the way. Once again Mouse takes a small taste. The sopa still needs more flavor so she adds pine nuts to the pot. Old Bear awakens from his bed with his nose full of the wonderful smell. He joins his neighbors in walking to the source of the outstanding aroma. Holding the pot, Mouse looks outside her door. Three large noses are disappointed that their eyes tell them there isn't enough sopa for everyone. But Mouse has a plan to save the day.

Can you have enough books about sharing in K-2? I don't think so. When sweet animals in lovely pastel colors are doing the sharing, that's all the better. Sharing is one of those activities that you want to emphasize all year round and provide plenty of examples that allow students to see it for themselves without having to be told to share. There's also opportunities to work with Spanish and English vocabulary which make for a good lesson on how to use context and illustrations to figure out a word. Finally, the repeated text in the story will make this book a fun shared reading and/or partner reading experience. Pull up a chair and get your biggest spoon. With a recipe at the end of the book, you'll want a big helping of Blue Corn Soup.

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