Stone Soup: An Old Tale by Marcia Brown

Stone Soup: An Old Tale by Marcia Brown

Stone_Soup

Publishing: Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1947

Awards: 1948 Caldecott Honor Book

Description: A trio of tired, hungry soldiers coming back from the war stop in a small village to ask for something to eat. The villagers, seeing the men coming, hide all of their food away and tell the soldiers they don’t have any when asked. The soldiers come up with a plan to make “Stone soup” and in doing so trick the villagers to bring out the ingredients for the soup. The town is fooled, they have a large feast with the soup, bread, and cider, then they dance the night away. They let the soldiers sleep in their homes, and the soldiers leave the next day full and well-rested with the townspeople none the wiser.

Programming: Before reading, ask students to tell you about soups they have eaten and what ingredients go in them, maybe even read some recipes. After reading, recap and have them explain how the soldiers tricked the townspeople. If possible, make your own soup.

Cinderella by Marcia Brown

Cinderella by Marcia Brown

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Publishing: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, New York, 1954

Awards: Caldecott Medal Winner

Description: This book is the traditional Cinderella tale. There is quite a bit of text by today’s standards, and illustrations are line drawings with pastel colors. 

Programming: This list from the ALA has a lot of great resources for Cinderella stories from many different cultures. Students could read several of these and compare and contrast. There are also several film adaptations of the tale, and crafts might include making their own crowns or shoes. 

Once a Mouse… by Marcia Brown

Once a Mouse… by Marcia Brown

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Publishing: Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1961

Awards: Caldecott Medal Winner

Description: This book tells the fable of a mouse who is transformed through the protection of a hermit from a mouse, to a cat, to a dog, and finally to a grand tiger. However, when the tiger’s pride is too much, the hermit changes him back to humble him.

Programming: Since this story deals with Indian culture, students might find India on the map and discuss characteristics of the culture of India. Discussion should also revolve around why the hermit changed the tiger back to a mouse.