Soup Day

Soup Day by Melissa Iwai

Today is soup day, so a little girl and her mother head to the store through the snowy streets.  There they buy the ingredients for their soup, careful to choose the vegetables with the brightest colors.  They pick out green celery, yellow onions, orange carrots, white mushrooms and more.  Back at home, they wash the vegetables and cut them into little pieces.  The little girl gets to help with a plastic knife and the softer veggies.  After sautéing the vegetables, broth is added and the soup cooks.  The mother and child play together as the smell of soup fills the house.  Finally spices and pasta are added and then they sit down to dinner with Daddy. 

Iwai has captured cooking from a child’s point of view.  The selection of vegetables mentioning their colors is done with a gentle tone, and most children will not notice that colors are being reviewed in that part of the story.  The focus on what the little girl is able to do is charming and affirming for children.  Seeing her pride and involvement is a large part of the story. 

Iwai’s illustrations are done with acrylics and collage and Photoshop.  They mix the textures of textiles with the crispness of photos and the brushstrokes of painting.  The result is a rich blend that makes for engaging illustrations.  The book is printed on nice heavy pages, making it welcoming for toddler hands.

This book is as warm and welcoming as a big bowl of homemade soup.  Add it to your recipe for a great story time or a unit on soup or food.  It would be ideal paired with a version of Stone Soup.  Appropriate for ages 2-4.

Reviewed from copy received from Macmillan.