Posted on November 14th, 2013 by pajamapress
“It’s lovely for young readers to catch a glimpse of village life in Kenya. The sentences are short and tell their story with a lively pace. The textural cut paper and collage illustrations add a lovely touch, and will invite close attention to the happenings in the village as the communal soup is prepared. Bright backgrounds match the brilliance of the children’s attire and the soup recipe shared at the back had my mouth watering…it is that time of year for the comfort it brings…”
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Posted on November 5th, 2013 by pajamapress
“This is a book about school age children in Kenya who have a garden outside their school and work together to harvest the vegetables to make a communal soup for all to share. Unfortunately one child, unable to tie up her goats brings them to school where the children have a lot of laughs trying to stop them from eating their vegetables. At one point someone has the idea to milk the goats and add the milk to the communal soup which makes it more delicious.
This is a fun read that helps children understand the way of life of Kenyan school children and how different their life is from our own. It also describes the various vegetables and what goes into making soup and in the end even gives a recipe for making a pumpkin vegetable soup to make at home with an adult.
Curricular applications include learning about Kenya: discovering a world outside their own, how children work alongside parents and teachers and that children have chores to do before attending school, how community gardens work and how everyone gets to share in the work and in the cultivation, and how to make a communal soup and what goes in.
Thematic links: Children Working Together; Community Gardening and Cooking; Goats.”
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Posted on June 8th, 2013 by pajamapress
Mary’s little lamb becomes a village child’s goats in this quirky, Kenya-set tale of making pumpkin vegetable soup.
The story opens with children picking vegetables from a community garden. “But where is Kioni?” Kioni is looking for her goats. Suddenly, the text turns into a familiar rhyme, adapted to reflect its setting in an unnamed Kenyan village. Kioni’s goats “with hair of calico” almost eat the vegetables, but they make a better contribution to the soup instead (never fear: It’s just their milk). Textured collage illustrations combining natural materials and painted images show the busy children, the corn, pumpkin, sweet potato and other vegetables that make up the soup, and Kioni’s calico-haired goats. The simple text is set on harvest-toned pages opposite full-bleed pictures. At one point, two consecutive images carry the action. Two double-page spreads emphasize highlights: goats in the garden (“GO!”) and, at the end, goats and children each eating their appropriate foods. The story concludes with a recipe. Fullerton, who introduced young readers to rural Uganda in A Good Trade (illustrated by Karen Patkau; 2013), provides a positive picture of community cooperation in another rural setting, identified as Kenya in the publisher’s cataloging.
For reading aloud or alone, a nourishing choice. (Picture book. 4-7)
Posted on June 7th, 2013 by pajamapress
“…Fullerton is known more for her writing of juvenile books that have won her recognition and awards, but her foray into picture books is most welcome. Community Soup is her first effort to illustrate her own story. The simply told story uses sparse language, but it is the lively drawings that are so winning. Fullerton’s incredible 3D collage illustrations in mixed media fairly leap off the page and cleverly complement the text. Sticks, grass, ropes, material, and fur are all put to inventive use and enhance the marvelous paper artwork. Adding to the energetic feel of the art is the use of the bold colors and expressive faces…
Community gardening is at the heart of this delightful picture book, and one can sense the importance of this concept to the author. Fullerton’s dedication is worth noting.
For my mother and for Grandpa Talbot, who taught me that gardening can provide nourishment for both body and soul.
I would hope that teachers and adults reading to children would point out this special dedication to their readers.
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