Stone Soup retold and il by Jon J. Muth.
Scholastic Press: NY, 2003.

Stone Soup is a lesson in sharing based on a European folktale. Three visitors trick nontrusting townspeople into contributing food from their own supplies to make a soup the visitors start from stones.

Muth's version is set in a mountainous area of China. The three visitors are Buddhist monks, with the names of Zen deities, focusing on what makes people happy. There is elegance and humor in Muth's paintings and storytelling.

I have liked the folktale since reading Marcia Brown's version for a college class. It is set in France with the visitors being soldiers returning from a war, which I didn't want to read to my innocent child. I also felt uncomfortable about the explanation of the townspeople. There is a strength to the story, though the text is much simpler than Muth's version. Need to look at pictures to compare. I was impressed by Brown's story originally, but I think Muth has made a great story even better by instilling humor and grace into it. I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading Marcia Brown's book. Read them both and compare for yourself.

related-sharing, community vs mistrust, happiness, generosity
RL=1st-3rd, read aloud to toddler & up

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