Children's books and book reviews - reading resource for kids, teachers, librarians, parents

*Bone Soup* by Cambria Evans
Bone Soup
by Cambria Evans
Ages 4-8 32 pages Houghton Mifflin September 2008 Hardcover    

Mix a little stewed eyeball, bat wing and frog leg into an old tale about stone soup, and you get Bone Soup - a clever story perfect for those craving a little taste of Halloween.

Finnigin the skeleton may be all bones, but his appetite is huge - so huge that everyone in town hides their food when they hear he’s nearby. The beast hides his bat wings in a cupboard while the zombies choose the cellar to hide their supply of frog legs.

With no food in sight, there will be no Halloween feast. Finnigin has no reason to put down his eating stool and nothing to taste with his eating spoon. Finnigin does have access to the town’s largest cauldron, though, and the main ingredient for bone soup.

But an old, dry bone isn’t what makes bone soup so tasty - it’s what Finnigin (with the help of a little werewolf) convinces the townfolk to add to the cauldron. As everyone takes their ingredients out of hiding, a delicious soup is made and a memorable Halloween night is had by all.

Cambria Evans illustrated Bone Soup using pen, watercolor, and collage with digital color. Although the main character is a skeleton, and a witch, a mummy, a beast and a family of zombies appear throughout the book, the characters are drawn to be more cute than scary. The mummy has a red bow on top of her head, the beast is wide-eyed and innocent, and as evident by the pictures hanging on everyone’s walls, all the monsters come from loving families. Finnigin is traveling at night: the sky is getting dark, the windows are black, and shadows appear on the ground. The brighter colors that do appear in Bone Soup can be seen in the soup illustrations and on the characters' clothing.

As readers make their way through the book, they get to know the characters a little better and see how their opinions change by reading the speech balloons that appear on several pages. Fun labeling, a sneak peek into the houses, and a close-up illustration of Bone Soup are just some of the extras that make these illustrations so wonderful.

Finnigin’s stomach may be empty, but his mind is not! This skeleton has a head on his shoulders filled with good ideas and quick-thinking solutions. This book reminds young readers about the importance of sharing and working together - even on Halloween night!

Cambria Evans is the author and illustrator of Bone Soup. Working as a freelance designer and children’s book author and illustrator, her previous picture book is entitled Martha Moth Makes Socks. She and her husband live in Brooklyn.

click here to browse children's board book reviews
click here to browse children's picture book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young readers book reviews
click here to browse young adult book reviews
click here to browse parenting book reviews
web reviews
  Tanya Boudreau/2008 for curled up with a good kid's book  

For grown-up fiction, nonfiction and speculative fiction book reviews,
visit our sister site Curled Up With a Good Book (