Two hungry travelers arrive at a village expecting to find a household that will share a bit of food, as has been the custom along their journey. To their surprise, villager after villager refuses to share, each one closing the door with a bang. As they sit to rest beside a well, one of the travelers observes that if the townspeople have no food to share, they must be “in greater need than we are.” With that, the travelers demonstrate their special recipe for a magical soup, using a stone as a starter. All they need is a carrot, which a young girl volunteers. Not to be outdone, another villager contributes a potato, and the soup grows as others bring corn, celery, and other vegetables and seasonings. In this cumulative retelling of an ancient and widely circulated legend, author Heather Forest shows us that when each person makes a small contribution, “the collective impact can be huge.”
Susan Gaber’s paintings portray the optimism and timelessness of a story that celebrates teamwork and generosity. This story about community teaches readers the importance of sharing, generosity, and vegetables!
First published in 1947, this picture book classic has remained one of Marcia Brown’s most popular and enduring books. And we raised our children with this book.
Winner of Parents’ Choice Award & Bank Street College: Best Children’s Books of the Year