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Bone Soup

Last updated Sunday, February 26, 2012

Author: Cambria Evans
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 0618809082
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2011

Synopsis: From School Library Journal
Even the zombies are lovable in Evans's charming Halloween-themed rendition of "Stone Soup." The skeletal Finnigin, a macabre but friendly feasting traveler, is known far and wide for his ravenous appetite. When he comes upon a beautiful barren land, he is sure that a wonderful Halloween feast awaits him. But a flying witch catches sight of him and warns the beast, the zombies, and the mummy of his approach. They all quickly pack away their prized stewed eyeballs and bat wings and turn Finnigin away when he comes calling. Undeterred, he cleverly begins to brew a soup with his magic bone, and, one by one, each creature emerges to investigate. Seasoned with sprightly, luminescent watercolors and the perfect dose of gross-out factor, this tale has all the right ingredients for a hearty storytime. Early elementary audiences will especially appreciate the spread that points out all the gloriously awful additions to the yellow-green soup—spider eggs, dried mouse droppings, toenail clippings, dandelions, and other assorted items fit for creatures of the night. Bone Soup is a welcome addition to the holiday repertoire, as well as a pleasurable read for students completing comparative folktale assignments

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever felt out-of-place? How did you feel?
•  What items do you think would go into making Bone Soup?
•  Do you love eating? What are your favorite foods?
•  What is the story behind Halloween?
•  What is your favorite part of Halloween? Vocabulary:
•  Ravenous-extremely hungry
•  Barren-empty, bare
•  Impending-about to happen; coming
•  Locusts-grasshoppers; any member of the cicada family
•  Undaunted-undismayed; not afraid or not giving up
•  Wistful-longing; wishing for

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you think the bone was magic? If not, what do you think was the “real” magic?
•  What do you think was the ingredient in the soup that made it so tasty to everyone?
•  Why do you think the witch was so rude to Finnigan? Have you ever been rude to someone that you’ve never met, but heard bad things about? Has anyone ever been rude to you because they heard bad things about you?
•  Do you think Finnigan was right when he said the soup was better when eaten with others?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a dance that the whole town could’ve sang for the Halloween feast.
•  Draw and write down a few recipes for your own favorite Halloween/holiday treats.
•  List the items that you would use to make your own Bone Soup. Now see how this compares to what you originally said when you were asked the same question (see above) before you read the story.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!