Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Soup Day, by Melissa Iwai (ages 2 - 6): Yummy, yummy good!

Did you know that January was National Soup Month? It's a perfect fit; on these cold winter days, soup is the perfect comfort food. A wonderful book to bring home is Soup Day, by Melissa Iwai. Inspired by her experiences cooking with her own son, Melissa Iwai has created a sweet picture book that you'll love sharing with your children.
Soup Day (Christy Ottaviano Books)Soup Day
by Melissa Iwai
New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2010
ages 2 - 6
available on Amazon and at your local library
One snowy winter day, a little girl and her mother decide that it's the perfect day for making soup. They first go to the market to pick out vegetables together. "I help Mommy pick out the vegetables. She says it's important to choose the freshest ones with the brightest colors." Once they get home, they prepare the soup -- washing, chopping and cooking the vegetables. At each step, the little girl helps her mommy.
Melissa Iwai has created a story that captures the magic of cooking from a child's point of view. Her gentle tone is calming and reassuring, but she also uses clear interesting language. I read this with 2nd graders who were studying how to write "how to" instructions, and they found this story interesting and engaging.

The illustrations in Soup Day are bright and colorful, and yet keep a gentle tone. Iwai has created collages with many textures of paper, and added acrylic paintings on top. This creates interesting, engaging pictures with many small details that children will enjoy. My students especially loved the ending, where the little girl tasted her soup with the alphabet pasta in it.
Soup Day is a yummy treat, indeed!  For more about Melissa Iwai, I really enjoyed reading her guest post at Cynsations. She also has a wonderful blog called The Hungry Artist, which celebrates her love of cooking and painting.

All pictures shared here are copyright Melissa Iwai, 2010. The review copy was kindly sent by the publisher. If you make a purchase using the Amazon links on this page, a small portion will go to Great Kid Books (at no cost to you). Thank you for your support!


  1. We made the soup in this book and it is really quite good!

  2. This looks wonderful! I love the curricular connections here but it also sounds like a perfect winter story to snuggle up and share. Thanks for the great review.

  3. What a delightful book - thank you for introducing me to Melissa Iwai's work.