Mean Soup
Mean Soup
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Annotation: Horace feels really mean at the end of a bad day, until he helps his mother make Mean Soup.
Catalog Number: #193602
Format: Perma-Bound Big Book
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Big Book Big Book
Publisher: Harcourt
Copyright Date: 1992
Edition Date: 1992
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-15-200231-6
ISBN 13: 978-0-15-200231-2
Dewey: E
LCCN: 91015244
Dimensions: 45 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
When Horace has a bad day at school, his mother sets water on the stove, screams into the pot, and then gives Horace a turn. Horace screams, growls, and bangs on the side of the soup pot until both he and his mother begin to smile, 'stirring away a bad day.' Everitt's bright, stylized paintings illustrate the story of a mother's ingenuity.
Publishers Weekly
Horace's mother cooks up an antidote to a bad day in a story that ``bubbles with a building excitement''; paintings ``convey all of the feisty emotion of a frustrated youngster,'' said PW. Ages 3-8.(Mar.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-- An unsatisying blend of realism and fantasy that may confuse young children. Horace has had a bad day--including getting stepped on by a show-and-tell cow and riding home with Miss Pearl, who nearly kills three poodles on the way. He feels mean, so his sympathetic mother suggests that they make soup. She salts a pot of boiling water and then they take turns screaming into it and sticking their tongues out at it. Horace also bangs a spoon on the side of the pot while it boils on the stove (an unsafe practice) and, in a jarring departure from realism, he breathes ``his best dragon breath,'' at which point flames emerge from his mouth. At last Horace smiles. The text is appropriately simple and direct. The stylized gouache paintings are large and clear enough for group sharing. They are boldly colored, energetically composed, and sometimes offbeat and silly. The final scene depicts Horace and his mother ``stirring away the bad day,'' but their backs are to the readers, which unfortunately lessens the emotional impact. Sharmat's Attila the Angry (Holiday, 1985) or Simon's I Was So Mad! (Albert Whitman, 1974) are for slightly older children, focusing on a broader range of emotions. --Cynthia K. Richey, Mt. Lebanon Public Library, Pittsburgh, PA
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* As Holly Golightly says, in Breakfast at Tiffany's that the blues are one thing, but the mean reds are something else. Young Horace has a bad case of the mean reds, brought on by forgetting the answer to question number three, getting a love note from Zelda, and almost being stepped on by a cow someone has brought for show-and-tell. The day proceeds on its downward spiral until, by the time Horace gets home, he's feeling so nasty he steps on a flower. Mother understands all and, instead of castigating, chooses cooking. Together, they stand at the stove, boil water, and toss in all sorts of hisses, groans, and horrible thoughts. By the time the mean soup is fully prepared, Horace is smiling once more. For the book Mean Soup the recipe is as follows: (1) clever text spiced with one or two outrageous bits (Lulu, the show-and-tell cow); (2) a grand message about getting out anger instead of locking it inside; and (3) exciting artwork as full of life as the story. The style here seems to be art deco meets new wave. The bold, rounded characters with their simply drawn faces have a definite 1930s sensibility, but the neon colors are all hot pinks, passionate purples, and sunny yellows. To add to the effect, geometric borders frame whole scenes or pieces of the action. If it sounds complicated, it's not--just joyful. This tastes good going down. (Reviewed Mar. 15, 1992)
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (3/1/92)
ALA Booklist (3/1/92)
Horn Book (4/1/92)
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 6,211
Reading Level: 1.7
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.1 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 40790 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:1.1 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q07529
Lexile: 430L

It has been a bad day for Horace. A very bad day. He's come home feeling mean. But his mother knows just what to do! "For the book Mean Soup, the recipe is as follows: (1) clever text spiced with one or two outrageous bits; (2) a grand message about getting out anger instead of locking it inside; and (3) exciting artwork as full of life as the story."-- Booklist

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