Pumpkin Soup – Helen Cooper

POINTS: 3 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 points
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story:  2 points
Discretionary ideological points: 1 point

This book fails most of the metrics, but it’s still a pretty great little story. The characters are all male, as far as I can tell. (There are no gender pronouns attributed to the cat, so I suppose she could be a she, but there’s no real reason to think so.) And since the story only really involves three animals, we can’t really give it points for diversity.

It’s neat though, because at its heart it is about how friendship is more important than getting your way. The cat, the duck and the squirrel all live together in a house, and they make pumpkin soup together. Each one has their role, and all is great and harmonious. But then one day duck decides he wants to try stirring instead of adding the salt, and all hell breaks loose! This leads to duck leaving home! Shenanigans ensue! His friends worry about his well-being, and worry that maybe he doesn’t need them any more and is off making perfect soup all by himself without them.

But duck comes home and all is well. They let him stir. The soup is not as good as usual, but everyone is happy and the power of friendship overcomes culinary snobbishness.

It’s a cute little tale, and I am a fan of things that tout the importance of compromise in relationships. Lord knows many adults need to learn that one, so it’s nice to see it in a kids’ book.

C and I both enjoyed the book. The illustrations are really beautiful, and the text is fun to read. I mean its nothing subversive, but definitely worth a look.

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