Stone Soup is an English original, written by Jon J Muth Shavick. This story has won the Caldecott Honor Award in 1948, and this book has won National Parenting Book Award. This is based on a folktale that exist in many countries, though different items (instead of stones) were used. This is the Chinese translated version.
The story is set in ancient China. Three strangers, hungry and tired, pass through a war-torn village. Embittered and suspicious from the war, the people hide their food and close their windows tight. There is no interaction amongst the neighours. That is, until the clever strangers suggest making a soup from stones. Intrigued by the idea, everyone brings what they have - big pots, carrots, mushrooms, noodles, etc, together. Everyone chipped in whatever they have. By evening, the villagers have made a feast fit for a king!
This is a nice and heartwarming story and the theme of the story is the strength that people possess when they work together.
This book is available in soft cover, in simplified chinese with no hanyu pinyin. For reading to a child, this book may suit children of 4 years and above. For self read, we would recommend this book for children above 9.
About the Author cum Illustrator
Jon J. Muth is an American comic book artist and children's book illustrator, very well-known for his painted artwork. He studied stone sculpture and shodō (brush calligraphy) in Japan; and studied painting, printmaking, and drawing in England, Austria, and Germany.
If you like Jon J. Muth's work, you may also like to check out The Three Questions 尼古拉的三个问题. This is a story about Nicholai' quest to find the answer to his three questions: What is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do? The Three Questions was a Book Sense book of the Year finalist.