Stone Soup

Heartwarming folk tale teaches kids the joy of sharing.

What parents need to know

Educational value

This classic folk tale teaches an essential lesson about sharing. It also teaches children to identify a variety of vegetables.

Positive messages

Sharing food makes everything taste better.

Positive role models

The travelers deceive the townspeople, but they teach them a valuable lesson about sharing what they have.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Heather Forest's version of the classic folk tale "Stone Soup" is a faithful retelling of the story with the addition of a few engaging rhymes ("Bring what you've got! Put it in the pot!" etc.), and Susan Gaber's illustrations update the book by depicting a racially diverse village. This clever story teaches an essential lesson about the rewards of sharing. This is an important story about kindness to those less fortunate and sharing with our neighbors.

What's the story?

In this retelling of the classic folk tale STONE SOUP, two poor travelers arrive in a town and go door to door, begging for food, but no one will share with them. The travelers then announce to the town that they need a large pot to make magical "stone soup." They fill the pot with water and drop in a stone. Then they tell the villagers the soup would be better if they had a carrot. A child volunteers a carrot, and then different people begin to offer what they have: a potato, a green bean, a turnip, etc. Soon the pot is full of simmering vegetable soup. The travelers have tricked the villagers into learning how sharing makes everything more delicious, and results in plenty of food for all.

Is it any good?


"Stone Soup" is a favorite with young kids, who enjoy the "tricky" aspect of the story as much as its important lesson. This version includes a few catchy rhymes that help drive the message home, and Susan Gaber's colorful, multiracial illustrations of the town and its inhabitants offer a fresh take on the classic story.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about sharing. Can you think of a time when sharing made your food taste better, or made a game more fun?

  • Why do the travelers tell the townspeople they are making "stone soup"?

  • Have a "Stone Soup" party with a couple of friends. Make something to share (with help from a grown-up), and ask your friends to bring food to share, too.

Book details

Author:Heather Forest
Illustrator:Susan Gaber
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:August House
Publication date:December 15, 2005
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7
Read aloud:4 - 7
Read alone:6 - 7
Available on:Paperback, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, Kindle

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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