Friends, you need to get your big fat paws on this brand new picture book. Talk about a roarin’ good time!
Here I was, my meek, mild-mannered self minding my own business, when this ferociously funny SOUP BOOK growled at me. Open me, read me, devour me, it said, slurp. up. every. word! Who am I to ignore such a request?
Seriously. I didn’t stand a chance from the get-go. When I opened the book, I saw this:
See what I mean? Look at the endpapers! I want to marry them.
In Tiger in My Soup by Kashmira Sheth and Jeffrey Ebbeler (Peachtree Publishers, 2013), a young boy left in the care of his older sister begs her to read his favorite tiger book to him. Alas and alack, she is too absorbed in her own book to pay him any attention, prompting the boy to pull out his most imaginative stops to get her to change her mind.
She remains totally unfazed by his emphatic pleas, so he demands lunch. What does she serve him? A hot bowl of ALPHABET SOUP! That would have been plenty exciting enough for me, but when the boy stirs his soup, a tiger materializes from the steam (and the pasta letters spell out “R-O-A-R”)!
Well, one cannot just calmly sip and slurp when an angry tiger (growing bigger by the minute) threatens your very existence. The boy confronts the tiger — whisk, ladle, can opener in hand — leaping atop chairs, careening over tables, stabbing, wrestling, courageously battling the beast at every turn, while big sister calmly continues to read and read (ho-hum). What’s a boy to do?
Well, she finally “looks up from her book,” offers to reheat his soup, but tsk tsk, doesn’t heed his warning to “Look out for the tiger!” who rumbles from the microwave.
She just sighs, but finally finally finally begins reading the tiger book to him . . . and, then, WHOA . . . well, I won’t tell you the ending, but let’s just say: better watch what you ask for, cause tigers can sometimes lurk in the most unexpected places. *mwwahahahaha!*
This lively story is great fun to read aloud (you get to practice your grrrrrrrs), and Ebbeler’s art, replete with what Publishers Weekly calls “abundant visual hyperbole”, ramps up the energy and excitement tenfold, “gleefully building on Sheth’s prose with dynamic perspectives” and hair-raising details (the angular house perilously perched atop a rocky promontory sets the stage for the unexpected).
The realistically drawn tiger looms large and is ever menacing, personifying the intensity of children at play, and the humorous touches (a comical seagull + over-the-top facial expressions and gestures) nicely garnish this rumbly uproarious story soup.
Tiger in My Soup will be officially released in April, and it’s already garnered *starred reviews* from Kirkus and Publishers Weekly. This is definitely not your mother’s chicken noodle and will easily become a favorite of hungry readers everywhere. Don’t be surprised (or scared) if they ROAR for more.
So, what are the author’s and illustrator’s favorite soups?
Kashmira likes tomato soup, Indian style with cumin, curry leaves and cilantro:
and Jeffrey likes Tom kha kai (a spicy Thai coconut milk-based soup with chicken, lemongrass, mushrooms, etc.) Hot stuff!
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TIGER IN MY SOUP
written by Kashmira Sheth
illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler
published by Peachtree Publishers, April 2013
Full Color Picture Book for ages 4-8, 32 pp.
Cool themes: brothers and sisters, babysitters, humor, soup, tigers, books and reading
*Best enjoyed with your own bowl of Alphabet Soup!
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♥ SECONDS ♥
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Copyright © 2013 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.