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Mean Soup

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  166 ratings  ·  48 reviews
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
Paperback, 32 pages
Published March 27th 1995 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1992)
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Ginger Smith
I think this is a lesson we should remember as children and as adults - how to control our feelings, how to distract ourselves when we do get upset, and how to resolve these feelings. I love the nice big illustrations too as it makes it easy for kids of all age groups to read and follow along.
Mean Soup BY:
Horace comes home from a horrible day and his mom knows the perfect way to cheer him up. He is acting very mean all day and when he comes home he growls at his mother so she tells him that they are going to make soup. She shows him the recipe and he cannot believe what he is seeing! After a little bit of salt the real fun begins! They growl and yell and bang into the pot. Getting all of their pent up emotions out.

This book has adorable cartoonish drawings that work well with the t
Lauren Marotta
Horace has been having a very bad day and seems to be acting really mean. He has really mean temper, and is yelling at his mom for no particular reason. With the help of his mother she decides she has something that could definitely cure it! The author uses awesome images and funny language to send the message across to all children reading this book. They together decide to make a soup in which they let all there anger out but screaming into the pot and sticking out their tongue. The pictures a ...more
Zoie TouchstoneZ
The little boy in this book, Horace, comes home after a bad day. He’s feeling so mean that he hisses at his mother then throws a temper tantrum. So, his mom puts a pot of water on the stove and proceeds to make soup. She tosses some salt over her shoulder then playacts anger into the pot, inviting an intrigued Horace to join her. Together they scream and act out their anger into the pot.

I pulled this book out when my 3 year old was really mad and we read it together. We hissed, screamed and blew
Bestsy Everitt utilizes clever and witty images and text, but I believe the overarching theme of this picturebook will be lost on its targeted audience. Horace had a bad day at school and came home feeling very mean. In her attempt to cheere him up, Horace's mother suggest they make a "soup" in which they manage their anger by screaming into the pot and sticking out their tongue. The images are bright, cheerful and abstract. They depict the story perfectly, such as when Lulu, the show-and-tell c ...more
I picked up the (giant oversized) version of this book today to read to the pre-K class visiting my library. I was mostly just looking for something non-holiday based (that age group seems to get inundated with it in our town), but it ended up being kismet, as all of the kids had woken up from naps grumpy and "making bad choices" (as the new education lingo would say). I love the idea of screaming my meanness into the food I cook, and the artwork treads that lovely fine line of "child-like" (mea ...more
Jody Lewandowski
I really love this old book. This is life, and how we might handle it with a bit of acceptance, humor, and dignity.
This is a great book for teachers! I know that a lot of children have these kinds of days everyday and we send them home to their parents to deal with them because we decide that we just cant do it anymore. This is the great book to help us remind be reminded of the moods that we send our children home in compared to the mood that we could change before they go home, and if we can't this is how parents help. Making your children laugh and shake off their bad day is the best way to go, and this b ...more
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Horace is having a bad day. A love note from a classmate and having a cow step on your foot do not make for a good day. His mother meets him at home and suggests making soup. Into the boiling water she throws a little salt and a lot of screaming. And then some sticking out of tongues and growling. This is her recipe for dealing with a bad day.

Yes, let's encourage kids to think that messing around with boiling water in any form other than cooking is a good thing...
It had been one of those days when my daughter picked up this book. It was the perfect book to relieve the tension in the house. This book is about a little boy who is having one of those days where nothing is going right and it is just easiest to lie on the floor and kick and scream. The mommy has the idea to make Mean Soup... they scream into the pot of water and they make faces into it and take out their aggression on the soup and not on each other.
Jessica Jackson
I read this book to my preschool bunch when we were exploring "anger." I did change the word "mean" to "mad" or "angry" throughout the book. They had fun with it. They growled and stamped their feet right along with Horace. Nice message -- channel your anger. Kudos to the mom character, because she models redirection (tuning into her child's needs, and helping him to channel them positively-- into soup, no less!)
I read this book out loud to a Bedtime Storytime group. It was a big hit. The main character, Horace, has had a bad day. His mother picks him up after school, and he's so angry on the way home that he can only hiss instead of talking. She starts making soup when they get home, and elicits Horace's help, growling, hissing and screaming into the pot. By the time they are finished, both of them are smiling.
Chloe Jackson
Mean Soup talks about a little boy named Horace who is having a horrible day at school. When he gets home his mom and him make Mean Soup together to help him release his anger. I like reading this story to children of all ages because everyone gets anger. This story sends a great message to children that there are fun things that you can do to release your anger in a positive way.
This book had very cute illustrations and it is about a mother helping her son get out all of his frustrations and anger. I thought that it sent a good message of no matter how frustrated you are, that not to take your frustrations out on other people.
Chanel Debooy
This book is really good for kids because it shows them how to get over something little and improve their day. It's a great book to read with a parent, or grandparent. It was funny watching the boy take his anger out on silly things, like soup!
This is a recipe for a way to open up the lines of communication between mothers and sons. Kids have bad days too and sometimes a little creative funny humor can go along way to fix a bad mood. A little laughter can turn a frown into a smile.
I like this book because it teaches kids other ways to take out their anger and aggression as opposed to being mean to their mother or stepping on flowers! This is a really good lesson on how to handle negative feelings. I thought it was cute.
While the illustrations are a little sharp and jarring, I do like this book and its bratty protagonist/antagonist. My daughter continually gravitates to this book, so there must be something appealing about it for the younger crowd too.
Got a cranky preschooler or grade-schooler? Make a big pot of Mean Soup! This is a great book to read aloud as you and your child can make all the sound effects together. By the end, you and your grumpy child will be laughing.
Feb 18, 2012 Maggie added it
I love the pictures in this book. They are so colorful and mood specific, chaos and anger. The relationship between Horace and his mother is good for kids to experience, that mom knows best and is there for you no matter what.
This book is about a mother helping her son express all of his frustrations and anger. I thought that it sent a good message of no matter how frustrated you are, that not to take your frustrations out on other people.
Abbi Kraus
This is a great book because it shows how you can make someone's day better without material things. It's also a good family book. I loved the way the boy reacted when he took his anger out on the soup.
Perfectly simple and meaningful story. Listened to this at a story time at the Minnesota Children's Museum and love it at home too. We might have to make our own mean soup one of these days!
Brittany White
Such a cute book. It would make a great read in a Pre-K or Kindergarten class, and perhaps even First grade. I love the idea of letting off some steam by yelling into a pot of soup!
Oct 05, 2009 Jeannie rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeannie by: Literature for Little Learners
Feeling mean or had a bad day? Make up a batch of "Mean Soup." Great book for talking about feelings . . . as a sensitive mom helps her youngster cope and deal with a bad day.
Leanne Krausmann
This book shows students that there are many different ways that you can calm down after having a a bad day. It is humorous and a story that all young children can relate to.
Horace is having the WORST of days...what can be worse than a love letter at school from a GIRL!!! Mom, in great parenting tradition, finds a way to alter her poor son's mood.
Alana Graham
I liked that this book illustrates a positive way to deal with negative emotions. The little boy in this book has a horrible day. It's a story we can all relate to.
Logan only gave this book two stars. I've upped our rating of it though because it is a great conversation starter about what to do with those mean feelings.
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