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Pumpkin Soup

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  1,816 Ratings  ·  174 Reviews
By the Kate Greenaway Medalist

Deep in the woods in an old white cabin, three friends make their pumpkin soup the same way every day. The Cat slices up the pumpkin, the Squirrel stirs in the water, and the Duck tips in just enough salt. But one day the Duck wants to stir instead, and then there is a horrible squabble, and he leaves the cabin in a huff. It isn't long before
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published 1998)
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Helen Cooper is a Kate Greenaway Medalist and, after enjoying her lovely, lush and humorous illustrations in "Pumpkin Soup" I can see why! This is a fun story, perfect for autumn. Rather than having a Halloween-focus, the tale is more about friendship and branching out from traditional roles within the group (and allowing your friends to try new things!) It will also make a fun read-aloud with things going KERLPUNK and affording the reader an opportunity to talk like cat, duck and squirrel! ;-&g ...more
Lisa Vegan
Some of the illustrations were just precious (in a good way) and some I wanted to appreciate more than I did. They are unusual and wonderfully large. I think part of my issue was with the three animal characters. The soup, house, outdoor scenes were all lovely and/or spectacular.

This story of three friends is a sweet story about friendship, and about allowing friends to change, although I didn’t entirely get past a cat, duck, and squirrel being friends, what with my adult sensibilities that som
I would give this book 6 stars if I could just for the illustrations. Helen Cooper writes and illustrates such a good little story of learning to let others grow, missing someone when they are gone and so glad when they return.

I must put here what it says on the back cover:

"Readers will linger over each page, savouring the delicious illustrations...Energetic language with fresh images keeps the story bouncing along." - Starred review/School Library Journal.

I will be looking for more books by He
Oct 07, 2010 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picturebooks
Award-winning illustrator Helen Cooper brings a whimsical adventure of Cat and Squirrel, who almost lose Duck's friendship in an argument about preparation of pumpkin soup. Gentle storyline highlights the difficulties of losing a friendship. Included at the end is a delicious recipe for pumpkin soup. (Goodreads Summary)

Pumpkin Soup is a charming story about Fall & friendship, with a message about sharing, working together, & maintaining friendships. The engaging, detailed, expressive ill
Crystal Marcos
Oct 07, 2010 Crystal Marcos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Pumpkin Soup tonight. My Scholastic version did not have the pumpkin soup recipe! How disappointing. =( I love the illustrations! As a matter of fact, I had other books to read before this one and pushed the others aside to read it immediately. The beautifully vivid cover lured me in! I wanted nothing more at that moment then to read it! The artwork throughout the book continued the wonderful flow of the cover. I enjoyed the story of the three friends who live together harmoniously making ...more
Oct 25, 2010 Ronyell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ronyell by: The Picture-Book Club
“Pumpkin Soup” is a children’s book by Helen Cooper and it is about how three best friends (a duck, a cat, and a squirrel) all made pumpkin soup in harmony until the duck wanted to stir the soup and chaos ensures! For anyone who wants to read a hilarious book and want to know how to make Pumpkin Soup, “Pumpkin Soup” is definitely the book for you!

Oh my goodness! Imagine my surprise when I read this book! Helen Cooper has done an excellent job at both illustrating and writing this book as each ch
Feb 26, 2016 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Though not specifically about Halloween, because this story is about Pumpkin soup and with the Autumn background and pumpkin patch full of pumpkins, Halloween is the perfect time of year to read the story.

The tale itself was a pretty good one, with everyone wanting to try each other's jobs and taking each other's skills for granted. On the whole, it's a fun story to read aloud and would be a good precursor to a discussion about fighting among friends, different skillsets and wanting to try diff
Aine Mccarthy
Oct 13, 2011 Aine Mccarthy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
'Pumpkin Soup' by Helen Cooper is a lovely, enchanting read for children. It tells the story of three animal friends; cat, duck and squirrel. Each evening they join together to make pumpkin soup in their lovely pumpkin-shaped house deep in the forest. Each of them have their own unique part to play in their nightly ritual and their combined efforts produce the most splendid soup. Then one day Duck decides he wants to stir the soup instead of adding the salt. This leads to a tremendous quarrel wh ...more
Kyran Delaney
Oct 28, 2011 Kyran Delaney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beautifully written and illustrated book tells the story of three friends who live together. Each friend has has their own place in the house with each knowing their job to do until Duck has other ideas. The wonderfully written text transcends from a warm family like relationship into a feeling of fear and loss without much difficulty. The book deals with a central theme of friendship and issues which affect this relationship; love, sharing, fear, loss and reconciliation.

The illustrations
Lenore Webb
Nov 28, 2011 Lenore Webb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I also want to add in Macmillan Young Listeners' Book and CD set collection, Helen Cooper's ultimately endearing tale of friendship between a Cat, Squirrel, and a Duck: PUMPKIN SOUP. This one makes me think of my own Vanilla Pumpkin Soup that I make. And how it all comes together best when we are working on it together. I think the grandbabes will enjoy this as part of our Thanksgiving holiday. Cooper's luscious illustrations merge beautifully with this musical and animated narration, read by Ka ...more
Jan 11, 2012 Naz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this story, not only are the illustrations so beautiful and colourful, the story provides a very useful moral at the end, which is the concept of sharing. In the story there is a duck, cat and a squirrel who all live togather. Everyday the cat slices up some pumpkin for their lunch,, while the squirrel stirs in the water and the duck tips in some salt to make the perfect pumkin soup. until one day the duck decides he wants to do the stirring. This leads to an argument and causin ...more
Mark Rasem
May 13, 2012 Mark Rasem rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An endearing story of the turbulent friendship of a bagpipe playing Cat, banjo playing Squirrel and a singing Duck. Other than a love for music, making Pumpkin Soup is another favourite past time of this unlikely trio of friends. Tensions arise within the group when Duck, dissatisfied with his duty of simply adding the salt in the making of the soup, leaves home.
After Duck being away for some time, Cat and Squirrel go out in search for their runaway friend. Unsuccessful in thrie attempts to find
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Cat, Squirrel, and Duck live together in a cozy white cabin. The three friends work together to make delicious pumpkin soup. Cat slices the pumpkin, Squirrel does the stirring, and Duck adds the salt. But one day, Duck decides he has not happy with his role and he wants to be head cook and stir. The friends must figure out how to adapt to change in routine and how to work out a disagreement.

I personally enjoyed the flow of the text and the autumn-toned illustrations. My favorite scene in the boo
A perfect book for the beginning of fall!
Matthew Hunter
The gorgeous autumnal illustrations alone make Pumpkin Soup worth a gander. Our 2-1/2-year-old loves ducks and squirrels, so she was happy. And Dad was intrigued by the duck's multiple challenges to the status quo. I mean, who wants to be stuck with the repetitive task of salting food anyway? At some point, I'd question the division of labor too and begin pushing to experience the stirring (squirrel's traditional role) and pumpkin chopping (cat's task) parts of the food preparation exercise. Lea ...more
Mar 05, 2014 Darren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A duck, a squirrel, and a cat all live together. Somehow, the duck is the reckless one. That aside, this is a fun read. Helen Cooper's art lush and vibrant; no surprise it won the Greenaway.
May 30, 2014 GoldGato rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being a bit of a rebel, I decided to read this very October-type book in the merry month of May...cuz that's how I roll. I keep librarians up at night. Lucky for me, the roll of the dice worked out, as I thoroughly enjoyed this romp with Squirrel, Cat, and Duck.

Everyone has his own job to do. Everyone is happy.

The three denizens of the old white cabin work as a united team in creating the best pumpkin soup in town. However, even the best teammates need a little time apart, especially when Duck
Oct 05, 2015 Rae rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-for-k-5
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kahil St aimee
Aug 13, 2014 Kahil St aimee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I just love the illustrations (they are expressive, bright, and the fact that Duck in many ways rather reminds me of Walt Disney's Donald Duck, at both his most lovable and his most cranky and curmudgeonly, really made and still makes me smile with both nostalgia and appreciation). However, much more important than my personal enjoyment of the illustrations is the fact that Helen Cooper's narrative demonstrates a very essential and necessary message to and for children (and perhaps even adults a ...more
Patricia Aswini
This is a story of three friends; a duck, a squirrel and a cat. They work together everyday to make a pumpkin soup, each having their own specific role in the recipe. However one day, duck decides he is not happy with his role and prefers the role of head cook and stirrer. This leads to a disagreement which causes the duck to storm out. The story becomes quite distressing as the cat and squirrel miss their friend and cannot find him. The story ends describing how the friends sort out their disag ...more
Lesley Dahlseng
Nov 11, 2014 Lesley Dahlseng rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who wouldn't be interested in a bagpiping Cat, a Squirrel with a banjo, and a small singing Duck, especially when they are of Helen Cooper's creation? I have recommended this book to many of my friends and family, and now I will shout it even farther: "You MUST read this book!"

The illustrations themselves are enough to make this book stand out, so discovering the deliciousness of Cooper's text further solidified this on my list of favorites. After all, this is about "Pumpkin Soup. The best you e
Feb 16, 2015 Luzali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pedro-miguel
lindísimo el cuento, sencillo de contar pero con una buena historia detrás. Las ilustraciones son bellas y tiernas. Es de esos cuentos que se ven muy sencillitos, pero mi hijo dice otra vez, y otra vez y otra vez.
Jan 21, 2016 Jody rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Duck throws a tantrum because he can't stir soup, leaves, comes back, stirs soup & gets soup everywhere.

I'm sure the message is supposed to be to let everyone have a go at doing different things/be flexible/yada yada yada, but for me, the message I got was sulk until you get your own way.
Liz Todd
Friendship theme!
Cara Turski
Helen Cooper creates a warm, inviting world in her “Pumpkin Soup.” It tells the story of three friends working through the challenges of friendship all while enjoying pumpkin soup.

The illustrations are rich and invoke feelings of autumn. The characters are adorable. The duck’s cuteness will enchant young readers. Readers will enjoy pouring over the illustrations and noticing all the little details. For example, a little firefly and ladybug appear throughout the story as spectators. The layout us
Charlotte Whiting
Some of the most beautiful illustrations I've ever seen in a book. Definitely in the mood for Autumn now!
Harriet Dismorr
Sep 29, 2016 Harriet Dismorr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pumpkin soup is a fabulous read- due to many elements. Firstly, as an avid animal lover, I love how Helen cooper personifies them, such as the bag piping cat and their companionship. The second element is the sense of rhythm throughout the book-something which will help develop children's awareness of literacy.

The story's underlining message is about friendship and working together, and how helping each other leads to harmony.
Oct 13, 2016 Elaine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not really my thing. Plus, violence.
Suzannah Cooper
Oct 15, 2016 Suzannah Cooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This would be good to use at Halloween but could also be effective for personal and social development / sharing and forgiving etc.
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UEL Primary PGCE ...: First book review 1 4 Aug 13, 2014 05:56AM  
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