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Stone Soup

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  40,165 ratings  ·  671 reviews
First published in 1947, this classic picture book has remained one of Marcia Brown's most popular and enduring books. The story, about three hungry soldiers who outwit the greedy inhabitants of a village into providing them with a feast, is based on an old French tale.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published January 6th 2005 by Aladdin Paperbacks (first published 1947)
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Philip Vasquez To get what you want from others, you cannot simply ask.

You must empower people to put them in the position that they can asses what value their…more
To get what you want from others, you cannot simply ask.

You must empower people to put them in the position that they can asses what value their input to a situation can bring.

However, in empowering others you do not necessarily need to reveal the true value of that person's input to your whole plan. If you do so, you risk trust and the other person feeling undervalued which would bring you back to the beginning of your problem.(less)

Community Reviews

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4.24  · 
Rating details
 ·  40,165 ratings  ·  671 reviews

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Jun 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in folktales
As someone who generally likes and actually much prefers lushly coloured and hued illustrations, I was not expecting to enjoy Marcia Brown's version of the European folktale of Stone Soup as much as I have. The illustrations really are wonderful (attention to detail, captured movement, realistic facial expressions), and the simple combination of white, black, grey and orange shades works surprisingly well. A more than succesful marriage of text and image and if an author's note had been included ...more
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Three soldiers are returning from war, hungry and very tired. They see a small village in the distance and seek to approach its inhabitants for some food and lodging. The villagers learn of this ahead of time and stow away anything that might be useful for the soldiers. Upon arriving in town, the soldiers discover that none of the households is hospitable and there is nothing to share. The soldiers concoct a plan to have a fire built and a large soup pot placed at the town square. There, they be ...more
David Schaafsma
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
The classic 1947 version I read and loved with my family in the fifties (!), re-released in 2005, beautiful illustrated in a classic style, with subtlety. Based on a French tale. I just saw Calista's review and pulled this off my shelf. Goodreads reviewer Manybooks reminds me that an interesting aspect of the classic tale is that soldiers typically could take whatever they wanted as they walked into a town, so of course villagers would have a reason to hoard their food, especially in a time of w ...more
To me, this is a story about perspective. The villagers didn't want to feel like they were feeding more hungry soldiers and getting nothing. They hide away their food. So the soldiers change the perspective and say they will feed the village. It is silly to think the stones will feed people, but they create a feast for everyone to join in with. Everyone came together and ate together, danced together. The soldiers did give the village some = a festival.

I loved this story as a child and to me it
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Another book I can remember reading when I was very young. A classic that teaches that greed can sometimes leave you with nothing, if you will not share - should this be yet another book on the 'to read' list for politicians?
Mar 16, 2010 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kids
My five year old enjoyed this as much as I remember enjoying it!
“Stone Soup” is a Caldecott Honor Book by Marcia Brown and it is about how three soldiers help a French village know the true meaning of giving when they tell them about the mysterious stone soup. “Stone Soup” is a cute story about the importance of being generous towards others, but some children might not like the slow pace of the story.

Marcia Brown has done a great job at illustrating this book as the images are mainly displayed in red, grey, white and black colors as most of her books have m
Kristine Hansen
Oct 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I remember reading this book when I was very young and thinking how clever the soldiers were, and how utterly idiotic the villagers were to not realize they were being tricked. This story is still fun to read as an adult, and I enjoyed the pictures with new appreciation that gives hints to place and time that I hadn't realized before. Maybe there's a history lesson in here too? Either way, there's a lot more here than meets the eye - the distrust the villagers have for the soldiers for example. ...more
Lana Hoffman
Oct 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Three soldiers use their wits to feed their hungry stomachs.

This book is very clever. The illustrations are made up of only black, white, and red. They appear to be popping off the pages. There are some important lessons taught in this book. Children learn that being clever and using your brain to solve a problem is greatly rewarded. The value of sharing and giving to others in need are also expressed in this story. Overall, children will learn that when they give to others and share, like the t
Crystal Marcos
Jul 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
I am tickled by the fact that one story could be told in so many variations and all of them stand apart to be their own charming tale. The illustrations displayed the mood of the scenes very well. The townspeople had reason to fear the soldiers. The soldiers had to come up with a clever way to convince the people they weren't there to harm them. This book has a great lesson on sharing and how much more wonderful something could be by doing so. Everyone coming together to add what little they had ...more
Jun 29, 2010 rated it really liked it
Marcia Brown version features three hungry soldiers returning from war as the "stone soup makers" and the villagers are at first afraid that the soldiers will take all their food so they hide it. The soldiers instead use a "magic" stone to start the soup and show the townspeople that there is enough food to go around.
I wasn't especially drawn to the words in Brown's tale, but the illustrations certainly are captivating and lend such sense of atmosphere and charm to the tale.
Hlee Moua
Apr 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was great, however the illustration was quite dull to me, but to say this book was published in 1947. Reasons why I enjoyed this book was because the moral of the story. At first the villagers didn't want to share their foods or a place for the 3 soldiers to sleep but once the solders tricks them about stone soup, they all came together and help one another and share their food.
Sultan * Baby Mama Smut-a-teer*
childhood classic right here folks
Feb 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another favorite from childhood, Another recent Christmas gift. Great old tale that demonstrates how when we all give a little, we all get a lot.
Sandra Couch
Mar 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Summary: Three hungry soldiers on their way home from the war are hungry and tired. They stop in a town asking if anyone can provide food and a bed to sleep in, while they all answer no. Desperate, both tired and hungry they outwit the townspeople and find a way to get food and a bed for the night.

Theme: The main theme in this picture is the importance of sharing and being generous with others. We see this in the beginning when the townspeople were not willing to share with the soldiers and hid
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
I revisited this classic tale upon finding it while cleaning out my office space. As an elementary school counselor, it worked perfectly for my first grade group around friendship/social skills. It sends an explicit message of the power of teamwork and working together, and the effects of greed.
Gotta love it
Charlotte Stevens
Mar 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the retelling of a traditional French tale in which 3 soldiers who are very hungry come across a village of peasants looking for food and shelter. The villagers are very reluctant to help these strangers and decide to hide all their food and explain that there are no beds available. However the soldiers use their knowledge and whit and manage to trick the unwelcoming peasants into providing a feast through preparing their ‘magical’ stone soup.
The illustrations are quite unusual for typic
Kyle Whalen
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Stone Soup tells the story of three monks, Hok, Lok and Siew who stumble upon a village during their travels. They realize the village has become very secluded after suffering from famine and floods, causing them to be wary of strangers. The monks enter the the village only to be turned down and denied any type of welcoming gesture house after house. The monks eventually gather in the center of the village and start making stone soup with the help of a little girl. One by one, more people come o ...more
Nicole Scheu
Summary: This story is a classic folktale of three soldiers that come into a village hungry and tired. The villagers hide their food and do not offer any help. The soldiers cleverly decide to make stone soup. They persuade the villagers to add ingredients to the soup to make is a grand soup. At the conclusion, the whole villages celebrates in a feast sharing soup and other food.

Characteristics to support this genre: This story can be told over and over again with a message of kindness and compa
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An old, beloved classic. Every child needs to hear this story about ingenuity and sharing at some point in their childhood.
Rachel Keller
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a fun and inspiring story! The story of stone soup reads like a fairy tale, but is actually plausible. It details how three soldiers entered a town looking for food and rest (for themselves) and got what they wanted, all while showing the villagers how to work together by pulling their resources. I love that the three main characters start out seeming like maybe not the nicest guys. It's not so much in what they say, but rather in the inferences. They are tired and hungry, carrying weapons, ...more
Kristen Sawyer
Summarize the book:
This is a story about three soldiers who are hungry, yet when the come upon a village, the people are unwilling to share food with them. The soldiers outwit the village by putting three stones in a pot and asking for ingredients to make the soup.

Identify the characteristics from the text that support the specific genre:
This folk tale contains many elements associated with traditional literature. The motif, or element that runs throughout the story, of trickery is present when
Emma Jane
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed all of the aspects of this European folklore tale- the illustrations, plot line, pace/rhythm, and the moral or main lesson portrayed. The historical element of 'Stone Soup' teaches readers about the kind of repuation soldiers had among villages during past war eras because of policies which allowed them unlimited rights and access to the food, clothing, and sheleter of civilians. As the 3 soldiers convince the villagers to share their food without using violence or force, the author em ...more
Robyn Char
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Stone Soup is a classic story about three soldiers hungry soldiers who come to a town begging for a meal and a place to sleep. The villagers hide all their food and make up excuses about why they cannot help the soldiers. In response, the soldiers declare that they will make a giant pot of stone soup to share using just 3 stones and water. As the villagers gather to watch this miracle, the soldiers lament that they do not have salt and pepper to season it, and so the villages procure some. They ...more
Feb 29, 2016 added it
Shelves: reading-350
This is a terrific story of ingenuity and how to create cooperation! When three soldiers are passing through a small village, they ask for food and a place to sleep for the night. The townspeople are weary of providing for the military men who eat their hard-earned crops and foodstuffs. These soldiers seem to accept that the villagers are destitute and resign themselves to cooking a big pot of stone soup. This concept creates curiosity in the villagers. Wisely, the soldiers mention how much bett ...more
Linda Lipko
As three tired and hungry soldiers approach a village, the kindly request hospitality of something to eat and a place to rest.

Wary of soldiers, hide their food and initially do not provide a resting place.

Without fear and intimidation, the three men turn the table and say they will help to feed the peasants by making a large pot of stone soup.

Boiling water and rocks, they wonder if perhaps their might be a carrot or two, a small piece of meet and other items.

Opening their pantries and hearts, th
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
Fairy Tale
As far as I can tell this is the first version of this folktale. However, this isn’t my favorite version. In this interpretation three soldiers are returning from war and have been on a long journey. They are tired and hungry when they come to a small village. They hope that the villagers will feed them and give them somewhere to sleep but instead they encounter people that make excuses as to why they cannot share what they have with the three soldiers. In this story the soldiers sort
Maria Rowe
• 1948 Caldecott Honor Book •

A childhood classic! I loved this book when I was little! I just reread it, and think it really stands up well over time. I actually had no idea it was from the 1940s - it has aged well. The story is clever, and the drawings are fun. I wish it were in another color besides - or instead of - orange, but oh well. I think that be a small reason why it’s stuck in my head for so long!

Materials used: unlisted
Typeface used: unlisted
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An American children's book author and illustrator, and a high school teacher, Marcia Brown was born in Rochester, New York in 1918, and was educated at The New York State College for Teachers (now University at Albany). She taught at Cornwall High School in New York City, and published her first book, The Little Carousel, in 1946. She wrote and illustrated more than thirty books for children over ...more
“A rich man's soup - and all from a few stones. It seemed like magic!” 0 likes
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