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Stone Soup

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  13,731 ratings  ·  540 reviews
Three strangers, hungry and tired, pass through a war-torn village. Embittered and suspicious from the war, the people hide their food and close their windows tight. That is, until the clever strangers suggest making a soup from stones. Intrigued by the idea, everyone brings what they have until-- together, they have made a feast fit for a king!
In this inspiring story abo
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2003 by Scholastic Press
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Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  13,731 ratings  ·  540 reviews

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Apr 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
After experiencing Muth's Stone Soup as a read-aloud, kindergarten students had the following conversation:

Student 1: "I noticed, this book didn't win an award."
Student 2: "It should have."
Student 3: "Let's give it an award."

Student carefully cut out his own version of the Caldecott award and taped it to the cover.

Student 4: "Now everyone who reads it will know that it won an award."
Jan 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Of all the books I read my kids Jon J. Muth's Stone Soup is far and away my favourite.

Not only is it a beautiful retelling of a classic tale, it is the finest telling of the tale I have ever seen. Muth's watercolours are exquisite: sparing, richly detailed, perfectly moody and expressive.

And his choice of setting is sublime. Muth sets his version in a small walled village at the base of a mountain in China. Three monks come to the town one morning and start making stone soup, drawing the village
What's all this socialist mumbo jumbo?
Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A touching book based on a folk tale common in many cultures (with different variations) about how working together and sharing can create happiness and a bond within a community.
“Stone Soup” is a very old folktale with variations and retellings set in countries around the world, in various historical periods, and featuring different characters. Most versions feature hungry strangers who persuade locals to share their resources, and often there is a lesson of cooperation and generosity, even in times of hardship and scarcity.

In my preschool classroom (of 3 to 5 year olds), we spent several weeks investigating a series of illustrated children's books based on this folkta
Angela Bailey
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Title / Author / Publication Date:
Stone Soup. / Jon Muth. / 2003.

Genre: Fiction - Folktales.

Format: Picturebook - print.

Plot summary:
"Three wise monks trick a poor, frightened community into finding happiness by teaching them the magic of generosity" (NoveList).

Considerations or precautions for readers advisory:
generosity, selfishness

Review citation:
"Muth has taken this old tale and transplanted it from its traditional European setting to China. The tricksters are no longer hungry travelers or
Feb 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed this book, but I'm not sure that my niece did. She struggled a lot with figuring out why anyone would want to eat soup made with stones, so I'd have to say that the larger point presented in this great story was lost on her. We may try this one again when she's a little older.
ElliottDietrich Mattison
Mar 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
The best retelling of this classic story that we've seen. Reading the insights on the back page really bring what the author is doing to life.
Aladdin Jones
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Three wise travelers set sail on an adventure to figure out what is it that makes people happy in their lives. Jon Muth uses his captivating skills of illustration and imagery to depict what he believes to be the answer to this lifelong question. This tale is one that talks about how much of an impact people can have with one another if they were to befriend one another rather than having malice or strife against each other. While yes, it is comforting at times to be alone and think to yourself, ...more
Jenna Woods
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stone Soup, version by Jon J. Muth, is a folktale that has been adapted through many generations and cultures. Each version teaches a village of people the importance of sharing even their littlest of possessions to help each other and in turn make something even greater. Stone Soup qualifies as a folktale because it is human story passed down through generations of oral and written tradition. Stone Soup can be sub-categorized as almost a trickster tale because, in this version, the monks trick ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-lit
Fractured Fairytale
This is one of my favorite versions of this folktale to read to children in k-4. In this book there are three monks traveling together when the come across a village. One, presumably the eldest, monk wants to illustrate to the other two “what makes people happy”. When they enter the village they are not greeted by a single person. The soon set to work trying to entice people out of their homes by claiming that they will make a soup out of stones. The lessons in this tale are m
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Probably my favorite version of this famous tale.
Courtney Spicer
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Muth, J., (2003). Stone Soup. New York: Scholastic Press
Stone Soup is the story of 3 brothers who are monks and have been traveling. They are weary, and questioning things such as what makes someone happy. They come to a village, where the villagers seem angry and do not communicate well with each other. They are shut up in their houses and will not help the monks find a place to rest. The monk brothers decide to make a pot of stone soup, as they are hungry, and a little girl watches. She is cur
Oct 25, 2016 added it
Shelves: rdg-291
The opening of the story introduces the main characters- the monks Hok, Lok, & Siew. The introduction of the characters as an opening for a story has global roots, and sets up the folktale so that details are not wasted. The end of the story states the moral of the tale, that is the importance of sharing what you have to make a more plentiful whole. Though the moral was obvious, it was not stated in "the moral of the story..." style of Aesop's fables.

The primary setting is a village full of
Sarah Jane
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it

Summary: A classic fable is wonderfully retold in Jon Muth’s “Stone Soup”. This beautiful watercolor rendition follows three monks as they travel through a mountain landscape and stumble upon a small village. As the monks enter the village, no one is to be found. Doors are locked and windows shut tight as the monks decided that the villagers need to learn how to make “stone soup”. A brave girl approaches and questions the monks. After she retrieves a bigger pot for the soup, the curious villager
Edwin Reyes
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
The book Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth is about three monks who come across a village. The village has grown accustomed to not being comfortable with strangers or new people to the village ever since the war. The village is protected by a wall and a gate . When these three monks cross by the village they noticed the gate was open, but when they walked through the village, no one was to be seen. All of the doors were shut and all of the windows were closed. Then the monks came across a little girl wi ...more
Melissa Overland-mckay
Mar 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
3 monks; Hok, Lok, and Slowe travel through the mountains of China, finding a distraught village and make themselves known. Hok, Lok and Slowe work together to make their favorite delicious stone soup and in the process the village comes together to enhance the soup. At first the monks come into the village alone with no help and no acknowledgment from the villagers. But it only takes the curiosity of a young girl for the other villagers to realize the kindness of these monks and the enlightenme ...more
Sawyer Dombrowski
In this book, there were three main characters that consisted of the three monks. Their names were Hok, Lok, and Siew. They were walking along a mountain when they ran into a village that they could see down below. The village people were weary of newcomers because of all the problems they have had with strangers in the past. Not being discouraged, the three monks started cooking soup in the courtyard of the village to try and join everyone together.

The opening was not your typical "Once upon a
Jeanene DeFine
Mar 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Stone Soup is a traditional story involving a town who has gone through some hardships. The towns people don't live as a community anymore and doesn't interact with each other. The town is soon visited by three monks who feel they need to bring happiness back to the towns people. They decide to introduce them to their stone soup. They begin to brew their stone soup and towns people come out of their homes to see what the monks are doing. The story evolves into a lesson of community and friendshi ...more
Heather Singh
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Stone Soup by Jon J Muth is a classic story about sharing and kindness. I have read many versions of this story and it is always one of my favorite folktales. Muth’s version has beautiful, tranquil watercolor artwork that is just as much part of the story as the words in the book.

The story opens with three monks; Hok, Lok, and Siew on a trek, they are discussing what makes one happy when they come across an unhappy village. The monks venture inside only to be turned away by all the inhabitants.
Catherine Miner
In this folktale, three monks are traveling through a mountain discussing what true happiness is. They come across a village where the villagers are not friendly to outsiders or to each other – no one wants anything to do with the monks, and they do their best to avoid them. The monks decide to teach the villagers a lesson on how to be happy by making stone soup. They villagers become curious and begin to join the monks in making the soup.

The story opens in a pretty common way, with the main ch
Stephanie Cahill
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
The story, Stone Soup, takes place in ancient China. The story starts off with three monks climbing a mountain and discussing what happiness is. When they reach the top of the mountain they see the top of a small village. The three monks go to this village but no one is in sight. They had all locked their doors and shut their windows. They did this because the villagers are weary of strangers. The village has been starved and strained. All of the villagers were trying to protect their resources. ...more
Kali Guest
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In this book, three men come into a village looking for what makes people happy. The village is becoming seemingly empty and each individual is focused on themselves. The men are looking for food and shelter yet no one seems to answer the door, in fact it is almost as if they are being hidden from. These three men are not concerned by this because they are going to make stone soup. The stone soup in the story manages to bring together the entire village of people to help build a delicious meal ( ...more
Apr 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
In this version of the story travelers convince skeptical town of people into providing the ingredients for a wonderful soup by telling them it is made from stones. While individuals may have only contributed one ingredient, when the soup is complete it is a wonderful combination of many ingredients.

This folk tale has been told from many cultural perspectives, set in a time of despair or famine, yet a wonderful soup is created in each version as ingredients are added one by one. The message shin
Matthew Ciccarone
Stone Soup opens on 3 monks who come across a village. The people of the village are talented, but they do not know how to work together. The monks plan to introduce the villagers to stone soup, and collaboration in the process.

Stone Soup did not open with a line like once upon a time, instead it starts by introducing the main characters of the story, the three monks. The main story is set in a village that the monks travel to. The characters are not described well, but we can glean that they a
Mar 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was great! The illustrations had a spiritual feel throughout the book. The story line flowed beautifully with a clear message that most children could understand on their own.

The story tell a tale about three monks who are in search of what makes people happy. They come across a town where no one seems friendly because they turn off their lights and lock the doors. The monks talked with each other about making stone soup and little girl walks by and is interested about makin
Aryiel Vopalensky
Oct 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Stone Soup tells the story of 3 monks who bring a village together. The monks question what can make a person happy. Their answer is quickly put into action as they arrive at a village. The neighbors do not trust one another and upon seeing the monks, everyone shuts their doors. The monks set out to make stone soup in the middle of the village. A curious girl helps them collect rocks and a bigger pot. This causes the whole village to step outside their houses and be among one another. Soon the v ...more
Pablo Coppola
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
The 3 main characters, wise monks Hok, Lok, & Siew are instantly introduced in the opening of this story to set the narrative bringing you closer to the cultural window.The setting takes you on the monks journey to a deserted village, the monks take the initiate to teach the locals how to make their stone soup. Food is always a great way to bring people together, as you assume, the village comes together, led by a little girl to create memories over their stone soup. Once you get the idea of ...more
Lori Bacskay
Mar 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This retelling version of Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth was very good. I enjoyed the story so much I read another version but still liked this one better. The illustrations were soft, soothing, and magical. A delightful story with real meaning. The story is told in many cultures and this particular one is retold in Asian culture. Starts with three monks walking the road from the mountains and see a village below. They come to the village but the villagers are unfriendly and will not offer food or be ...more
Nickolas Florez
The book teaches a valuable lesson through the three monks and the stone soup they want to make as they see the type of people who live in the small village, which is where the setting of the story takes place. The opening sequence introduces three monks who wonder what makes them happy in life. The tale is pleasant and guides us through a journey of giving and sharing. The three monks are great examples of what people should be like, or could be like. Children especially will learn a great deal ...more
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Stone Soup Review 1 2 Mar 26, 2017 09:29PM  
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Jon J. Muth is an American comic artist. His works include J. M. DeMatteis' graphic novel Moonshadow, Neil Gaiman's The Sandman: The Wake (along with Michael Zulli, Charles Vess), Mike Cary's Lucifer: Nirvana and Swamp Thing: Roots. Muth has gone on to an award-winning career as a children's book writer and illustrator. He received a Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators for his illustration ...more
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