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Cactus Soup

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  281 ratings  ·  80 reviews
A version of “Stone Soup” set during the Mexican Revolution a hundred years ago.
Hardcover, 36 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Two Lions
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Showing 1-30
3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  281 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Medeia Sharif
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This seemed so familiar as I read along. When other reviewers mentioned "Stone Soup," the story came back to me. This version is also enjoyable. The tale holds messages about sharing and togetherness.
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Kimmel, Eric A. (2004). Cactus Soup. P. Huling. New York: Marshall Cavendish.

Literary Genre: Multicultural/International (Picture Book)

Hungry soldiers ride into the town of San Miguel to eat and rest but the townspeople hide their food and pretend to be very poor. The captain asks for a cactus thorn and he begins to make cactus soup. The townspeople are tricked into adding salt, pepper, vegetables, and meats into the soup and soon enough the town of San Miguel is transformed into a lively fiesta
“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
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Cactus Soup is an interesting retell of Stone Soup. This version of the story takes place in San Miguel during the Mexican Revolution with a group of cunning soldiers riding into a stingy town. The cunning soldiers trick the townspeople into participating in a potluck style making of cactus soup. This book teaches the morality of helping one another and shows Mexican culture throughout.
This book could be used to introduce the topic of the Mexican Revolution and to teach about Mexican cult
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This story is based on the classic tale, Stone Soup, but is set in Mexico in the early twentieth century. I thought it was a wonderful version of the story and I liked the author's note at the end of the book, explaining his inspiration for the story. The liberal use of spanish words sprinkled throughout the tale in italics works really well. The narrative is entertaining and we liked the colorful, almost exaggerated illustrations. We really enjoyed reading this book together.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-31-40
Summary: This version of Stone Soup is set during the revolution in Mexico. A group of hungry soldiers run into this town and ask for food. The towns people slowly give them more and more food as they become intrigued by the idea of cactus soup.
Evaluation: This book does a great job in including the definitions of the words the students may not know and information about the revolution in Mexico. Though it is a good interpretation of Stone Soup, it does not embody the Mexican Culture well due t
Gwendolyn Harris
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
This book is so clever. The town learns to be generous and give to others which is a lesson every child should read about. I also like that this book is set in San Miguel and they used Spanish words in the book. At the end of the book there is a glossary of the Spanish words they used and what they mean. Schools are becoming more and more diverse and there are a lot of children coming from Spanish speaking countries. This is a wonderful book to read to your class whether you have a Spanish speak ...more
Jim Sibigtroth
Jan 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-aloud-k
I first discovered Eric Kimmel when I read his novel-length Russian Folktale, “I Know Not What, I know Not Where”, and have enjoyed several of his other books including “Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins”. “Cactus Soup” is a re-imagined version of the classic “Stone Soup” but set around the Mexican Revolution. There is a small glossary of Spanish words that are used in the story and some historical background about the Mexican Revolution. The illustrations are unusual and go well with the story.
Angela Lambkin
Jan 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Does the captain find a way to feed himself and his soldiers?

I'm not sure of whither I thought this was a great book or not for this age level as they may decide to try to be as clever as this captain was of deceiving a small town's mayor as he did?
Quite brilliantly illustrated picture book so I will rate it as a five star ebook. Would also like to recommend this for those ages 6-8 and or may be in grades 1-3. I received this for free using KU, in return, here is my honest review. Super work Eri
Hannah Marshall
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have heard of the tale of stone soup before but I enjoyed this new spin on it. I think it is neat that it has Hispanic context to it which is great for diversity of books in a classroom. This books also has the underlying theme of community and how when people work together they can accomplish much more then alone which is always great to bring into the classroom setting. I would definitely add this to my future classroom library.

Genre: traditional literature
Reading level: 3-4
Tessa Duncan
When soldiers come into the town of San Miguel, the mayor advises everyone to hide their food and to go around looking hungry. The mayor was scared that the soldiers would eat all of their food, but instead the soldiers offered to make Cactus soup for everyone. Eventually the soldiers ask for more things to put in the soup, like carrots and peppers and the town manages to give it to them. The soldiers create a huge feast for everyone in the town. Beautiful illustrations!
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
I randomly grabbed this at the library and my 4 almost 5 year old LOVES it! We own the Asian version ‘Stone Soup’ and she didn’t much care for it. After reading it the first time she asked me to reread it immediately and after we finished she wanted it a third time. I enjoyed the story but was very surprised at how much she enjoyed it.
Martinez Martinez
Lovely, just lovely.

Read it to my boys at night, they enjoyed it as did I :) will read it again and again.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Use this to compare against “Stone Soup.”
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
I liked this variation on Stone Soup. We are studying the Mexican Revolution right now, so it was great to read with my kindergartner.
Francis Flores
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it

My 6 year old thought it was really funny. He wanted to know when we could read it again. Loved it.
Maddie Eriksson
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
Cactus Soup was interesting and entertaining. It provided insight into the cultures of the town San Miguel. It was also informative and had a theme that readers could learn from the story. Spanish language was also incorporated into the story and character's dialogue.
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Cactus Soup is a a Mexican twist on an old tale known by many as Stone Soup. As the story begins, a troop of soldiers come riding toward the town of San Miguel. But the people of town weren't at all happy to learn of their arrival. They then plot to hide their food and tell the soldiers they've nothing to give them in hopes that this would encourage the soldiers not to stay. It's quite interesting to learn how and where all the food is hidden out of sight from the strangers. And to take things e ...more
Megan Cureton
Cactus Soup is a book that is set in the time of the Mexican Revolution, which lasted from 1910 to 1922. The book was about a small village, and how they hid all of their food from the troops that came through their town eating all their food. So when the troops arrived, the townspeople told them they were poor and didn't have any food. So the captain of the army said that its okay, he can make cactus soup from the thorn of a cactus and water. So he did just that. When it started to boil, he tas ...more
Caroline C
Nov 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Cactus Soup is a retold version of the classic tale, Stone Soup.  This folklore is appropriate and engaging for students in Kindergarten-third grade.  Although most third graders would be able to read this book independently, the underlying themes would create rich discussion with students in this age group.  

Also, having read Stone Soup many times as a child and to my students over the years, it was easy for me to connect to this story.  In order to help my students identify the main idea and m
Melissa Romero
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good Eating, Good Reading

I like this book because it brings the old stone soup story to another dimension, that is, relating it to the Southwest culture of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. It takes place in Mexico in San Miguel during the Mexican revolution so it is more directly related to Mexican nationals or aficionados of Pancho Villa. I am Mexican-American so I can relate more easily to the food than anything else. For example, I can relate to the use of chiles and camotes which are sweet po
Angela Hutchinson
This book is based on folklore from France. Other books that depict a similar story line are “Stone Soup” And “Nail Soup.” This version is based during the time of the Mexican Revolution (1910-1922). There is a glossary in the back of the book to help students learn the Spanish words that are in the book and their meanings. In this book, the soldiers are coming to the village to get some food to eat before they went out to battle again, but the village people did not want them taking all of thei ...more
Sopa de Cactus is the Spanish version of Cactus Soup by Eric A. Kimmel. It plays on the story of Stone Soup set in Mexico or the Southwest. A group of soldiers approach a village named San Miguel which hides its food when they arrive. The mayor claims that another group of soldiers has already come through and cleaned out the town's stash of food and there is nothing left. The captain of the group asks for cactus soup, which no on has ever heard of. Soon the captain is instructing the residents ...more
Ricardo Contreras
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Cactus Soup is an oustanding childrens book. When I first read the book, I could picture the story in my head. The story is suposed to take place during the times of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata, as the people of Mexico tried to take back control from the wealthy. Cactus Soup is a perfect example of the struggles during those times.
The story is about a pueblo and the coming of soilders into the pueblo. In the past, when soilders come into the pueblo,they would take everything, and seem to l
Feb 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Hungry soldiers charm townspeople into helping them make soup from water and a cactus thorn in this excellent retelling of Stone Soup set during the Mexican Revolution. Huling’s lush watercolor and ink illustrations, done in elongated, primitive Mexican style, are outstanding and add special charm to Kimmel’s colorful tale. An author’s note and a glossary of Spanish words are included (there is no pronunciation guide, however). Classroom usages are myriad with this delightful tale. Have students ...more
Bluerose's  Heart
Jul 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-3-8
I love the story of Stone Soup, and this was a fun re-telling of it! I greatly enjoyed the Spanish flair added to this version. Instead of using a stone to make soup, a cactus needle is used instead. Instead of a beggar, soldiers from the Mexican Revolution are used, and instead of an old woman, a whole town is fooled. It's also a great way to learn a few Spanish words!

I have to admit, I kept cringing thinking about someone biting down on that cactus needle, though! :S

I especially enjoyed the p
Brian Strand
Oct 06, 2008 rated it liked it
Here is another book that involves some trickery, the towns people think that they can hide all their food and not share any with the soldiers. So when the soldiers show up in town the people act poor like there is nothing for the soldiers to get there. The only problem was the captain was a little smarter then the town people. He says hey we can make food for everyone, all we need is a cactus needle, and some water to make cactus soup. Pretty soon the town people add a few little things that th ...more
Meredith Trotter
Jul 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: folklore
Publication: 2004

Grade/Age: Grades K-3

Annotation: A group of soldiers in Mexico come to a town for food and a place to rest, but none of the townspeople have any food. Using a cactus needle and their wit, the soldiers manage to have a feast.

Themes: Cooperation & persuasion

Ways to use the book:

Writing – Students could imagine that they are one of the townspeople writing a letter to a friend about the soldiers’ visit to the town. Consider some of these questions when writing: How would you (th
Nov 11, 2014 rated it liked it
This book is a fun and colorful twist on the story of stone soup. It takes place during the Mexican Revolution and tells the story of sneaky soldiers who trick a town into putting all their hidden food into soup for the soldiers. The story is sure to have children giggling. The illustrations in this book depict traditional dress during the Mexican revolution, and I like to look at pictures from the Mexican revolution with my students before reading this book. Additionally, we contrast the illust ...more
Lisa Carter
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cactus Soup is a retelling of Stone Soup, set during the Mexican revolution. It is a cute little story of a town, frightened by the soldiers coming through and demanding food. The villagers hide their food, so the soldiers won't eat it all. Then the captain requests Cactus soup, and starts to give instructions on how to make it. The villagers easily pitch in and help make it. The illustrations go along well with the story and give a little bit better visual as to how the people in that village m ...more
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Eric A. Kimmel was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1946. He attended PS 193, Andries Hudde Junior High School, and Midwood High School. Brooklyn College was across the street from his high school, so he didn’t want to go there. He headed west, to Easton, Pennsylvania where he graduated from Lafayette College in 1967 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature.
Eric worked as an elementary school teache
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