“Mouse Soup”, Winner of the Caldecott Medal, is intended for early readers and introduces a new, more complex storytelling style that appeals to everyone. Arnold Lobel is famous for a great number of works, however the story Mouse soup proves to be a little different than most. The book includes a collection of fables that are told by the mouse, adding to the book as a whole.
The weasel put the mouse in a cooking pot.
“WAIT!” said the mouse.
“This soup will not taste good.
It has no stories in it.
Mouse soup must be mixed with stories to make it taste really good.”
“But I have no stories,” said the weasel.
“I do,” said the mouse.
“I can tell them now.”
“All right,” said the weasel.
“But hurry. I am very hungry.”
The mouse in the story is captured by a hungry weasel who wants to turn him into soup, but the mouse distracts him with several stories in order to escape. These tales include:
-Bees and the Mud
-Two Large Stones
-The Thorn Bush
Each of these stories present a simple, yet intriguing plot that keeps the reader interested in what will happen to the characters. The book is constructed differently than the usual “set characters and situation”, and branches off to sub-stories with four other sets of characters. This interesting story structure will keep the reader’s attention throughout the book. After the mouse finishes telling his tales to the weasel, he wraps up his own story.
“There,” said the mouse.
“I have told you my stories.
They will make your mouse soup taste really good.”
“All right,” said the weasel, “but how can I put the stories into the soup?”
“That will be easy,” said the mouse.
“Run outside and find a nest of bees, some mud, two large stones, ten crickets, and a thorn bush.
Come back and put them all into the soup.”
Upon hearing this, the weasel leaves in search of these items while the mouse escapes to his happiness. Although Lobel’s character dynamic is similar to what is usually noted in his stories, the sensible and the foolish, the style in which he portrays these characters is an intelligent way to capture readers’ attention and keep them turning the pages. This is just one example of how his intricate ways of story telling can bring happiness and excitement to the homes of every child.
Lobel, Arnold.”Mouse Soup.”Harper Collins e-Books. Harper Collins e-Books, n. d. Web. 19 April. 2016. http://www.harpercollinsebooks.com