In our house, my husband is the one who really loves hot and spicy food. He used to spice up the food I cooked when it was in the pot. He has since learned that this is not such a good idea, and he spices up his meals at the table instead with a dash of hot sauce here, and a pinch of cayenne power there.
Today's fiction title is a chapter book that tells the story of two friends who try to cook a meal together and who encounter a problem.
Michael J. Daley
Illustrated by Thomas F. Yezerski
For ages 6 to 8
Charlesbridge, 2012, 978-1-58089-347-3
Pinch is hungry, and he fancies having a bowl of soup to eat. He looks in his refrigerator and sees that it contains a potato, some spinach, and some cheese, but he does not feel like making some soup himself because he is feeling lazy. He is also feeling too lazy to walk down to the Chat and Chew restaurant to get a bowl of soup. There is only one solution to this problem; Pinch is going to visit his friend Dash because Dash is always cooking something delicious.
Sure enough, when Pinch arrives at Dash’s house, Dash is in his kitchen and he is cooking something. Dash explains that he is making skinny soup, in other words, “soup with not much in it.” Dash invites Pinch to join him, which is exactly what Pinch wants to do. There is a problem though. Dash’s soup is a bit too skinny. It needs to be “fattened up.” Pinch offers to go to his house to get the potato that is sitting in his fridge. When it is clear that one potato has not quite done the trick, Pinch gets the spinach, and then he gets the cheese from his house. Now the soup is sufficiently “fat,” but Pinch feels it is lacking seasoning. Dash refuses to let Pinch put any pepper or hot sauce into the soup, and the friends squabble about who has the right to season the soup.
This amusing young reader’s chapter book not only contains an humorous story, but it also explores the idea that sometimes you have to make compromises for the sake of your friends. Children will chuckle when they see what lazy Dash does to get the kind of soup that he wants.