After travelling for many days, Noko the porcupine was relieved to find a small village and was excited at the prospect of food and shelter. But there was a problem…Warthog had eaten all her food, rabbit’s greedy brother had eaten all of its food, monkey did not have any food to spare and none of the other animals could help either. Tired and hungry, Noko sets about making a soup, a soup fit for a King…
Quill Soup is an African retelling of the classic European folktale Stone Soup. After being refused food and suspecting that the other animals many not have been completely honest, Noko sets about making a soup from hot water and the quills on his back. When the animals hear that he has fed this soup to the King, they miraculously find they have food that they can spare and soon the soup pot is filled with carrots, mealies, worms, beans, peas, potatoes and spinach…delicious.
Upon arriving in the village, Noko is met with cold-heartedness, lack of empathy and compassion, selfishness and animals who only look out for themselves. It is his quill soup that brings everyone together although it would appear that the animals only contribute because they want recognition from the King - again only looking out for themselves. However, by the end of the read good things are happening and there are wonderful messages on the power of community and coming together, kindness and sharing. Noko and his quill soup helps readers understand that if we all put in a little bit and offer up our own share then something wonderful can be created from which everyone can benefit.
The abstract illustrations are wild and colourful. Bold colour choices depict the animals and their homes and much fun can be had in spotting things that hint at the lies the animals are telling.
A stunning picture book with an important tale to tell.
Recommended for 5+.