Prather’s Pick: A children’s book about friendship |

Prather’s Pick: A children’s book about friendship

Diane Prather

With Thanksgiving approaching, we’re all thinking about reasons to be thankful. Being grateful is one of the messages in this week’s picture book for children.

Maxwell Duck, a mallard duck better known as Max, is the central character in “Duck Soup,” an incredibly funny book, written and illustrated by Jackie Urbanovic. The book was published by HarperCollinsPublishers in 2008. The book isn’t recently published but it doesn’t matter; it’s great anyway.

Max is in the kitchen making a pot of soup. He has made soup before, such as Fish Soup with Curry and Pickled Lemon, Red Hot Chili Soup, Cracker Barrel Cheese and Marshmallow Soup and Way Too Many Beans Soup. The soups have brought a variety of reactions from his friends, including downright gagging. However, Max hasn’t given up.

Today Max is trying something different. He’s creating his own recipe and is in hopes that he will be remembered for inventing.

Max has gotten out a big pot. He measures, slices, peels, and stirs. The soup is red so one can assume that he has used tomatoes. By looking at the kitchen counter, the reader figures that Max has also put potatoes, carrots, onions, butter, eggplant, and something green from a bottle into the soup. The kitchen is one big mess.

Max mixes and then slurps some of the soup from his wooden spoon. He thinks the smell is perfect, but the taste isn’t quite right. As with any cook, he puzzles over what’s missing. Maybe it’s zucchini or broccoli. Then it hits him. He needs an herb from the garden.

Max takes off his chef’s hat and puts on his garden hat, grabs a basket and heads out the back door to the garden. Just then, three of his friends come through the front door. There’s Brody, a dog; Dakota, a cat; and Bebe, a green bird.

Right away these three friends smell the soup. They all hope is tastes better than the soups that Max has made previously. They’re just ready to have a taste when Dakota spots a green feather floating on the surface of the soup.

The three friends jump to a frightening conclusion. Max has fallen into the huge pot of soup! They go crazy. They can’t tell if he’s in the pot by merely stirring it so they decide to strain the soup. Max is too big to go down the drain.

A lot of craziness ensues as they dump out the ingredients. Instead of eyes they find tiny onions. Instead of a head they find a potato and so on.

In the end Max has dinner with about 17 of his friends. He’s down in the dumps about his soup, but he has friends that mean well. Besides that, everyone is grateful that Max isn’t duck soup.

“Duck Soup” is about $16.95 in hardcover, but you may be able to find the book in softcover. It can also be found at the Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries.

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