Format Read: Kindle Book
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Release Date: January 15, 2013
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble
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Blurb from goodreads:
When a group of hungry soldiers ride into San Miguel, the townspeople don’t want to share their food. They hide their tortillas, tamales, beans, and flour and put on torn clothes to look poor. But the Capitán is not fooled. He asks for a cactus thorn to make some cactus soup, and before long he has tricked the townspeople into giving him salt and chilies, vegetables, and a chicken as well! Whimsical watercolors by Phil Huling add to the humor in this southwestern twist on the classic Stone Soup tale.
I've always enjoyed reading different versions of Stone Soup, a folk tale from different cultures that's been adapted into various books. When I saw this on Amazon and that it was available as part of the new Kindle Unlimited Library, I immediately downloaded.
The townspeople are worried about the soldiers, as they've had bad experiences with other soldiers, so they hide their food supplies. The soldiers are not new and realize that the town is likely not as poor as it seems. Both sides seek to trick the other. By the end of the story, the townspeople have learned that some soldiers can be trusted (even if they're sneaky) and the soldiers and the townspeople have had a glorious meal.
The story provides a little bit of Mexican history, sprinkles in some Mexican Spanish words (there's a glossary but no pronunciation guide at the back) and the author's note provides some background for the context of the story. The artwork is occasionally bizarre but the color palette is reminiscent of Mexican folk art. Children will enjoy the battle of wits while learning more about Mexico.