Story Soup

Story Soup
Abie Longstaff and Nila Aye
Templar Publishing

As the story starts Ollie is in the process of mixing a story and it’s to be about skateboards – only skateboards. Well, that was his intention but he hadn’t reckoned on the intervention of his sister Susie. She just can’t resist adding some ingredients to the pot and it becomes so Susie says, “OUR story”. A twisting turning story of a skateboarding princess and a reluctantly bad, somewhat silly pirate named Barnacle who develops a taste for ‘yellow sausages’.

All of a sudden things start getting out of control with various things falling into the mixture,

Ollie claiming his story is spoiled and Susie tossing all kinds of random items into the pot over which they start to tussle causing terrible turmoil among the soup ingredients.

Can the brother and sister possibly save the situation if they change their tactics and start to co-operate … You never know: will there or will there not be a ‘happily ever after’ ending? I wonder …

If ever there was an incentive for youngsters to start creating their own stories it’s this zany picture book. There’s even a recipe on the final page to set those brain cells imagining. Think what fun you could have in the classroom if you provide a large container and a large spoon, sit the children in a circle and invite them to co-create an adventure.

Seemingly both author and illustrator had lots of fun concocting their action-packed tale of a tale – embedded narrative gone mad! I love the way Nila’s illustrations of the brother and sister segue from their actions to their story narrative and back during the course of Abie’s telling.

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