Marcia Brown’s Stone Soup, first published in 1947, offers something for everyone. The story features one of the first known printings of French soldiers not surrendering to anyone. Additionally, Brown examines the nature of the military industry complex and in particular it’s affects on a small village. Finally, she discusses the role of the military using private homes to quarter soldiers and studies the selfishness of a community. Not bad for a children’s book. Stone Soup based on a French folk tale and while some would say that the author stole the tale I would argue that, as the French say, she wrote it as an homage.
Stone Soup centers around three hungry and tired soldiers who stumble upon a tiny village seeking food and shelter only to find cold and egocentric townspeople. Instead of getting revenge and murdering everyone in sight, the soldiers use their wits to trick the villagers into providing food and accommodations. While I don’t recommended eating Stone Soup, I certainly endorse reading it.