The Giant's Soup
Written by: Nati Bait
Illustrated by: Itay Havkin
How can mistakes be corrected? Mishaps can happen, and plans often require adjusting. By learning to view difficulties or errors as challenges, we may discover surprisingly successful solutions. In this book, one correction follows another, and turns a small pot of salty soup into one big delicious meal.
If you believe breaking is possible, believe fixing is possible" (Rabbi Nachman of Breslau)
The principle of Tikkun (fixing or correcting) is a fundamental one in Judaism. The process undergone by the soup in this book reminds us of our own life experiences. Who hasn't poured too much milk into their bowl of cereal, or added too much salt to a salad? Of course, mistakes happen outside the kitchen too. Both children and grownups err in many areas, and throughout life we must cope with our, as well as others', mistakes. The above quote by Rabbi Nachman of Breslau highlights the importance of being just as convinced of our ability to fix, as we are of our ability to break – we should always try to make our mistakes into advantages, and our errors into successes. The key to doing so is believing that it is possible.
Proposed Family Activities
- "I will save the soup!" You may want to read the story together, pause each time the giant is about to say "I will save the soup!", and ask your child to shout out the phrase. You may also enjoy looking at the illustrations together, and discover details that do not appear in the text. What do you see in the giant's kitchen? Have you noticed the bird? You could imagine together what the rest of the rooms in the giant's big house might be like.
- Acting the story out: You could act out the story using cooking utensils. Take out pots of different sizes, a spoon and ladle, and prepare imaginary soup. Your child can act the story out, telling it in their own words. You could continue past the end of the text, and imagine what happened once the guests had left the giant with a pile of dirty dishes and more ingredients for a soup.
- Sweet or savory? You may want to experiment with flavors together. Take two identical plates, pour some sugar into one, and salt into the other. Ask your child to taste from each plate, and guess whether it is sweet or salty. Could they figure it out? You could later discuss your family's preferences, and prepare a family dinner consisting of one savory dish, a sweet dessert, something spicy, and something sour.
- Fixing is possible: What is hard to fix or needs fixing in your house? Together you could try to find solutions. Is your room crowded, and filled with items you find little use for? You could ask your child to choose some toys they no longer play with, and give them to a child younger than them. Is one of their games broken? Perhaps it can be glued together again. Are they bored and looking for a new book to read? You could get a group of friends together, and have them swap books among them. You could consult your child about identifying the difficulties, and commend them for finding creative solutions to them.
- Soup stories: Do you know any other stories about soup? You may want to look for books such as Nira Harel's Grandpa Cooked a Soup, or Aubrey Davis' Bone Button Borscht at home or the public library, and read them together. Both these books were given as part of PJ Library in previous years.
- A soup fest: You could also make soup together. Who would you invite to eat it with you?
2 large onions, chopped
3–4 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 carrots, diced
3 zucchinis, diced
3 potatoes, diced
2 cups of pumpkin, diced
A packet of celery
Some parsley or coriander
Salt, pepper, turmeric
Fry the onions and garlic in some oil until golden.
Add the vegetables, chopped herbs and spices, and stir.
Keep stirring until all the vegetables have been fried and somewhat softened.
Add boiling water, and cook until all vegetables have thoroughly softened.
Taste, adjust seasoning if necessary, and serve.
Enjoy reading the book and doing the activities together!