cover image Monkey Soup

Monkey Soup

Louis Sachar. Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $12 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-679-80297-6

It may be tried and true, but chicken soup is not the only treatment for a bad cold according to this gentle picture book. When Daddy is sick in bed, Mommy and her daughter each follow their own recipes for the ideal remedy. While Mommy's stock and vegetables simmer away, her daughter concocts a brew that includes Band-aids, balloons, crayons and her favorite stuffed monkey. The crazy mix turns out to be just what the doctor ordered when Daddy says, ``Delicious!'' Sachar's ( Sideways Stories from Wayside School ; There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom ) slight tale, though somewhat lacking in drama, warmly conveys the deep concern and empathy children often feel when someone they love needs help. Smith's playful, pleasingly unkempt illustrations deliver lots of TLC--the secret ingredient that can make anyone feel better. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)