cover image Little Boy Soup

Little Boy Soup

Ladybird Books, David L. Harrison. Ladybird Books, $3.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7214-5267-8

When a boy embarks on an innocent walk through the woods, he falls into the clutches of an ugly harridan. ``I'm the Witch of the Woods!'' she cackles. ``I'm going to fix myself a nice pot of Little Boy Soup for supper!'' As if the poor boy didn't have enough to worry about, the witch sets him to work preparing the very vegetables that will accompany him in the stew. Making clever use of the time it takes to peel, chop and slice, the boy challenges his captor to prove her powers by turning herself into an elephant, a monkey and, finally, a fly. While the witch buzzes around as an insect, the resourceful lad gives her a good swat with the broom. Derived from a popular theme, this version of the exploits of the Witch in the Woods is told in simple but expressive language, employing adjectives and adverbs that add spice to the text. Goffe's ink-enhanced color drawings are perhaps overly cartoony, but this book--one of four in the Scary Stories series--is an excellent hardcover value. Ages 5-7. (June)