When I went through a stage of wanting to eat only “plain noodles” at every meal (“noodles” is what I called macaroni back then, much to my Italian partner’s chagrin), my mom read me Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban. The hilarious Ross Collins has given us the food obsession book for a new generation.
A recipe for hilarity:
Take one boy named Alvie who’s crazy for soup.
Add two parents concerned by their son’s food fixation.
Stir in an omnivorous sister for spice.
Bring to a boil with a visit from Alvie’s “Gourmet Granny” - a famous chef who’s not likely to approve of her grandchild’s one-dish diet.
Simmer for 32 pages, garnish with a surprise ending, and voila! A tasty picture book the whole family will enjoy!
Reviews and Awards
Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum
“Alvie Eats Soup is Ross Collins's best picture book yet. Alvie's obsession with soup is the bane of his mum and dad's existence. Parental anxieties about eating are caricatured in the extreme measures mum and dad take to persuade single-minded Alvie to expand his diet. But in spite of their hand-wringing, the soup truck delivers weekly, and Alvie thrives. When Alvie's celebrity chef granny comes to visit, his parents fear she'll be shocked and disappointment with his singular diet. There isn't an illustrator in Britain who uses a more intelligent visual storytelling language; Collins somehow manages to combine the cosy stasis of Maxfield Parrish with a dynamic modernist angularity and make his books warm, child-friendly, and hip. Surreal domestic settings, unique visual meatphors, and pathos are essential ingredients of this remarkably nutritious book.” - Times Educational Supplement
“Good-humored complications climax in a surprising conclusion that will leave children chuckling and hungering for more about Alvie. Collins’ cartoonlike illustrations, busy with details and speech balloons, have a nicely comic sensibility that’s a perfect match for the text’s cheerfully whimsical tone.” - Booklist
“A surefire recipe for chuckles.” - Kirkus Review
“A humorous romp through the oft-familiar landscape of childhood quirks.” - School Library Journal
Price: $16.99 US / $18.99 CAN
Trim Size: 10" x 10"
Page Count: 32
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes