Ideas for Activities
Creative Things to do with Boy Soup Kid's pictures of Boy Soup More kids' pictures of Boy Soup

BOY SOUP

Written and illustrated by Loris Lesynski
Full-color illustrations
Paperback ISBN 1-55037-416-8, Library binding ISBN 1-55037-417-6
Annick Press, distributed by Firefly Books

Description & Reviews

  • Giant has a wretched cold, the only remedy for which is boy soup. He captures Kate along with her fellow ingredients, and she cleverly foils his plan. What other scheme could the children have concocted to escape?
  • Teachers I’ve met have been incredibly creative with Boy Soup, my first book. The best project seems to be classes coming up with even more bizarre and horrible soups made up of their own words, drawings or collages. One school even had a bulletin board with Teacher Soup on it, photos of the staff pasted onto the picture of a soup bowl, peas, potatoes and carrots drawn in between.
  • The complete menu of Boys’ Restaurant was designed at one school, with foods especially meant for boys (?).
  • And a seventh grade at another school wrote up the whole Giant’s Home Medical Guide in verse, with monstrous ailments and ghoulish remedies (bedsheets for slings, a swimmingpoolful of cough syrup).
  • Students most often redraw the page of the children making the soup — look at the ones here! They also redraw Giant, and the picture of the giant fingers being lowered in the tree to capture the children.
  • A very important question for older kids: What do you think Kate said in her letter to the Giant to make him apologize? How did she explain that boy soup was wrong?
  • My favorite phrase in Boy Soup: “sofa-sized fingers.” I’ve always thought that big fingers look like three-cushioned sofas
  • Made-up word in Boy Soup: sneeziness
  • Students are interested to find out that 12 different colors of pencil crayon were used for the giant’s bright nose — lots of layers is the secret to bright colors with colored pencils. A better way to learn about using color than (ugh) markers.
  • Next book (your version), how about Boy Burgers... or Boyberry Muffins?
  • If you’re reading Boy Soup aloud, make check marks in the air on the soup pot page and have everyone help itemize the ingredients by calling out in unison:
  • “The boys cooked the carrots (CHECK!),
    the boys boiled the peas (CHECK!)
    Then seasoned the soup with
    a handful of fleas (CHECK!)

  • You can also ad-lib 5 “really”s before “rotten bananas” if you want.
  • “The only prescription? A bowl of ——————.” (hold the cover up silently and have the listeners shout out “BOY SOUP!”).
  • Boy Soup has a nifty homonym in it: the word flee meaning to run away and also flea meaning bug on a dog.
  • Some good synonyms in Boy Soup: hideous, horrid, terrible, dreadful
  • What do you think the sign in Boy’s Restaurant on the last page means? SAY IT TOGETHER OUT LOUD.
  • Question I’m asked often: Why didn’t you write a book called Girl Soup? My answer? Girl Soup isn’t funny. I don’t know why, it just isn’t.
  • Behind the scenes: The Giant has “a huge doughy tongue much the color of paste.” Want to know why? The day I was working on the page, I went to a farm to get a kitten (who turned out to be Spike, who’s on the copyright page in Catmagic). A huge horse came up to me and opened his mouth. His big blobby tongue was an off-white pasty oatmeal color, not the least bit pink. I’d never seen anything like it. I was sure the Giant’s tongue would be just as gross, so I put it in the book.
  • Here’s a soup bowl coloring page (in PDF format).

Are you curious... ARE YOU CURIOUS about why it says “To the Goup” on the dedication page? Is it a spelling mistake? Five of us who are children’s writers workshop our writing with one another once a month. We read new stories out loud, and they receive comments, criticism, praise and suggestions. When the first one of us had a book published (Teresa Toten’s lovely funny kids’ novel, The Onlyhouse) we gave her a plaque meant to say “Congratulations and envy from the Group of Five.” The engraver (daydreaming?) accidentally wrote “Goup of Five.” All in all that seemed to be a pretty good name for a bunch of children's writers, so we kept it.