Pumpkin Soup - Story Snug

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

Pumpkin Soup is one of our favourite autumn picture books and reading it heralds the time of year when the days are getting shorter, the mornings are getting cooler and homemade soup becomes a staple food. The three protagonists in the story, Cat, Squirrel and Duck, have a very traditional soup making routine which is turned upside down when one of them decides he wants to do things differently!

The Story: Cat, Squirrel and Duck make pumpkin soup every day. Each has their own job but one day Duck decides he wants to stir the soup instead of Squirrel. Cat and Squirrel are so incensed by the idea that an argument ensues and Duck leaves. As the day goes by, Cat and Squirrel start to get worried and their pumpkin soup doesn’t taste the same without Duck’s help. Eventually Duck returns and the friends make soup. Harmony is restored but then Duck decides to try something new…

Pumpkin Soup is a delicious story about the relationship between three friends. They live happily together in an old white cabin in the woods and in the evenings they make music and sing. Life is peaceful and orderly until Duck makes his ‘outrageous’ suggestion!

Cat and Squirrel’s initial outrage is replaced by worry when Duck doesn’t return, his absence makes them realise that he was only trying to help. We love the lengths that they go to when they search for Duck and their imaginations go into overdrive as they wonder where he could be. One of our favourite illustrations shows them imagining Duck becoming famous for his soup making!

Helen Cooper’s earthy, predominantly brown and orange illustrations are perfect for this time of year and pumpkins are heavily featured, the pumpkin quilt filled with Duck’s feathers is gorgeous! We love the way that smaller pictures are interspersed throughout the text and the larger illustrations are wonderfully atmospheric. My daughter particularly likes picture of the cabin in the woods which is filled with daily music, bagpipes play a pertinent role in the story too!Pumpkin Soup is a wonderful story to read in the classroom at this time of year. It can stimulate some great conversations about friendship and the way that each animal has behaved in the story. It’s also a lovely stimulus for pumpkin crafts with younger children. Older children could collect their own soup recipes for a class recipe book and even make their own pumpkin soup!

We’re still looking for the perfect recipe for pumpkin soup, ours always tastes bland and boring. We’d love you to share your favourite pumpkin soup recipe in the comments 🙂

Age Range: 3 +

Author / Illustrator: Helen Cooper

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24 responses to “Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper”

  1. Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs avatar

    Oh this lovely book has all of the autumnal feels! We will definitely be making our own batch of pumpkin soup this season! 🙂

    1. Catherine avatar

      I’ve finally found a pumpkin soup recipe that I like with sweet potato in it. I don’t usually like sweet potato but it adds the flavour that the pumpkin doesn’t have 🙂

  2. Debbie Roberts avatar

    Hi Catherine, what a lovely sounding story and it is perfect for this time of year! It doesn’t happen to have a recipe for pumpkin soup, does it? It has to be good if they eat it every day! If the cover is anything to go by the illustrations must be great. I can see why your daughter likes the illustration of the cabin in the woods!

    Thank you for linking up with the #MMBC.


    1. Catherine avatar

      Unfortunately there is no recipe for pumpkin soup which would be great as I’m still looking for the perfect recipe. It would be fabulous if Duck, Squirrel and Cat could visit and show me exactly how they cook their soup!!

  3. Acorn Books avatar

    I haven’t heard of this book before but it looks like a lovely autumnal read. I haven’t attempted pumpkin soup but if I find a good recipe then I’ll let you know! #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      Thank you! I love a good pumpkin soup although I don’t like peeling and chopping the pumpkin first. It always takes forever!!

  4. Sarah MumofThree World avatar

    That sounds lovely! And it sounds like you need Duck to help out with your pumpkin soup too 🙂

    1. Catherine avatar

      I do! I definitely need a Duck in my kitchen!

  5. Yet Another Blogging Mummy avatar

    What a great book and I agree with your daughter on the cabin illustration. It is fab especially with that rickety staircase. We always make pumpkin soup sometime around halloween

    1. Catherine avatar

      I love the cabin too, its shape reminds me of a teapot 🙂

  6. Claire Justine avatar

    What a lovely book 🙂 Looks perfect for Autumn #MMBC

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s great. I had a classroom copy and I was so happy when I found a copy in a charity shop 🙂

  7. mummy here and here avatar

    It looks a fabulous choice especially with Halloween round the corner X #mmbc

    1. Catherine avatar

      Yes, Halloween and pumpkin soup go really well together 🙂

  8. Louisa avatar

    This book sounds delightful! It is just the ticket as we start to change seasons, I’ll be looking out for this one. (I find a little bit of curry powder gives our pumpkin soup a little kick) #MMBC

    1. Catherine avatar

      Curry powder is a great idea. I’ve tried adding ginger in the past but never quite get the amount right!

  9. chantelle hazelden avatar
    chantelle hazelden

    Very appropriate book for this time of year! Thanks for sharing with #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      It is very appropriate. Now I just need to find the perfect pumpkin soup recipe!

  10. Lydia avatar

    This book looks like a lot of fun. Thank for reviewing it. I have nieces and nephews that would love it.

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a fun story which includes some great messages 🙂

  11. Kate avatar

    Looks like a fantastic Autumnal read Catherine! #readwithme

    1. Catherine avatar

      It is! It’s one of my favourite autumn stories 🙂

  12. Kate, Meals and Makes avatar

    This is such a beautiful book and perfect for autumn. We have borrowed it from the library a few times because my daughters love it. MMBC

    1. Catherine avatar

      I love this story, it’s timeless and has such amazing illustrations. Our copy came from a charity shop years ago, it’s been very well loved 🙂