Select one of the keywords
A Pipkin of Pepper    by Helen Cooper order for
Pipkin of Pepper
by Helen Cooper
Order:  USA  Can
Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2005 (2005)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

Cat, Squirrel and Duck are back in this charming follow up to Helen Cooper's Pumpkin Soup. In the former, the roommates argued over who would get to stir the soup, and their friendship was tested in the process.

In A Pipkin of Pepper, the dilemma faced by the animals is whether to allow Duck to accompany Cat and Squirrel to the city to pick up more salt, a necessary ingredient of their nightly staple, pumpkin soup. The problem is that Duck has a reputation for getting lost, and he has never been to the city. Having learned in the earlier book not to take Duck for granted, they let him tag along, with very specific instructions for not going astray. Of course, he gets lost, after announcing to the others that pepper, not salt, would be perfect in their soup.

The language flows rhythmically: ''Can I go?' pleaded the Duck. 'Can I go?' he said, and he wiggled and wheedled, and bobbed, and begged, until the Cat said, 'All right! If you promise to hold on tight.' The animals' search for their missing friend, and Duck's apprehension, sweetly reflects the bonds of friendship. Cat and Squirrel are so happy to have located Duck that, once they return home, they allow him to add a pipkin of pepper to their famous pumpkin soup, rather than the usual salt.

Cooper also offers a valuable lesson to children about not wandering from parents. The illustrations are lovely and appealing. Look for some humorous sidebar conversations and other subtle details.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more Kids books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews