Quill soup

Author: Alan Durant

Illustrator: Dale Blankenaar

Published by Tiny Owl, in June 2019, this is a visually stunning and beautifully retold, African version of Stone Soup – a European folk story about the importance and impact of sharing – focused around Noko the porcupine.

Noko arrives – as a stranger – tired, hungry and alone in a remote jungle village. When he is met with unkindness, closed doors and a reluctance from the inhabitants he must be creative in order to survive. The story cleverly delivers a powerful message about community, shared resource, helping others and how we all benefit far more from giving and collaborating than hoarding in isolation.

Dale’s use of colour, illustrations and double page spreads are a unique style and thoroughly beguiling. Even on my tenth plus reading of the book I am still finding hidden elements amongst the vines and subtle details, skilfully woven into the pictures.

This book is striking and would make a welcome and stand-out addition to any bookshelf.

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