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"Then I started going down slowly to the ground and I stopped at Vietnam"
Martin Taylor, 12
Published July/August 2002,
illustrating Hungry, by Tran Nguyen, 10

A note from the team

William has gone camping in the mountains with his daughter for a couple of weeks, so this week's newsletter comes to you from Emma and Jane.

Drawing dreams

This week's drawing was made to illustrate a story about a dream. Dreams can be such a strange mixture of reality and fantasy, and I love the way this picture combines those two things. The detail of the city buildings, its curving river and tall palm trees, the valley dark on one side and light on the other, all conjure up a realistic and beautiful picture of a town in Vietnam. The sky is bright, with high thunder clouds--but then whatever is that in the top right-hand corner? Why is there a fork sticking out of a pink cloud? It's unexpected, and that makes me want to look again. It also makes me more curious about the story it goes with. Like lots of great illustrations, this one is true to the words without literally putting all of them into the picture, and that mixture of truth and fiction feels very dreamlike. Dreams can be hard to remember or put into words. A drawing like this that hints at something a little bit strange is a great way to put the viewer in the right frame of mind to think about the dream that inspired it--and their own dreams. What do your dream drawings look like?

Until next week


Submit to our Cover Contest and a Note About Art in Stone Soup

A long time ago, when Stone Soup was first founded, we didn't commission illustrations. Instead, we published pieces of art that excited us—regardless of their connection to a specific story! We have recently decided to return to this practice. This means, we are no longer commissioning illustrations for the magazine. From now on, we will be accepting standalone art—drawing, paintings, photographs, collages as well as images of sculpture, diorama, ceramics—that we simply love and want to share with all of our readers. Your art will be featured in a special "art" section of our new digital magazine. In addition, we might also choose to pair it with a story or a poem, in which case it would be featured in two places in the issue. Please consider submitting your best pieces of art to the magazine.

This is also a good time to remind you that we are running our first-ever cover contest this summer and hope you will consider submitting! Given our new focus on standalone art—art that can stand on its own without a piece of fiction—I encourage you to take the story excerpts and run with them, to bring in your imagination, and maybe even your dreams, to play in your pieces. Think of the excerpts as springboards: where can they launch you?

Until next week



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From Stone Soup
November/December 2000

Memories of Sunset Lake

By Mandana Nakhai, age 11

Illustrated by Zoe Paschkis, age 12

It was getting dark. Zoe lay on the hammock on the front porch eating an ice-cream sundae. She looked out at the golden lake thoughtfully. The porch door slammed. Zoe scooted over for her twin brother, Hunter.


Zoe nodded. She slurped a chocolate drip off the side of the tall glass. Hunter carefully watched Zoe’s gaze drop toward the other white-picket-fence houses ringing the lake.

“I just can’t believe the summer’s over.”

Hunter got up and dangled his feet over the porch, brushing some blond hair out of his intense green eyes. “Well, we can come back next summer. We have to go back to school, you know.”

Zoe nodded, wishing that the summer would never end.

Cool air blew the trees as the twins walked down to the dock. “I just wish we could have done something interesting. All we did is sit around on the dock the whole time.”

Hunter rolled up his khakis and dipped his feet in the water, thinking about what his sister had said. “We did lots of stuff. Remember the beginning of the summer? When we first got to the house?” ...more

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