Saturday Newsletter: June 2, 2018

Newsletter  /   /  By Jane Levi
Stone Soup Magazine
June 2018

They're Pigs! parents turn into pigs

“That was very nice of you, dear,” said his mom

Illustrator Karina Jivkova,13 for They’re Pigs! by Adam Jacobs,11
Published January/February 2007.

A note from William Rubel

Even if you aren’t a kid, and don’t have a kid in your house, I am sure that you are aware that Summer vacation is almost upon us. My daughter reminded me today that there are only three days left of her middle school semester. Yikes! It is Summer, again!

While Stone Soup is for kids, there is nothing kid-like about a great deal of what we publish. Look at this richly colored, well imagined, unusually framed illustration to our 2007 story, “They’re Pigs!”. I am in awe of how this drawing is organized, at the depth of observation and technical skill with which it is drawn.

Note the shadow under the bed and the shadow cast by the vase on the night table. The design of that table, the folds of the sheets and curtains, the tactile feeling of the carpet are all masterful. I am also struck by the the child’s gesture, hand on head, and the fabulous directed gazes of the pigs themselves. It is a sumptuous drawing for an entertaining story. Scroll down to start reading the story, and click through to our website to finish it. Enjoy!


Read the June issue now, and get inspired by animal art

People say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover. I’m going to disagree with that today. You can judge the June issue of Stone Soup by its cover. The stories, poems, photographs, drawings and classic book review our young creators sent us (and Emma Wood selected) for this issue all live up to the promise of the wonderful cover. This portrait of ‘Red Fern’ is a truly great animal portrait. Hannah Parker, the photographer, is 13. Congratulations, Hannah, and thank you for sharing your work with Stone Soup!

Scientists are doing a lot of work on animal cognition. The very clear conclusion, so far, is that animals are much cleverer than we humans had been giving them credit for. I have no idea what Red Fern is thinking. But I think one of the great strengths of this image is that it conveys the sense that the goat is not only alive, but aware. They are weird goat eyes, for sure, but even so, Hannah presents us with a goat that has personality, and real presence.

In a newspaper I recently read the suggestion that governments should also count the animals we live with when they take a census of their citizens. My daughter and I live with about twenty-five creatures: a cat, rabbits, chickens, and aviary birds. The project for this weekend is to take your camera or your sketchbook, and take or make portraits of animals. I am using “animals” in its largest sense, so I’m including fish, birds, reptiles, and even insects, in addition to mammals. I want you to try to capture a sense of the animal’s personality. As this is a portrait, the head should take up a substantial portion of the frame or page.

If you are using a camera, then take lots of pictures so you have many to choose from. Part of the art of photography is recognizing which of the many pictures you took is the “keeper.”

As always, if you think you created something Stone Soup might publish, then send it to Editor Emma for her consideration by uploading the image at the Stone Soup submissions page.

Meanwhile, I encourage all of you to check out the June issue at our website. If you like what you see, and aren’t already a subscriber, then please subscribe for the young writer or artist in your life. Subscribers can read the full issue online or download it as a PDF to read on their tablet. We also have print copies ready to go at our mailing house, so if you prefer you can order it in print.

Until next week


Read more at stonesoup.com

Don’t miss the latest content from our Book Reviewers and Young Bloggers at stonesoup.com!

Book Review: Moo by Sharon Creech, reviewed by Carlyle Bryant, 11 
Book Review: Almost Autumn, by Marianne Kaurin, reviewed by Claire Buchanan, 12
Nature: Help Protect Trees by Antara
Book Review: Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi, reviewed by Nina Vigil, 11
Book Review: Holes by Louis Sachar, reviewed by Abhi Sukhdial, 10


Support Stone Soup through Amazon Smile

Did you know that you can support the Children’s Art Foundation, the non-profit behind Stone Soup, through the Amazon Smile program? Each purchase made by a supporter contributes a tiny amount so that magically, just like the original stone soup in the fairy tale, the more who chip in, the richer the pot will become.

All you have to do to effortlessly raise money for Stone Soup is go to the Amazon Smile portal. You will be asked to choose the charity you’d like to support. Once you have chosen, 0.5% of the value of all your purchases will go to the charitable organization in question. You can change your designation at any time. Find us in the US Amazon program by searching for “Children’s Art Foundation – Stone Soup.”

It takes a little retraining to switch to smile.amazon.com as one’s default Amazon URL, but once you do then every time you buy something from Amazon you help us out.

Your support matters. Thank you!


From Stone Soup
January/February 2007

They’re Pigs!

By Adam Jacobs, 11
Illustrated by Karina Jivkova,13

It was a beautiful morning in California. The ocean sparkled… the trees were a lush green… what a perfect time for the loud, unwelcome buzz of the alarm clock. Ryan got out of bed and shut the thing off. A little too suddenly, he decided, as he began to grow dizzy and weary. He staggered across the room to the door. He needed breakfast. Now. What day is it, anyway? he wondered. The calendar said it was Thursday. Thursday! Thursday was wake-up-the-family-in-a-weird-and-obnoxious-way day! He had been waiting for this day since… well, last Thursday! Quick as lightning, he got dressed and ran downstairs, grabbed his special bucket, and dashed into his parents’ bedroom.

And sure enough, there they were. Two little bumps under the sheets. He walked up next to them, leaned way over the bed, tipped the bucket over, and out came pounds upon pounds of cold, wet mud. But he didn’t hear surprised screams. He didn’t hear a sharp gasp. What he heard was an “Ahhh… thank you son…”

“Dad?” Ryan gulped. “What did you say?”

“I said, ‘Thank you son!’”

“Can you say that one more time?”

“If you want me to…”

“Can I have that in writing?” Ryan grinned.

“I just said thank you, OK?” he cried. “It’s nice to wake up to something cool and refreshing once in a while!”

“That was very nice of you, dear,” said his mom. And slowly, the bump underneath the sheets began to make its way towards the head of the bed. It reached the end of the sheets, then out popped a round, pink nose, two little black eyes, four little legs, and one curly little tail. All in all, a chubby little pig popped out instead of the tall slender figure of Ryan’s mother. Ryan wasn’t grinning anymore. …/more


Stone Soup’s Advisors: Abby Austin, Mike Axelrod, Annabelle Baird, Jem Burch, Evelyn Chen, Juliet Fraser, Zoe Hall, Montanna Harling, Alicia & Joe Havilland, Lara Katz, Rebecca Kilroy, Christine Leishman, Julie Minnis, Jessica Opolko, Tara Prakash, Denise Prata, Logan Roberts, Emily Tarco, Rebecca Ramos Velasquez, Susan Wilky.

About the Author

Jane has been working with Stone Soup since 2016 on variety of different things--including running the Stone Soup Test Kitchen! She is a writer, researcher and consultant.

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