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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Toenail Soup is a humorous story for children, grades K-3, written by C.M. Walsh. Joey was a pretty typical seven-year-old, who loved going out and playing with his dog and watching bugs and other creepy crawly critters, but he certainly did like strange food. Joey’s mom asked him one afternoon for help with making their dinner that night. Joey went to the refrigerator and instantly started selecting ingredients for his own special recipe. His mom seemed to find the selection a little strange and funny, but she soon had a large pot of soup merrily simmering on the stove. It looked great, but Joey’s soup smelled kind of strong. In fact, Joey realized, with some appreciation, it smelled like his smelly feet, and the bacon bits that floated in it made it seem like he was crunching on his stinky toenails. Joey decided to call his concoction Toenail Soup, and he had his mom make the delicious treat as often as she could. His friends wondered about the smelly soup, and he proudly told them what he called it. But then the kids started teasing him in school. How could he get them to realize that Toenail Soup was really quite delicious?
C.M. Walsh’s humorous tale for children, grades K-3, Toenail Soup, addresses the conflict kids often have between fitting in with their peers and feeling comfortable with themselves as individuals. As I looked at Joey’s assembled ingredients for Toenail Soup, I was really rather impressed, even if those Brussels sprouts did promise to give the soup a strange appearance and an even stranger smell -- things kids can definitely have fun thinking about. Joey’s story also illustrates the importance of trying new and different things, not just food or cooking, and seeing for yourself what you like or don’t like. If Joey’s recipe is anything to go by, I think he’ll be one of the hot new chefs in a few years, and I’ve got the feeling kids who are introduced to this book will be asking for Toenail Soup for themselves. Walsh’s story is an engaging one, and it’s a grand selection for story time. It’s also perfect for young readers to try on their own. Toenail Soup is most highly recommended.