Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Dragon Soup

Dragon Soup

Arlene Williams
Illustrator:  Sally J. Smith 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
H J Kramer, 1996   ISBN: 978-0915811632

Tonlu and her family live far away in a "land of jungles and mountains and mist." Above her home, way at the top of the mountain, live the Cloud Dragons. All is well until a merchant comes to her home. The man tells her father that he must pay his debt to the merchant or give up his farm, or worse still give Tonlu to the merchant in marriage.

Horrified at the choices that face her family Tonlu decides to go to the cave of the Cloud Dragons and to steal some of their gold. Just a little of their treasure will save her family from having to give up their farm or their daughter. Bravely Tonlu sets out and though she manages to find the cave and the dragons, she is caught when she tries to steal an enormous pearl.

Tonlu is soon the dragon’s prisoner and she is sure that they plan to turn her into "dragon soup" but she gets a surprise. Instead of eating her, the dragons want the girl to judge their cooking skills. Whose soup is better and how will Tonlu manage the two very large and unpredictable dragons without getting eaten?

This delightful tale shows us how courage and wisdom can help a person make difficult decisions and how they can also help one solve complicated problems.