Book Review: Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months

Posted May 14, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Children's

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Maurice Sendak’s Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months

Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months


Maurice Sendak

fantasy that was published by HarperCollins on November 28, 1962 and has 30 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Bumble-Ardy

A standalone story in the Nutshell Library series for children that has fun exploring seasonal expectations of each month of the year.

My Take

The illustrations are darling — y’all’ll get a kick out of Sendak’s choices for each month — with a common color theme of blues and yellow. I can’t decide if they’re engraving-like images with watercolors or if Sendak used aquarelles.

The chapters are titled with the month and a seasonally changing blue, green-and-yellow and yellow background encased in an elaborate curlicue of a ribbon-like black-and-white border.

Each month is a cute rhyme that references the month and time of year and how nice it is to eat chicken soup with rice. January is ice, February is a celebration with his snowman, March is the blowy month while April finds an elephant sharing his soup, and more.

Sendak gets the animal kingdom involved from elephants to robins to turtles to crocodiles to whales as he travels to India, Egypt, the beach, and the backyard. I must confess I’d not get as excited as the children in the illustration about December’s offering!

This could be a fun discussion with the kids about the months of the year.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a pale yellow with a subtle green frame encasing a deeper yellow background with the author’s name in a deep, deep brown at the top, followed by the title, its subtitle, and the publisher’s name at the very bottom. In between is an ornately framed oval of a little boy in blue short pants and jacket prancing as he enjoys a hot bowl of Chicken Soup with Rice.