"Stone Soup" is a folk tale that has been told in many different European cultures. The gifted writer and illustrator Jon Muth has adapted the story and set it in China.

Zen monks Hok, Lok, and Siew arrive in a closed-off village that has seen too many hard times with famine, floods, and war. Lacking in trust, the villagers are not kindly to strangers. Unhappiness has hardened the hearts of everyone. In fact, the monks discover everybody has retreated inside their homes behind locked doors. So the outsiders decide to make soup starting with some stones.

A little girl comes outside and asks them if they need a bigger pot; her mother brings it to the monks. Some others in he village share the little they have: salt and pepper, carrots, onions, mushrooms and other good things. Afterwards, when the soup is done the whole community sits down to eat together the meal they have prepared.

Stone Soup teaches children a wonderful lesson. They need not be afraid to show hospitality to strangers. Sharing brings true happiness.