FICTION

Salsa: Un Poema Para Cocinar/A Cooking Poem

tr. from Spanish by Elisa Amado. illus. by Duncan Tonatiuh. Bilingual ed. 32p. (Bilingual Cooking Poems). Groundwood. Mar. 2015. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781554984428; ebk. $16.95. ISBN 9781554984435.
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RedReviewStarGr 1–3—A boy and his sister make the spicy sauce with the help of family members in the latest entry from Argueta's "Bilingual Cooking Poems" (Groundwood). The characters make salsa while dancing to salsa—the pan-Latin American musical genre. This lyrical, bilingual text (from Spanish to English) features an easy-to-follow recipe. The extended poem celebrates cooking as a family and cultural event, hearkening back to the Nahua, Aztec, and Maya traditions of using a molcajete (small black bowl) to grind ingredients to make the tasty treat. A symbol denotes tasks that require adult supervision and help. A suggestion for composting leftover materials is tied to fostering a relationship with Mother Nature. Complementing the heartwarming text are Tonatiuh's pre-Columbian, Mixtec-inspired illustrations. The earthy tones, onomatopoeic word art, and borders peppered with pertinent images, such as tomatoes; limes; and musical notes, work together to serve up a completely satisfying offering.
VERDICT A delectable work of art perfect for food-themed, bilingual, and Día storytimes.

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