Mercado: The Heart of the Barrio

Reycraft. Oct. 2022. 40p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781478873822.
Gr 1-3–Exuberantly colorful photographs illustrate this tour of the markets of Mexico. Stalls and shops selling everything from herbs and toys to flowers and edible insects are the center of activity for many Mexican towns and cities. The author shares her joy in the wide variety of native and non-native foods and products. Less knowledgeable readers will be adrift without explanations of culinary treats, such as ceviche and mole, as well as without labels of the particular flowers that are only mentioned in the text. In a section on fruit, “chicozapote, namey and tuna” are listed as native to Mexico. The correlation between the exuberant text and the festive photos is somewhat loose, but always spirited. This can serve as an introduction to the colors and foods of Mexico when used as part of a class study, instead of as a standalone to help those unfamiliar with the Spanish language terms.
VERDICT The colorful illustrations are a highlight on the foods and products sold in Mexican markets.

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