The ­Juneteenth Cookbook: Recipes and Activities for Kids and Families to Celebrate

becker&mayer! kids. Apr. 2024. 72p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780760385791.
Gr 1-5–Agostini has written multiple books about Juneteenth, and her expertise shines in these pages. The book opens with a nice explainer about the holiday, noting that while the celebration of Emancipation had been observed for over 150 years, it only became a federal holiday in 2021. Throughout the book, readers follow a little girl named Alliah and her grandparents as they prepare for their Juneteenth festivities. Chapters focus on drinks, appetizers, mains, sides, and desserts, with interspersed sections about the history and symbolism of certain foods, suggested field trips to areas that have special significance around the holiday, playlists, and games. Cloud’s artwork is a gorgeous accompaniment to Agostini’s recipes, bursting with a summery wholesomeness. Each recipe is given a full-page illustration and portrayed in vibrant, appetizing colors. Ingredients are healthy, inexpensive, and widely available. Of note is Agostini’s collaboration with a professional chef, Elrod, ensuring that this is not merely a Juneteenth book that happens to contain a few recipes, but rather a rich and full cookbook honoring a deeply meaningful celebration of freedom.
VERDICT A beautiful collection of recipes marking an important national holiday, highly recommended for school and public libraries.

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