HOLY MOLÉ! by Caroline McAlister

HOLY MOLÉ!

Age Range: 6 - 8
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Incorporating details from Mexican legends, McAlister offers a version of a story that explains how molé, a blend of chocolate, chili peppers and spices usually served on turkey, was created. The tasty dish was probably eaten in Aztec times, but several tales connect its origins to religious brothers or sisters preparing food fit to serve a Spanish viceroy. In this version, the friars scurry around, chopping chilies, cutting chocolate and grinding cinnamon. Carlos, a fictional hungry kitchen boy, tries to grab a falling bun and trips the legendary character, Brother Pascual, as he carries the ingredients for many different sauces and desserts. The unlikely combination of chocolate and savory spices falls into the turkey pot, and the rest is culinary history. The funny, economically told story would be easy for children to retell or dramatize, but Czernecki, who usually does a fine job illustrating folktales, depicts Carlos as a cartoon-like character with a tiny sombrero perched on his head. While stylistically in keeping with the brothers, the bishop and the viceroy, all rendered in bold simple shapes on bright white backgrounds, Carlos looks like a throwback to the touristy images of Mexican peasants of earlier decades—what a shame! (author’s note with sources) (Picture book/folktale. 6-8)

Pub Date: May 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-87483-775-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: August House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2007




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