On a snowy afternoon, a mouse grandmother’s cooking aromas attract the noses of her neighbors.
A nice warm sopa, just enough for one, will make things cozy in Abuelita’s sagebrush house. As she cooks, stirs, tastes, and adds ingredients to her pot, the distinct smell of piñon smoke drifts through the wood. “Someone’s cooking something good.” Chipmunk, Rabbit, and Old Bear are determined to find out. “Is it sopa? Neighbors stare. / Three move closer, sniff the air.” But when Abuelita shows them her blue corn soup, the three friends can tell there is enough for only one. Not to worry; Abuelita has a plan for sharing. With each neighbor bringing the last of the fall harvest to Old Bear’s lair, the blue corn soup turns into a friendship stew for all to enjoy. Detailed illustrations drawn in graphite and watercolor washes elicit the charm of these anthropomorphic forest animals dressed in scarves, vest, and hat. The alluringly repetitive rhyme employs the motif of three and moves the story along in an engaging iteration that includes a refrain that’s altered slightly for each character. “Piñon smoke drifts through the wood. / Someone’s cooking something good. / Rabbit bounces, sniffs about. / Is it sopa? He’ll find out.” Three Spanish words—Abuelita, sopa, and amigos—sprinkled throughout are easily understood and add a Latinx flavor, though the decision to italicize the name “Abuelita” is distracting and somewhat off-putting.
A mostly delectable choice for late fall/early winter readings. (recipe) (Picture book. 3-6)