Perfection can be dangerous, as restaurateurs Tía Lupe and Tío José discover when one of their delicious tortillas comes to life and runs away.
The handmade tortillas, "light as a cloud and as soft as the fuzz on a baby's cheek," are so gravity-defying that one takes off, pursued at first by the couple, and then by a parade of conejos (rabbits), sapos cornudos (lizards), vaqueros (cowboys), and other locals. The story should sound familiar; it's a Spanish-sprinkled update of “The Gingerbread Man.” This tortilla tale is a revamp of Kimmel’s out-of-print 2000 book of the same name, illustrated by Randy Cecil, featuring winning new art and more Spanish but with that unsparing original ending. (Let's just say things do not end well when the troublemaking tortilla encounters a fox.) The text is energetic, and the baked-in Spanish avoids feeling dumbed down; it's placed so well in context that non–Spanish-speaking readers won't feel lost. The illustrations evocatively convey the cacti, sand-beached rubble, and reptilian fauna of the Southwest as well as the crispy-masa body of the tortilla herself. Her singsong-y taunt is catchy: "Run as fast as fast can be. / You won't get a bite of me. / Doesn't matter what you do. / I'll be far ahead of you!"
Anyone who's ever driven across town for the perfect taco will understand the allure of the world's most entertaining tortilla. (Picture book. 4-8)