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TACOS by Frank Asch


by Frank Asch ; illustrated by Frank Asch

Pub Date: Sept. 19th, 2023
ISBN: 9781481480666
Publisher: Aladdin

Baby Bear travels to Arizona with Papa Bear and discovers…tacos.

Papa Bear tells his family they can come on his business trip, but Mama Bear can’t go because she’s busy with a library book sale. Baby Bear worries about myriad things she usually manages, but Papa Bear assures him he’ll take care of everything. Readers may raise an eyebrow at Baby Bear’s perception of his father’s ineptitude, but all goes well—mercifully without hackneyed Mr. Mom mishaps. The duo enjoy their flight, swim in the hotel pool, explore “the colorful streets,” and order tacos at a restaurant, but while the bright cartoon illustrations will feel familiar to those who know Asch’s work, they do little to expand on the staid text. The fact that these are Baby Bear’s first tacos may also leave readers wondering how the anthropomorphic cub hasn’t encountered such a ubiquitous food. Indeed, the depiction of Arizona makes it seem like a strange and unfamiliar locale, belying the diversity of the United States and the Latine presence throughout the country. Also potentially confusing is the lack of attention to Papa Bear’s business on this trip and what Baby Bear does during Papa’s work time. The pair’s return home is happy once Papa Bear assures Baby Bear that they can make and eat tacos there, too. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Rather bland, especially given the titular food’s customary spice.

(Picture book. 3-5)