Kirkus Reviews QR Code
GUACAMOLE by Jorge Argueta


Un poema para cocinar/ A Cooking Poem

by Jorge Argueta & illustrated by Margarita Sada & translated by Elisa Amado

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: April 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-55498-133-5
Publisher: Groundwood

Argueta follows Arroz con leche/Rice Pudding (illustrated by Fernando Vilela, 2010) with another simple, lyrical bilingual recipe for children.

Three siblings cavort their way through the oldest one’s description of making guacamole: “Yummy guacamole, / so greeny green, / as pure as love.” Relying on four ingredients (avocados, limes, cilantro and salt), the author breaks the recipe into bite-sized steps for the smallest hands and enlivens the text with extra activities, such as singing and dancing. “Sing to the salt / as you shake it / so that little splatters / of white drizzle / fall like rain on the green avocado.” Asterisks indicate the two steps where children may need adult help. The Spanish text appears over the English text, and both face Sada’s fanciful illustrations, bright with the author’s descriptive, often metaphoric palette. The illustrations bring the recipe to life, and children will delight in the antics of these happy children. Living in a hollowed-out avocado, the characters are small enough in some of the illustrations to slide on freshly cut fruits, play under the kitchen faucet and frolic in salt the size of popcorn. The end of the book finds the entire family enjoying the freshly made guacamole on the lawn outside their unusual abode. While the Spanish text loses a bit of its lyricism and repetition in translation, the overall effect will still be pleasing to young readers.

A bilingual treat. (Picture book. 4-8)