THE SECRET INGREDIENT by Lauren McLaughlin

THE SECRET INGREDIENT

by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 5
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Mitzi Tulane, preschool detective, is back, and this time she’s got helpers.

Mitzi’s friend Max is at her apartment on a play date, and muffins are on the snack menu. Mitzi is a black child with dark brown skin, and Max, with light, pinkish skin and blond hair, appears white like Mitzi’s father and baby brother, Kev. When the friends get the muffins, Max warns Mitzi that her dad might’ve sneaked something into them: “Like…spinach,” he whispers. Mitzi is aghast. Max speaks from experience, since his mother has indulged in such vegetable-hiding treachery, and Mitzi decides to investigate. When her magnifying glass can’t provide conclusive evidence about a suspicious speck that may or may not be a vegetable, they sneak across the hall, past Mitzi’s dad on the phone and the super (a white man called “Tall Dan”), to consult with science-loving Latino twins Juan and Juanita. A microscope is no help, but Bun Bun (their pet rabbit) gobbles up the crumb, leading everyone to conclude that it was a bit of carrot. Juanita writes up a report detailing the lapin expert witness’s findings, which the friends share with Tall Dan as they head back to Mitzi’s apartment, triumphant. McLaughlin’s text is both funny and respectful of its protagonists, while Ohi’s colorful, cartoon illustrations ramp up the humor in this story and add visual interest with setting details.

A recipe for storytime fun. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: July 11th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-449-81916-6
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2017




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