Nickel’s homage to this congenial, hardworking man and his renowned snack is a celebration of ingenuity and kismet.

NACHO'S NACHOS

THE STORY BEHIND THE WORLD'S FAVORITE SNACK

On a platter or in a bowl, cheesy nachos are everywhere! But where did they come from?

Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya was working his shift at the Club Victoria in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico—across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, Texas—when Mamie Finan, a regular Anglo customer, walked in with some friends, challenging Nacho to come up with something different for them to try. Nacho scrambled around the empty restaurant kitchen until he spotted some freshly made tortilla chips. Recalling his foster mother’s quesadillas, he sprinkled cheddar cheese on the chips and crowned them with gleaming slices of pickled jalapeños. A few minutes in the oven, and history was made! Since that fateful day in 1940, celebrities from both sides of the border—even President Lyndon B. Johnson—have clamored for a plate of Nacho’s Special. Eighty years later, minus the apostrophe and “special,” people the world over dig happily into servings of cheesy, crunchy, spicy—nachos. Nickel’s thorough research, including communications with the descendants of the principals, brings to life the man behind the world’s favorite cheesy bites. Dominguez’s detailed facial expressions and vibrant, full-bleed, double-page period illustrations successfully capture the people, the era, and its fashions.

Nickel’s homage to this congenial, hardworking man and his renowned snack is a celebration of ingenuity and kismet. (sources, citations, biographical note, author’s note) (Picture book/biography. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 11, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-62014-369-8

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Lee & Low Books

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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IF YOU LIVED DURING THE PLIMOTH THANKSGIVING

A measured corrective to pervasive myths about what is often referred to as the “first Thanksgiving.”

Contextualizing them within a Native perspective, Newell (Passamaquoddy) touches on the all-too-familiar elements of the U.S. holiday of Thanksgiving and its origins and the history of English colonization in the territory now known as New England. In addition to the voyage and landfall of the Mayflower, readers learn about the Doctrine of Discovery that arrogated the lands of non-Christian peoples to European settlers; earlier encounters between the Indigenous peoples of the region and Europeans; and the Great Dying of 1616-1619, which emptied the village of Patuxet by 1620. Short, two- to six-page chapters alternate between the story of the English settlers and exploring the complex political makeup of the region and the culture, agriculture, and technology of the Wampanoag—all before covering the evolution of the holiday. Refreshingly, the lens Newell offers is a Native one, describing how the Wampanoag and other Native peoples received the English rather than the other way around. Key words ranging from estuary to discover are printed in boldface in the narrative and defined in a closing glossary. Nelson (a member of the Leech Lake Band of Minnesota Chippewa) contributes soft line-and-color illustrations of the proceedings. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Essential. (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-72637-4

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Scholastic Nonfiction

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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Like oil itself, this is a book that needs to be handled with special care.

OIL

In 1977, the oil carrier Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of oil into a formerly pristine Alaskan ocean inlet, killing millions of birds, animals, and fish. Despite a cleanup, crude oil is still there.

The Winters foretold the destructive powers of the atomic bomb allusively in The Secret Project (2017), leaving the actuality to the backmatter. They make no such accommodations to young audiences in this disturbing book. From the dark front cover, on which oily blobs conceal a seabird, to the rescuer’s sad face on the back, the mother-son team emphasizes the disaster. A relatively easy-to-read and poetically heightened text introduces the situation. Oil is pumped from the Earth “all day long, all night long, / day after day, year after year” in “what had been unspoiled land, home to Native people // and thousands of caribou.” The scale of extraction is huge: There’s “a giant pipeline” leading to “enormous ships.” Then, crash. Rivers of oil gush out over three full-bleed wordless pages. Subsequent scenes show rocks, seabirds, and sea otters covered with oil. Finally, 30 years later, animals have returned to a cheerful scene. “But if you lift a rock… // oil / seeps / up.” For an adult reader, this is heartbreaking. How much more difficult might this be for an animal-loving child?

Like oil itself, this is a book that needs to be handled with special care. (author’s note, further reading) (Informational picture book. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3077-8

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2019

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