School Library JournalGr 2-4-In this successor to Everybody Serves Soup (Carolrhoda, 2000), Carrie organizes a Fourth of July block party in her neighborhood. As she goes from house to house making the final arrangements, she is delighted to learn that everyone is preparing some kind of pasta, her favorite food. Mrs. Hua will contribute yellow sesame noodles; Anna-Eleni is bringing orzo; Fendra, a macaroni salad; and so on. That evening, the revelers enjoy eating, playing games, and entertaining one another with a hip-hop dance, a flute solo, an original rap song, and drumming. Carrie wishes she had a talent to share, but feels honored when she is recognized for talking with everybody and getting people to converse with one another. The realistic, framed, full-color illustrations in soft tones show people smiling broadly. The main character is appealing with her energy and friendliness, but the story is thin, serving primarily as a vehicle to introduce the various foods that those from different backgrounds eat (recipes included). The book's main appeal is the vision of community in a setting of racial, ethnic, and age diversity.-Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus ReviewsA neighborhood celebrates America's birthday by sharing its ethnic dishes in this latest of the Everybody series (Everybody Serves Soup, 2000, etc.). When Carrie hatches the idea of a block party for the Fourth of July, she has no idea of the work it will involve. On the day of the party, she clutches her list as she crosses off each item: tables and chairs, tablecloths, ice cream, and most important, the food her neighbors have made. Fortunately for Carrie, all the dishes contain her favorite-noodles. While the countries of origin are not always mentioned in the storyline, pesto, yellow sesame noodles, Greek orzo salad, macaroni salad, Vietnamese spring rolls with peanut sauce, zaru soba, and kugel are the featured specialties. As Carrie moves through the neighborhood, readers can see through her interactions that the young girl is instrumental in bringing the community together. In fact, though she is disappointed not to be taking part in the talent show, she is pleasantly surprised when she is recognized in this capacity by the organizer of the talent show. Dooley's work is a combination of a celebration of the diversity that makes America unique, and a recipe book. Thornton's illustrations are filled with color and life, and feature the people and places found in his own hometown. Add it to the menu. (Picture book. 4-8)
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