Guacamole: Un Poema para Cocinar

Overview

Following on the success of Sopa de frijoles / Bean Soup and Arroz con leche / Rice Pudding is Jorge Argueta?s third book in our bilingual cooking poem series ? Guacamole ? with very cute, imaginative illustrations by Margarita Sada.

Guacamole originated in Mexico with the Aztecs and has long been popular in North America, especially in recent years due to the many health benefits of avocados. This version of the recipe is easy to make, calling for just avocados, limes, cilantro...

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Overview

Following on the success of Sopa de frijoles / Bean Soup and Arroz con leche / Rice Pudding is Jorge Argueta’s third book in our bilingual cooking poem series — Guacamole — with very cute, imaginative illustrations by Margarita Sada.

Guacamole originated in Mexico with the Aztecs and has long been popular in North America, especially in recent years due to the many health benefits of avocados. This version of the recipe is easy to make, calling for just avocados, limes, cilantro and salt. A little girl chef dons her apron, singing and dancing around the kitchen as she shows us what to do. Argueta’s gift in seeing beauty, magic and fun in everything around him makes this book a treasure — avocados are like green precious stones, salt falls like rain, cilantro looks like a little tree and the spoon that scoops the avocado from its skin is like an excavating tractor.

As in the previous cooking poems, Guacamole conveys the fun and pleasure of making something delicious and healthy to eat for people you really love. A great book for families to enjoy together.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A girl in pigtails prepares guacamole for her family, which lives inside a giant, hollowed-out avocado. In unrhymed verse in both English and Spanish, the girl names the needed ingredients (“four big avocados,/ like green precious stones”), and turns the preparation into a joyful, imaginative celebration. Turning miniature, the girl and her siblings slide down slippery slopes of sliced avocado and shower in the sink with cilantro: “Mmmmm cilantro smells so good./ Mmm such a fresh,/ such a green smell.” Sada’s digitally enhanced oil paintings create bold contrasts with their festive colors—readers will practically be able to taste the “sour river of lime” Argueta describes. Ages 4–7. (Apr.)
From the Publisher

"Sada’s digitally enhanced oil paintings create bold contrasts with their festive colors—readers will practically be able to taste the 'sour river of lime'…" —Publishers' Weekly

"A bilingual treat." —Kirkus

"This vibrant and lively poem is perfect for encouraging children to engage with cooking and food preparation…" — CM Magazine

Praise for Arroz con leche / Rice Pudding:
"The words are evocative and dreamy . . . a wonderful book to use across cultures.”
Booklist, starred review

Children's Literature - C. Alicia Clelland
Jorge Arqueta, an award-winning children's author, has written a poem about making guacamole. The storyline is about a child making guacamole for his/her family. The language is colorful and descriptive. The author uses many similes that engage the reader's senses. Every step of the process of making guacamole is described in detail. Arqueta also includes advice for the cook—from keeping lime juice out of your eyes to planting seeds in your garden. In addition, the child's pride and excitement in making guacamole for his/her family is clearly displayed. The layout has the text on one page with Spanish at the top and the English translation at the bottom. A full-page of whimsical watercolor illustrations follows. Sada does a good job of matching her pictures to the text. While Arqueta's story is gender neutral, the illustrator did not have the luxury to make her protagonist gender neutral so her drawings display a girl. However, she includes a boy, the main character's brother, in most of her pictures. The translator captures the author's story and rhyme with her choice of vocabulary. Teachers and parents will find this to be a good read-aloud story. It is also a story that will lend itself to reinforcing sequencing and predicting skills. This book is an excellent addition in a bilingual classroom. Reviewer: C. Alicia Clelland
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—This fanciful, imaginative narrative is as much poetry as it is a recipe. What makes Argueta's text sing is his liberal use of similes: the avocados are like "green precious stones" and the limes are "round as crystal marbles." As the story progresses, Sada's illustrations change the perspective. When the girl says that it's time to cut the avocados, she describes the pits as "smooth and slippery, like a slide." The illustration shows the narrator and two other children, now smaller than the avocado itself, sliding down the pit and into the hole created by its removal. Succeeding illustrations show the now diminutive children dancing on the table with salt spilled from a salt shaker and playing in the sink while washing the cilantro, which looks like a "little tree." Readers can easily follow the recipe and make guacamole themselves. Adult supervision is encouraged when a knife must be used. This delightful story ends with an eco-friendly encouragement to save the seeds so that more trees can grow: "more colors, more flavors." This selection is as tasty as the treat it describes!—Tim Wadham, Children's Literature Consultant, Fenton, MO
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—In this third book in the series from Argueta, a young girl makes guacamole in a joyful, fanciful, imaginative narrative. A liberal dash of similes makes the poetry sing. However, the most unique thing about this book is the way that Sada's illustrations change perspective as the story progresses, showing the children smaller than the avocado itself. The magical realism of the children playing in and on the avocado make this book all about finding magic and wonder in the everyday. Kids reading the book can easily follow along and make guacamole themselves with the recipe that is provided at the end. Argueta's previous two cooking poem books, Arroz con leche/Rice Pudding (2010) and Sopa de frijoles/Bean Soup (2009, both Groundwood) should also be part of your collection.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554981335
  • Publisher: Groundwood Books
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 637,783
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Jorge Argueta is an award-winning author of picture books and poetry for young children. He has won the Ame´ricas Book Award, the NPPA Gold Award, the Independent Publishers Book Award for Multicultural Fiction for Juveniles, second place for best bilingual picture book in the International Latino Book Awards, and he was a finalist for the Northern California Book Award. His books have also been named to the Ame´ricas Award Commended List, the USBBY Outstanding International Books Honor List, Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Books and the Cooperative Children’s Book Centre Choices. A native Salvadoran and Pipil Nahua Indian, Jorge spent much of his life in rural El Salvador. He now lives in San Francisco, California.

Margarita Sada is a highly regarded Mexican artist who has illustrated many children’s books, including Oloyou by Teresa Ca´rdenas, a story deriving from Yoruba mythology. Many of her books have been selected for Mexico’s SEP Libros del Rinco´n program, which provides books to schoolchildren throughout the country. Margarita has had solo exhibitions of her art in Mexico and Italy. She lives in Mexico City.

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Read an Excerpt


The avocados are waiting for me,
so big and green and beautiful.
I squeeze them gently with my hands and can tell that they are soft and ripe,
with their shiny tender skin,
like leaves in my garden after the rain.

I wash them in the fountain of the sink and then, dancing and singing,
I put them on the red kitchen table.

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