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Children's LiteratureJosh notices that Rosa always brings "mud soup" to school and he is grossed out. He doesn't want to hurt Rosa's feelings when she offers him a taste, and diffuses the offers each time. When he sees Rosa's mama and abuela digging in the garden by a pail of mud, he is sure that this soup needs to be avoided. But at the school's International Day, parents (two fathers, here) bring food and Rosa's mama brings the infamous mud soup. It turns out to be black bean (recipe provided) and Josh tastes it: Delicioso! Four to ten short lines of text per page challenge the fully launched reader, and Josh's reaction, " His stomach jumped. His heart thumped" repeats. The overt moral of giving new things a try is also supported by Josh's tact in finding several ways to refuse. A short 3-word glossary of Spanish introduces the concept of a glossary, and the recipe is easy to follow. Guevara's watercolors feature the necessary action with pleasant gentle humor. A good choice to introduce the discussion of trying something new, and a nice introduction if your school has an International Food Festival. 2003, Random House, Ages 6 to 8.
— Susan Hepler, Ph.D.