CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 27 . . . . April 13, 2012
Guacamole is author Jorge Argueta’s third contribution to a bilingual cooking poem series, preceded by Sopa de Frijoles/Bean Soup and Arroz con Leche/Rice Pudding. In this book, a young chef goes through all the steps to prepare guacamole. Conveniently, she and her family live in a gigantic avocado house with a monstrous cilantro ‘tree’ in the backyard. This delightful book has parallel text in English and Spanish, although it is clear that it was originally written in Spanish. Children’s book writer Elisa Amado does a good translation, but in translation from Spanish to English, the poem loses some of its rhythm and musicality. Nevertheless, this cooking poem would be great for language learning as a read-aloud for parents with older preschool and kindergarten-aged children.
The use of visual and physical similes makes it easy for young children to relate to the poem and the process of making guacamole: “The spoon is like a tractor / that you will use to scrape / the avocado flesh” (p.13). Margarita Sada complements this description with an animated scene of the young chef using a tractor to load a big spoonful of avocado into a brightly flowered bowl. The chef’s little brother and sister are happily hauling a giant avocado skin away. The illustrations, for the most part, show the children performing the activity described in the text on the facing page. The only illustration without children is the section of the poem (p.9) that serves as a break between the preparations, such as putting on an apron, to the actual cutting and combining of ingredients.
Sabrina Wong is a Master of Library and Information Studies candidate at the University of British Columbia. She is very fond of guacamole.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.