8 picture books on food and fellowship

TOMATOES FOR NEELA Written by Padma Lakshmi Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal Indian girl with sparkling eyes makes tomato sauce with ...


TOMATOES FOR NEELA
Written by Padma Lakshmi
Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

Indian girl with sparkling eyes makes tomato sauce with her amma every summer, when juicy, plump fruit is in season. Lakshmi’s tongue imbues ritual with magic – a girl’s cookbook patati looks “old and important”, as if it was “full of spells” – and Martinez-Neal’s acrylic and colored pencil illustrations on hand-textured paper evoke the sweet flavors of chutney. Text and art simmer and swirl in sync, from Amma’s culinary dance (“faster beats” as she shakes spices, her “click and snap” bracelets) to pungent aromas that float in the air.

40 pages. Viking. $ 17.99. (3 to 7 years old)

LET YOUR LIFE BE DELICIOSA
Written by Michael Genhart
Illustrated by Loris Lora

Every Christmas Eve, a Mexican American girl and her mom, tia, his sister and his cousins ​​make him tamales that of abuela food. The recipe is in Abuela’s heart, and the molding and folding of corn husks into nourishing treats is associated with her metaphorical blessings (for flexibility, support, protection, and loving hugs). Inspired by mid-century illustration and design, Lora’s paper doll-style cutout art matches the Southern California ’60s and’ 70s decor of Genhart’s childhood, where her family members worked in product fields and packaging factories.

40 pages. Cameron Kids. $ 17.99. (5 to 7 years old)

BOULETTE DAY
Written by Meera Sriram
Illustrated by Inés de Antuñano
Recipes by Laurel P. Jackson

A neighborhood dumpling party brings together 10 families representing 10 cultures (although many families are a mix of ethnicities themselves) to share 10 recipes for this savory dish – which, although the ingredients vary, consists of rolled dough. around a garnish. Samosas, wu gok, fufu balls, gyoza, bourekas, tamales, shish barak, pelmeni, dumplings and apple dumplings are all included in this book, you guessed it. While there isn’t much of a story and the nursery rhyme is a bit songy, it does provide a solid pre-Thanksgiving introduction to what people are eating around the world.

40 pages. Barefoot books. $ 17.99. (4 to 9 years old)

FAMILY MEETING
Written by Chad and Papa Richardson
Illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin

“No reunion. NAN. “That boy won’t go. But go ahead, only to find a sea of ​​people he doesn’t know wearing red family tree T-shirts.” Daddy kisses, mommy kisses. Not me. NO. . Force field activated. (Corrin pulls him inside a bubble, frowning as a parent pushes her with his finger.) Suddenly he notices that these ‘strangers’ look like him. me? ”Soon he has a blast. While the early days of the son-in-law writing team are patchy, Corrin’s spirited and original illustrations save the day.

24 pages. Barefoot books. $ 16.99. (5 to 10 years old)

A SONG BY FRUTAS
Written by Margarita Engle.
Illustrated by Sara Palacios.

When a young girl visits her grandfather in Cuba, she helps him sell frutas of his cart, chanting the names of each one while walking, while competing pregoneros sing louder to be heard. Fortunately, camaraderie prevails: “Our voices are bridges that extend to the windows. The girl’s favorite day is New Years Eve, when everyone buys 12 grapes – a wish for each month, to gobble up at midnight. Her last wish is friendship between countries, so she abuelo can visit her.

40 pages. Athenaeum. $ 17.99. (4 to 8 years old)

SOUL FOOD SUNDAY
Written by Winsome Bingham
Illustrated by CG Esperanza

To capture this large, extended and energetic family reunion, Esperanza’s vibrant and kinetic oil painting illustrations stretch from edge to edge, sometimes angled to reflect people’s changing perspectives. moving. Finally, a boy old enough to put on grandfather’s chef’s jacket and help grandmother prepare macaroni and cheese recounts with admiration, his palpable excitement: “The cheeses pile up like a mountain”. Then Grandma fills the sink with water, vinegar and lemon juice. “Greens have to be clean, baby,” she said, the music of Bingham’s conversational poetry being rich and real.

48 pages. Abrams. $ 17.99. (4 to 8 years old)

LET ME REPAIR A PLATE FOR YOU
A story of two kitchens
Written and illustrated by Elizabeth Lilly

Based on the experience of the author and her sisters who grew up in Maryland with an American father and a Colombian mother, this account of a family’s very, very long road trip once a year to visit the two tchotchke-loving and food-obsessed grandparents – one in West Virginia, the other in Florida – is written and drawn with refreshingly funny realism, like the best offbeat documentaries. People fall asleep at the table and most of the time aren’t smiling (thank goodness!), But the love they share is evident on every page.

40 pages. Neal Porter / Vacation Home. $ 18.99. (4 to 8 years old)

A PARTY FOR JOSEPH
Written by Terry Farish and OD Bonny
Illustrated by Ken Daley

At the East African refugee camp, aunts waved kwon at night in the hot wind. The boys were playing awal. Today, Joseph and Mum live in an apartment and “there are not enough people to eat with”. The girl from above says: “I am here”, but Joseph is waiting for the others: her abouba across the ocean, his cousins ​​across town. Then one day the girl and her mom enter with a cake. “Slowly, a hum settles around them. A rhythm, a beat of people eating together ”, even if it is“ just two more ”.

32 pages. Ground wood. $ 18.99. (3 to 6 years old)

Jennifer Krauss is the editor of children’s books for the Book Review.

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