Eat, Leo! Eat!

Leo wants no part of sitting down with his family to eat Nonna’s big, delizioso lunch every Sunday. “I’m not hungry,” he insists. Not hungry? Hmm. Clever Nonna gets an idea. She’ll use a story to lure Leo to her table. And since the pasta in her soup, called stelline (little stars), is woven into the story about a boy who journeys to his grandmother’s at night, it works. But again on the following Sunday, Leo doesn’t want to eat. So Nonna expands her story, this time adding some chiancaredde (paving stones), the name of the pasta she’s serving that day, to create a path for her character to follow. Now Leo’s hooked.

A Ticket Around the World

Join a young boy as he hops around the globe, visiting friends in 13 different countries spanning all 6 populated continents. Along the way, he introduces us to each friend’s environment and customs, and shares interesting facts about each country’s culture, language, food, geography, wildlife, landmarks and more. Each country has a dedicated spread with a small map that shows geography and landmarks, letting readers imagine they are traveling, too. The format makes it easy to spot similarities and differences between countries.

Vanilla Ice Cream

Following some food, a curious young sparrow stows away in the back of a truck and takes an unusual voyage south — through the lush rice paddies of India, across the rough sea, and all the way into a bright new day. As the sun rises high over the city, he finds little Edie at a café with her grandma and granddad, and for a fleeting instant, his world meets up with hers and changes her life in the most delightful way.

The Missing Chancleta and Other Top-Secret Cases/La Chancleta Perdida y Otros Casos Secretos

Flaca’s chancleta, or flip flop, has gone missing! She prepares to investigate the theft: “Pencil and notepad: in hand. Straw hat for disguise: on. Magnifying glass: Check.” She interviews each of her family members, all of whom are suspects. Oddly, their stories check out, so Flaca will have to dig deeper to find the culprit.

Community Soup

In a garden outside a Kenyan schoolhouse, children are working together to harvest the vegetables they have grown and make them into a soup for everyone to share. But Kioni is having trouble: her herd of mischievous goats followed her to school today and they are trying to eat all the vegetables. The ensuing chaos caused by the goats is cleverly resolved by the children, making their vegetable soup very tasty while saving Kioni’s four-legged intruders at the same time.

Why Are You Doing That?

Chepito is full of questions. Why is his mother cooking eggs and frying beans? Why is Manuel digging around the corn? Why is Ramón milking the cow? Why is Maria slapping dough between her hands? In this simply told story, a little boy learns all about food and where it comes from. Following on the success of What Are You Doing? Elisa Amado and Manuel Monroy have created another gem of a picture book, this time about food — where it comes from, how we nurture food plants and animals, and what we eat to be healthy and strong. Manuel Monroy sweetly depicts Chepito’s world — a rural community where people grow much of their own food and raise chickens and cows — giving young children a clear picture of the origins of foods they consume every day. Includes a short glossary.

Red Panda’s Candy Apples

Red Panda is selling homemade candy apples. They are very sticky and quite delicious. So delicious, in fact, that Red Panda can’t help but feel a little reluctant to let them go. Like most preschoolers, he would rather eat treats than sell them. He munches one, then another, and sets aside a third for later. What will happen when there’s only one apple left to sell, but two friends waiting to buy?

Tamalitos: Un Poema Para Cocinar/A Cooking Poem

In his fourth cooking poem for young children, Jorge Argueta encourages more creativity and fun in the kitchen as he describes how to make tamalitos from corn masa and cheese, wrapped in cornhusks. In simple, poetic language, Argueta shows young cooks how to mix and knead the dough before dropping a spoonful into a cornhusk, wrapping it up and then steaming the little package. He once again makes cooking a full sensory experience, beating on a pot like a drum, dancing the corn dance, delighting in the smell of corn . . . And at the end, he suggests inviting the whole family to come and enjoy the delicious tamalitos “made of corn with love.”