Arturo and the Bienvenido Feast

tr. by Maru Cortes. illus. by KE Lewis. 32p. glossary. Pelican. Oct. 2017. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781455622832. BL
PreS-Gr 2—A little boy named Arturo and his grandmother Abue Rosa prepare a welcome feast for Michael, the fiancé of his aunt, Tía Inés, in this bilingual story. As the two work in the kitchen, Arturo writes down the menu: pupusas (a traditional Central American stuffed flatbread), fried plantains, chicken, cabbage slaw, and chocolate almond cake. When a headache sets in, Abue decides to lie down before finishing and falls into a deep sleep. Not wanting to wake her up, Arturo takes charge, and when the guests arrive, the meal is ready, though it is not exactly the one that was planned. A special warmth clearly binds Arturo and Abue Rosa and suffuses text and charming illustrations. The palette makes heavy use of ochre, giving the book a Southwestern feel. Because of the bilingual format, some of the pages look very text-heavy. Recipes for the pupusas and the slaw are included at the end of the book along with a glossary with definitions and pronunciations, and an author's note.
VERDICT A sweet portrayal of family bonds that's best shared one-on-one.

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