Doña Esmeralda, Who Ate Everything

Orchard. Jul. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338751611.
K-Gr 2–Inspired by elements of Filipino folktales, this quirky story tells of little Doña Esmeralda, who greedily uses a straw to devour every morsel of food left over by naughty children who refuse what’s on their plates. One day, she decides to suck up food that children seem to adore and finds she cannot stop her overindulgence. Pieces of the story, like Doña Esmeralda’s magical straw and disastrous zoo adventure, seem offbeat without prior knowledge of Filipino folklore or an early perusal of the author’s note, but readers will devour the narrator’s mesmerizing voice and bubbly illustrations. Through these comical, wildly animated events, filled with bold colors as well as American and Filipino cuisine, Doña Esmeralda’s fate will feed readers’ appetites for surprise and silliness.
VERDICT This fantastical and memorable character offers an eccentric story with modern tastes meant for a purely entertaining read-aloud experience.

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