Harvesting Friends: Cosechando Amigos

Piñata. May 2018. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781558858589.
PreS-Gr 2– A young girl develops a shared garden for her diverse community. Luna loves tending to her family’s vegetable garden throughout the year. In the springtime they dig and plant seeds, and in summer they water and weed, waiting for just the right moment to pick the vegetables they’ll use for their chunky salsa. One day, Luna finds a number of tomatoes are gone, and a gold chain has been left in the dirt. When Luna discovers the culprit is Antonio, the new boy from school, whose family is struggling to afford food, she suggests that he help care for the garden in exchange for more tomatoes. Their time spent in the garden inspires Luna to invite more of her neighbors to contribute, work, and expand the garden. The colorful illustrations stay true to the parallel bilingual text, capturing the richness and joy of the characters’ bonding through horticulture. Back matter includes simple recipes using the ingredients found in the Amigos Garden.
VERDICT Contreras’s straightforward language manages to address a variety of themes without weighing down the narrative, leaving plenty of room for discussions about topics like community farms to poverty. A great addition to bilingual collections featuring a variety of timely topics. 

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