Thursday, February 19, 2015

Gazpacho for Nacho by Tracey Kyle

Gazpacho for Nacho by Tracey Kyle, illustrated by Carolina Farías
Two Lions

Rating: 4 stars

Nacho is going through a phase. A picky phase. He refuses--albeit politely, without a single "YUCK" or "NO WAY"--to eat anything but gazpacho. His mami is the real hero of the story, I think. She takes the time and energy to cheerfully and continually introduce a healthy variety of foodstuffs to her child's stomach. But Nacho just wants gazpacho.

The heroic, endlessly patient Mami finally tries a different path to variety. She still has a smile on as she walks Nacho to the grocery store to teach Nacho how to cook his beloved gazpacho. Together, they shop for the ingredients, return home, and cook. At the end of the book, Nacho realizes how fun it is to cook and asks his mother to call him "Chef Nacho" from now on. And not only will he start to try new things, he'll make them himself!

Lastly, she drizzled a very small drop
of oil and vinegar over the top.
She blended the soup in a big batidora
and left it to chill in the fridge for one hora.
Kyle mixes a whole lot of Spanish into this book, and I'm impressed with her ability to rhyme not with just one language but two. The fact that my kids have little knowledge of Spanish left them asking "What does that mean?" at every other line. However, by the third or fourth read, their questions slowed and they knew more words. It was worth stumbling those first few times.

The illustrations by Carolina Farías are warm and inviting. All of the images of a mother and her son are really sweet--I sound like a gripey, tired mom ( I one?) when I say that it's mighty handy that Nacho is an only child. Or maybe his siblings are on an extended playdate so that Mami and Nacho can have this uninterrupted time together? Regardless, for me the illustrations remind me how sweet the time with just one child can be, and to savor that time when it happens on the pages of my own life.

As a mom who loves to cook and read with kids, this book really touched my heart. If only my kids liked soup (and it wasn't below freezing outside--an unbelievable eleven degrees as I type this!), I'd make the recipe for gazpacho in the end of the book!

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