Yum! ¡Mmmm! ¡Qué Rico! Americas' Sproutings

By Booklist

This inventive stew of food haiku celebrates the indigenous foods of the Americas. Each of the 13 poems appears on a gloriously colorful double-page spread, accompanied by a sidebar that presents information about the origin of the food. From blueberries to prickly pears to corn, the acrylic-on-wood-panel illustrations burst with vivid colors and stylized Mexican flare. The poems capture the flavor of the item in a way children can easily understand— ‘Chocolate’: ‘Fudge, cake, pie, cookies. / Brown magic melts on your tongue. / Happy, your eyes dance.’; ‘Pineapple’: ‘A stiff, spiky hat / on thick prickly skin, inside / hide syrupy rings.’ . . . this will provide lots and lots of lip-smacking fun that teachers can use to supplement social studies and language arts units; they can also share one poem at a time, between other subjects. An author’s note, which addresses lingering scientific debate about the geographical origins of some of the featured foods, also includes a warm celebration of diversity: ‘We do know that all these plants were grown and enjoyed . . . long before Christopher Columbus or any other Europeans had ever tasted such wonderful foods. The world’s variety is amazing—and delicious.’