Guacamole: A Cooking Poem/Un poema para cocinar

Jorge Argueta • Illustrated by Margarita Sada
Translated by Elisa Amado
Groundwood Books • 2012 • 32 pages
ISBN: 978-1-55498-133-5
Hardcover ($18.95)
Ages 4-8

This large-trimmed picture book offers a narrative poem in Spanish and English, complemented by a full-page artistic rendition of the story. It should be noted that, as it is customary with poetry, the text is not translated word-for-word, but rather, readers are offered two separate versions of the same story. A little girl wants to make guacamole for her family. With her siblings’ help, she collects the necessary ingredients for her task.

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The author’s fanciful portrayal of the making of the guacamole invites repeated readings. In one fun scene, the girl cook reminds younger readers to allow parents to (only) help with the portion of the recipe that require knives. The metaphors and language used are so delightful that readers and listeners will smile as the story goes on to reach its final conclusion, which comes with an ecological message.

The whimsical artwork features bright colors and images that will draw young minds in and generate excitement.  This poem should be read aloud, and the “recipe” may be used to help eager children learn how to cook, and to contribute to simple activities in the home in a meaningful way.

—Reviewed by Bianca Elliott, PhD., High School and University Educator