Kalamata’s Kitchen

Random. Jul. 2021. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593307915.
K-Gr 3–While her mother prepares dinner, Kalamata is anxiously anticipating her first day of school. She talks about not going, so she and her alligator, Al Dente, slide under the magic dining room table to go for a little trip. The trip is full of the delicious smells and sounds of her mom making dinner, which turns out to be a South Asian dish, dal. A recipe is included so readers can try recreating the exciting adventure at home. Kids who like to cook or like to try new foods will be intrigued by the food descriptions and figurative language, such as comparing the popping of mustard seeds to fireworks. The artwork is vibrant and vivid, with deeply saturated colors, conveying what the heroine is seeing and experiencing. This is apparently the start of a series of books about Kalamata and her culinary travels.
VERDICT This is a fun adventure story, with the benefit of piqueing interest in international cooking.

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