Old Clothes for Dinner?!

Barefoot. Mar. 2024. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9798888590683.
PreS-Gr 3–Since Abuela arrived from Havana to live with her family, Magaly notes that life has improved for all. Mami is more relaxed, Magaly and her brother practice Spanish everyday, and all enjoy Abuela’s cooking, especially arroz con leche with extra cinnamon on top. When Abuela says that she is preparing ropa vieja for dinner, though, Magaly becomes concerned as she understands the phrase to mean “old clothes.” When she can’t find her favorite sweater, and her brother can’t find his favorite T-shirt, Magaly is even more alarmed. Eventually, Mami explains that the delicious dish gets its name “because the shredded beef looks like a heap of old clothes,” and the family enjoys a laugh together. Lively digital illustrations convey details that deepen the lighthearted humor. Back matter includes a list of imaginatively named dishes, such as ladyfingers and pigs in a blanket. Brief facts about Cuba, a glossary, and recipes are also included.
VERDICT This appealing book celebrates family values passed along through cooking and culture. Great for sharing, this will have a wide audience.

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