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Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 09/01/2010 PreS-Gr 3—A boy goes to the market to buy ingredients for rice pudding. What ensues is a poetic journey of making the sweet treat, step by step. The bilingual text is not a straightforward recipe, but could be followed to make the traditional dish. With his mom in the background, the boy adds rice to the pot and soon "the kitchen is raining little white grain drops." Parent supervision or participation is required for parts of the story, as indicated by an asterisk, as when it's time to "take the salt cellar and dance around." The remarkable illustrations are the perfect complement to Argueta's lush language. Vilela uses a printmaking technique to bring to life the simple action and turn it into something quite extraordinary. A first purchase for schools and libraries.—Shannon Dye, Peoria Public Library, Peoria, AZ - Copyright 2010 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/01/2010 *Starred Review* A lyrical, lovely bilingual ode to rice pudding? Well, lovers of that creamy confection won’t be surprised at the emotion it engenders. After first telling readers how he likes all kinds of rice—white, brown, fried, stewed—award-winning poet Argueta proceeds, making every step in preparing the dish sound like a great adventure. When you sprinkle the rice, it doesn’t just hit the pot: little white grains “rain music and sing / as they fall.” The flames on the stove are “rainbow hands,” and as the rice cooks, “foamy waves and clouds turn the pot / into sea and sky.” While the words are evocative and dreamy, Vilela’s ink drawings, incorporating collage, rubber stamps, and digital elements, are not only polished and attractive; they put the focus on the fun, including the way the boy dances around the kitchen as the steam from the pot expels white birds. A similarly lyrical Spanish translation appears alongside the English text, making this a wonderful book to use across cultures. One quibble: an actual appended recipe would have been nice. You’ll want rice pudding after this. - Copyright 2010 Booklist.