Saturday Sancocho

Leyla Torres, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $16 (1p) ISBN 978-0-374-36418-2
Maria Lili's mouth is watering for the stew she makes with her grandparents every weekend. But on this particular Saturday, it seems that the aroma of cilantro mingling with cassava, green plantains, vegetables and chicken will exist only in the girl's imagination. There is no money and nothing in the larder but a dozen eggs, Papa Angelino announces. Mama Ana's reply is cryptic: ``Then we will use the eggs to make sancocho.'' How the grandmother transforms the eggs into a savory supper is a case study in bartering genius. Whisking Maria Lili off to the open-air market, Mama Ana deftly moves among the tented stalls, where her hard-nosed but friendly trading eventually garners all the necessary ingredients. Torres's (Subway Sparrow) text bounces with make-a-deal energy, while her light-drenched, calm watercolors convey a serene domesticity. A recipe for sancocho, prepared throughout Central and South America, rounds off the tale. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-0-374-46451-6
Prebound-Glued - 32 pages - 978-0-613-84583-0
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-606-16472-6
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