Because of Thursday

Patricia Polacco. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4814-2140-9
Polacco (The Keeping Quilt) returns with a scattered story of longtime loves and new beginnings. Good things always come to Annie on Thursdays; it was on that day that she met her husband, gave birth to her sons, and opened a diner renowned for its Poke Salad (“the more you poked at it, the more scrumptious, succulent, delectable surprises you’d find”). Polacco’s fluid illustrations affectingly evoke the passage of time as Annie ages and sinks into sadness after her husband dies, until—on a Thursday—a kitten appears on her porch. Named Thursday, the energetic cat reignites Annie’s passion for cooking, and she reopens her restaurant. Thursday entertains diners with his acrobatics until a miscalculated leap sends ingredients flying into a pasta pot, creating “an oily, garlicky mess” that becomes a culinary rage thanks to a visit from a Guy Fieri look-alike. This odd tale concludes with a pile-on of too-good-to-be-true events and a recipe for Annie’s “Ugly Pasta.” Polacco describes it as “unforgettable,” which seems likely given that it calls for a cup of red pepper flakes and four cups of chopped garlic per pound of pasta. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/15/2016
Release date: 10/18/2016
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