cover image Plátanos Go with Everything

Plátanos Go with Everything

Lissette Norman, illus. by Sara Palacios. HarperCollins, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-0630-6751-6

Prompted by a family’s love of plátanos, this simile-laden embrace of Dominican culture twines food and story. “Plátanos are like golden slices of this afternoon’s sun,” Yesenia says, helping her mother prepare dinner while Mami “shares stories about life in the Dominican Republic before my older brother... and I were born.” Linking past and present, Mami’s tellings are “the secret ingredient in all her yummy food.” She says, “Back home, plátanos grow upward... their feet are always reaching for the stars,” and now they’re “like warm hello kisses from Abuela,” who lived with Yesenia’s family after arriving in the U.S. And they’re “a love letter from the Dominican Republic,” too, as the family pursues “Mami’s dream of owning a house with a garden... Papi’s hope for a quiet office to write his poetry.” Norman works this ode into a well-rooted family story that expands upon the food’s power as a “magical cure,” a “superpower,” and a “fiesta.” Palacios’s green and gold plátanos-colored digital illustrations capture the dance of life mid-spin. A bilingual English-Spanish edition publishes simultaneously. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)