cover image Kalamata’s Kitchen

Kalamata’s Kitchen

Sarah Thomas, illus. by Jo Kosmides Edwards. Random House, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-30791-5

It’s the night before brown-skinned Kalamata’s first day at a new school, and despite earlier excitement, nervousness now overwhelms. But with the emotional support of her stuffed alligator Al Dente—and a little help from her mother—Kalamata might be able to revisit the bravery she experienced at an Indian spice market over the summer: “Al wasn’t scared to try ANYTHING in the market!... Maybe we should go back!” As Mama opens the spice cabinet and begins cooking, Thomas follows Kalamata’s imaginative journey beneath the kitchen table with plenty of transportive sensory details: “There was a sizzle in the distance, and the world blossomed into a deep, dense curry-leaf forest.” Edwards illustrates vivid, earth-toned digital spreads with Indian-inflected designs and patterns. This picture book sweetly portrays one child finding comfort in her heritage. Back matter features a recipe for Kalamata’s Dal and a brief glossary of ingredients and methods mentioned. Ages 4–8. (July)