cover image Saturday Market

Saturday Market

Patricia Grossman. HarperCollins, $17.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-688-12176-1

Grossman ( The Night Ones ) here renders a composite portrait of the sprawling market held each week in Oaxaca, Mexico. Each spread introduces another vendor or marketgoer, explaining what he or she is selling or buying and, in most cases, presenting the Spanish word for the item. Carmen peddles rebozos , women's shawls; Pedro displays woven rugs featuring Mayan designs; Ana fries up tortillas at her stand; and Paco is returning the rooster he bought the previous Saturday, because it didn't crow as promised. Hot chili peppers, voodoo dolls, lilies and miniature clay figurines are some of the other goods for sale. Sanchez (illustrator of Amelia's Road and Abuela's Weave ), who visited Oaxaca to research this setting, contributes double-page, acrylic-on-canvas paintings. Though sometimes static, the art is effectively textured and imbued with the warm--and occasionally radiant--hues that mark traditional Mexican clothing and products. Together, the smoothly balanced text and pictures take the reader on an informative stroll through a bustling marketplace. Ages 4-up. (Aug.)