03 2 / 2012
I always have so much fun recommending picture books, so I have decided to join up with the lovely Susanna Leonard Hill and her writing pals as a contributor to Perfect Picture Book Fridays! So, here we go…
CORA COOKS PANCIT Written by: Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore Illustrated by: Kristi Valiant Shen’s Books, April 2009, Fiction Suitable for: Ages 4-8 (although it is one of my 3yo’s favorites!) Topics/Themes: Cooking, Family, Siblings, Filipino Culture
Opening: “Cora loved the kitchen. She loved to drink in the smells of Mama’s Filipino dishes.”
Brief Synopsis: Cora is the youngest, and she always gets stuck doing the kid jobs in the kitchen. She wishes she could be a real cook. One day, when her older siblings go out, she gets the opportunity she has been longing for; to be Mama’s special assistant in cooking up her favorite Filipino dish, pancit.
Why I Like this Book: Cora is so charmingly drawn in this book and I just love the relationship between her and Mama. Feeling left out is something every child can relate to, and this book handles the issue so well. The author’s writing has a special lyrical quality to it, sometimes you feel like you are reading poetry. “All her favorite Filipino foods danced in her head. Lines of lumpia pranced in rows. Adobo chicken legs be-bopped in time.” Just lovely. There is a glossary of Filipino words as well as a recipe for the pancit they make in the book, which makes reading this with my kids a true cross-cultural experience. And don’t forget to cook up some pancit after you read it…it is delicious. Salamat!