The Credible Source for Latino Literature

Home    Contact Us    About Us
Latino Authors By: Ethnicity    Literary Award    Author Sites   
Best Latino:  Nonfiction    Films    Authors    Children's Books    New Authors   
 Latino Journals, Magazines & Resources   
Book Review Archives   Books for H.S.


Book Review

Jose B. Gonzalez



Grandma's Chocolate/El Chocolate de Abuelita
by Mara Price
Piņata Books, 2010



here is a reason why Piņata Books, an imprint of Arte Publico Press is one of the leading publishers of quality children's literature in the country.  And this book is proof that this tradition will not be going away anytime soon. It's impossible to read Grandma's Chocolate/El Chocolate de Abuelita by Mara Price without getting a craving for some authentic chocolate made by Grandma.


This book is told from the chocolate brown-eyed girl, Sabrina, who welcomes her grandmother home upon her visit from Mexico. As children are wont to do, Sabrina asks her grandmother what she has brought for her.  And as grandmothers are wont to do, Sabrina's grandmother goes through her suitcase and shares the various gifts she has brought from Mexico. Among this assortment are: drums, a whistle shaped like a dove, colorful hair ribbons, a huipil, and Mexican chocolate.


The huipil, "a traditional blouse worn by Mayan and Aztec women," sets off a series of questions from Sabrina about these cultures and their traditions.  Sabrina gets a lesson from her grandmother on Mayan princesses, cacao seeds and most notably, chocolate. This section of the book is what gives it its identity. Combined with the colorful illustrations by Lisa Fields, the story is sure to appeal to children.  Aztec and Mayan images are juxtaposed against images of Sabrina and her grandmother in various settings--at school, at the outdoor market, and at the dinner table. The reader gets fascinating lessons on the process of making chocolate, and the author describes it in a manner that would make any reader crave for more.


Sometimes, it's fairly easy to predict a book's future, and in this case, I can't help but think that Grandma's Chocolate/El Chocolate de Abuelita will win awards.  The bilingual book is unique, the character interactions are touching, and most importantly, the plot will captivate any child who has ever taken a joyous bite of chocolate. Mara Price has written a delightfully delicious tale that will educate and entertain. 




Copyright 2006 design and content by John S. Christie and Jose B. Gonzalez
Copyright 2006 Latino Boom: An Anthology of U.S. Latino Literature, Pearson Education, Inc.
Copyright 2006 Latino Fiction and the Modernist Imagination, John S. Christie


Last Updated: March 09, 2011