School Library Journal

| | Comments (1)
Cora Cooks Pancit (by Dorina Lazo Gilmore and illustrated by Kristi Valiant) is reviewed in the November, 2009 issue of School Library Journal!

LAZO GILMORE, Dorina K. Cora Cooks Pancit. illus. by Kristi Valiant. unpaged. glossary. CIP. Shen's. 2009. Tr $17.95. ISBN 978-1-885008-35-0. LC 2008045836.

PreS-Gr 3--When Cora's Filipino family cooks together, she's always stuck doing the "kid jobs." Then one day when her older siblings are out and about, Cora gets her chance to bond with Mama in the kitchen. She even gets to choose her favorite dish, so the two of them make a large bowl of noodles, chicken, and vegetables called pancit. Clear expository prose explains how to perform kitchen tasks. For example, Mama tells Cora, "Open the package of rice noodles and put them in this bowl of water." Then she engages her daughter by asking her, "Do you know why we soak them?" These scenes effectively model how adults can introduce children to cooking. The simple, direct style also makes the book equally well suited as a read-aloud and for newly independent readers. The artwork nicely complements the text, as Valiant's warm hues of gold, red, and orange highlight the family's loving relationship. They also capture Cora's feelings through facial expressions. Wide eyes and smiles show the child's joy at cooking with her mother, while a downcast mouth and arched eyebrows illustrate her anxiety that her family won't like her pancit. Although this dish is unique to Cora's culture, children of all backgrounds will share her feelings at being allowed to help cook a meal for the first time. A solid choice for schools and public libraries, especially where family-based programming is popular.--Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY

Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore grew up in a Filipino-Italian family in the kitchen with her mama, aunties and grandmas. She loves to create healthy recipes and share stories in the kitchen with her friends and daughters. Dorina has a B.A. in English and Journalism and is completing an M.F.A. degree in Children’s Literature at Hollins University. She is also the author of two other children’s books, Children of the San Joaquin Valley and Stone Soup: A Hmong Girl’s Journey to the United States. Dorina is originally from Chicago and lives with her husband and two daughters in Fresno, California.

Kristi Valiant loves cooking, monkeys, penguins, and red walls, all of which are found in this book. Her husband loves hippos, so you may find hippos lurking here too. Kristi graduated magna cum laude from Columbus College of Art & Design with a major in Illustration. She has illustrated dozens of leveled readers, and her illustrations can be found in magazines and on Christmas cards. Kristi grew up in Wisconsin, studied in Ohio, moved to Texas, spent a summer in China, and now lives in Indiana. Visit her online at www.kristivaliant.com.

Shen’s Books is a publisher of multicultural children’s literature that emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia.

Through books, we can share a world a stories, building greater understanding and tolerance within our increasingly diverse communities as well as throughout our continuously shrinking globe.