Federico and the Wolf by Rebecca J. Gomez, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri

Published by Clarion Books

Amazon.com: Federico and the Wolf (9781328567789): Gomez, Rebecca ...

Federico and the Wolf by Rebecca J. Gomez

Summary:  Federico heads off in his red hoodie, ready to shop from Abuelo’s grocery list for the ingredients to make the perfect pico.  After he leaves the market, he takes a shortcut through the woods to get to his grandfather’s store.  There he encounters a hungry wolf, but manages to escape on his bike.  When he gets to la tienda, it’s mysteriously closed with pawprints outside the front door.  Abuelo, waiting inside, seems to have grown an extra-thick beard and some hefty biceps, and acquired a new set of dentures.  When Federico realizes it’s the wolf, he fends him off with quick thinking, chili pepper, and an extra hot habanero.  The wolf runs off, and Abuelo is found inside a locked box.  None the worse for their experiences, Federico and his grandfather work together to cook up a new treat: Wolf’s Bane Salsa.  Includes a recipe for the perfect pico, and a list of Spanish words with their location in the story.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  This clever rhyming retelling of Little Red Riding Hood includes a fun Mexican twist that extends to the bright, colorful illustrations.  This reminded me of Corey Rosen Schwartz’s rhyming fairy tales, and a little investigation revealed that Rebecca J. Gomez was the co-author of one of these.

Cons:  Seemed like Abuelo and Federico should have made Wolf’s Bane pico, not salsa.

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