cover image How to Eat a Mango

How to Eat a Mango

Paola Santos, illus. by Juliana Perdomo. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-5388-7

A grandchild resists helping to harvest mangoes at the start of a layered picture book that melds concepts of counting, senses, and values. When Carmencita expresses a dislike of the fruit, Abuelita answers, “There’s more to a mango, mi amor,” and, counting in Spanish, explains five sensory steps to appreciating the tree’s bounty. “Uno, we listen” to the tree’s rustling leaves and the roots drinking up life; “Dos, we look up” at the tall, strong branches. For each numeral, Carmencita makes connections to family (“Tres,” smelling, helps the child remember Abuelito’s favorite blooms). En route to “Cinco, we taste it,” Santos, in her picture book debut, offers richly embodied descriptions of how, through the taste of the mango, “the songs of our people dance on your tongue.” Sunny, shape-based digital images by Perdomo radiate joyous warmth and nurturing. An author’s note connects the story to Santos’s childhood in Venezuela. A Spanish edition publishes simultaneously. Ages 4–8. (July)