Let me fix you a plate A tale of two kitchens

Elizabeth Lilly

Book - 2021

A girl describes her family's annual visit with Mamaw and Papaw in West Virginia, then Abuela and Abuelo in Florida, especially the foods and cultural elements that make each kitchen unique.

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Location Call Number   Status
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Subjects
Genres
Picture books
Published
New York : Neal Porter Books/Holiday House [2021]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 23 x 29 cm
Audience
Ages 4-8
Grades K-1
ISBN
9780823443253
0823443256
Main Author
Elizabeth Lilly (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* A weeklong family road trip begins with a Friday-evening drive to Dad's parents in West Virginia, where plates of Mamaw's food await the tired travelers. For the next three days, Mamaw's kitchen is the hub of activity for conversation, coffee, and banana pudding. From there, the family to visit Mom's parents and other relatives in Florida. Abuela offers them a midnight feast of tostones, arroz, and flan. The next day they pick oranges, fry corn-flour cakes, and learn some Spanish; evenings are filled with food, drink, and dancing. After a long drive home, the family snacks on midnight waffles before drifting off to sleep. Drawing from her own childhood growing up in a mixed family, Lilly's celebration of kinfolk emphasizes the role food plays in demonstrating love, transmitting culture, and cementing happy memories. The brightly colored illustrations in pen and ink, colored pencil, and marker depict the many and varied personalities in this group and include many setting details, such as Mamaw's cat plates and Abuelo's frog figurines. The endpapers visually encapsulate the story (roads from home to West Virginia in the front, from Florida to home at the back) and several spreads depict activity both inside and outside the house. Pleasingly lyrical and quirky, Lilly demonstrates the lasting potential of the family road trip. Preschool-Grade 2. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* A weeklong family road trip begins with a Friday-evening drive to Dad's parents in West Virginia, where plates of Mamaw's food await the tired travelers. For the next three days, Mamaw's kitchen is the hub of activity for conversation, coffee, and banana pudding. From there, the family to visit Mom's parents and other relatives in Florida. Abuela offers them a midnight feast of tostones, arroz, and flan. The next day they pick oranges, fry corn-flour cakes, and learn some Spanish; evenings are filled with food, drink, and dancing. After a long drive home, the family snacks on midnight waffles before drifting off to sleep. Drawing from her own childhood growing up in a mixed family, Lilly's celebration of kinfolk emphasizes the role food plays in demonstrating love, transmitting culture, and cementing happy memories. The brightly colored illustrations in pen and ink, colored pencil, and marker depict the many and varied personalities in this group and include many setting details, such as Mamaw's cat plates and Abuelo's frog figurines. The endpapers visually encapsulate the story (roads from home to West Virginia in the front, from Florida to home at the back) and several spreads depict activity both inside and outside the house. Pleasingly lyrical and quirky, Lilly demonstrates the lasting potential of the family road trip. Preschool-Grade 2. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

A road trip leads to two different kitchens—and a shared kind of love—as a narrator, two sisters, and their parents visit their grandparents. After "hours and hours" of driving from their city home, the car arrives in the "cool, dark night" of rural West Virginia, where the children's white paternal grandparents live. Mamaw serves them breakfast the next morning: "sausage sizzling in the skillet, blackberry jam on toast, and tractors on cups." Three days later, the family heads to Florida and the children's Latinx maternal grandparents: "Hay comidita adentro. Comense," Abuela says; "There's food inside. Come and eat." In West Virginia, the quiet house holds only Mamaw and Papaw; in Florida, "aunts and cousins and uncles and neighbors talk over each other above my head" while eating tostones and arroz and flan. Lilly's sharp eye notes the way the parents respond to being home ("my mom still laughing") and to leaving it ( Daddy "missing... quiet mountain tops"). With clear, bighearted text and an expressive ink line drawing the variously shaped bodies of her characters, Lilly (Geraldine) pays tribute to familial richness across generations and cultures. Ages 4–8. (Sept.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

A road trip leads to two different kitchens—and a shared kind of love—as a narrator, two sisters, and their parents visit their grandparents. After "hours and hours" of driving from their city home, the car arrives in the "cool, dark night" of rural West Virginia, where the children's white paternal grandparents live. Mamaw serves them breakfast the next morning: "sausage sizzling in the skillet, blackberry jam on toast, and tractors on cups." Three days later, the family heads to Florida and the children's Latinx maternal grandparents: "Hay comidita adentro. Comense," Abuela says; "There's food inside. Come and eat." In West Virginia, the quiet house holds only Mamaw and Papaw; in Florida, "aunts and cousins and uncles and neighbors talk over each other above my head" while eating tostones and arroz and flan. Lilly's sharp eye notes the way the parents respond to being home ("my mom still laughing") and to leaving it ( Daddy "missing... quiet mountain tops"). With clear, bighearted text and an expressive ink line drawing the variously shaped bodies of her characters, Lilly (Geraldine) pays tribute to familial richness across generations and cultures. Ages 4–8. (Sept.) Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly Annex.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 2—Lilly's second picture book is full of warmth, good food, and most importantly, the love of grandparents and extended family. A young girl and her family leave their home in the city after school one Friday and drive for "hours and hours" to visit grandparents in two distinct locales. Traveling first to the mountains of West Virginia, the narrator and her sisters are welcomed late at night to Mamaw and Papaw's house with the greeting of "Let me fix you a plate." After several days in the mountains with her father's white family they travel to Florida where they are greeted by their Spanish-speaking Abuela who invites them in with "Hay comidita adentro. Comense. There's food inside. Come and eat." The warmth and love of the family and their relatives is abundantly clear in colors and lines that evoke emotion and details of the two different cultures that are also similar to one another. The end papers are full of details that invite readers to think about the artifacts that are part of their family's heritage. This title would be an ideal writing or art prompt for students to encourage them to share stories of the cultures that comprise their family. VERDICT With rich sensory details in the text to accompany detailed and inviting illustrations, this title is a wonderful and celebratory addition to all library shelves.—John Scott, Baltimore County P.S. Copyright 2021 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Whether you're settling in for a heaping plate of Mamaw's banana pudding or Abuela's arepas and tostones, a good meal always brings family together. A Charlotte Zolotow Honor BookAn ALSC Notable Children's BookThis tale of a family road trip highlights the author's joy in both her American and Colombian heritage, and captures all the warmth and love of her family's two distinct cultures.  Once a year, on a Friday night,My family leaves the cityAnd drives hours and hours . . . After a long drive to visit family—whether in the mountains of rural West Virginia or the sticky heat of Florida—what could be a better welcome than a homemade meal? Inspired by Elizabeth Lilly's childhood vacations and the sense-memories of late-night journeys down the coast, Let Me Fix You a Plate is a vivacious exploration of family traditions old and new— from toast with homemade blueberry jam, to fresh orange juice and arepas with queso blanco, to midnight waffles at home.  Vivid illustrations explore the heart of the home—the kitchen—and the treasures found when a family gathers to celebrate their culture, and one another. Joyous, bright, and mouth-watering, this celebration of family and our diverse, delicious traditions is sure to leave readers hungry for more! A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the YearA CCBC Choice