- Delicious!: Poems Celebrating Street Food Around the World by Julie Larios
Trade ed. ISBN 9781534453777 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 9781534453784 $10.99
Reviewed from digital galleys Ad Gr. 2–5
The food. The vendors. The conveyances. The traditions. Whether street food is a destination or an impromptu encounter, lots of kids glory in the novelty of al fresco nibbles that come from somebody else’s kitchen. Larios and Paschkis offer a visually appetizing collection, with each spread featuring a diptych comprising a short verse and an illustration, on an intricate background that incorporates regional or cultural design. Several selections, such as “Winter Meal” in Saint Petersburg, Russia, are self-contained, with poem and picture delivering ample information: “Four pelmeni,/ three piroshki,/ two sweet blini—/ one big belly” faces a customer straining his winter coat while contemplating a vision of assorted pastries. Too often, though, readers must rely on end matter entries to make sense of the cited treats and their cultural context, and even then some information strays into geographic trivia, such as when the addendum on snacks in Launceston, Australia discusses Tasmanian devils. What this title lacks in sufficient specifics, however, it compensates for in kid appeal, and it may well spark investigation into global noshing as well as argument over the best local street eats.