This is a poetic bilingual book Spanish/English in which a child from a latino middle class family is tired of playing video games and begins to cook a bean soup for his family. The mother is nearby to support him. Written in the third person the book is a bean soup recipe in a poem form. It includes the ingredients and how to make the soup. The author uses figurative language that is beautiful and yet accessible to young people. He compares beans to stars. He talks about a dancing fire hugging the pot.
The family in this story is a traditional family with stereotypical job distribution, which can be used as a start a discussion about different types of families. Another subject of discussion can be the use of video games and the power involved in making the decision to do something else when video games become tedious. The story show how by making the decision to cook and helping the family, the child grows as a person.
Sopa de frijoles/Bean Soup, text copyright Argueta, illustrations copyright 2009 by Rafael Yockteng.
Reproduced with permission from Groundwood Books Limited, Toronto. www.groundwoodbooks.com