Today is my son Ethan's sixth birthday. Happy birthday, you brilliant, funny, scrappy thing! A tradition in our family is to allow the child or husband having a birthday to choose what meal I will cook for his or her birthday dinner. Ethan has chosen to have a quesadilla bar with chips and salsa, followed by cupcakes. His TexMex fiesta selection inspired today's Foodie Friday book, the fabulous Chicks and Salsa, written by Aaron Reynolds and illustrated by Paulette Bogan.
The chickens on Nuthatcher farm have grown tired of chicken feed, and the rooster decides to solve the problem. While perched outside the farmhouse window, he spots the farmer's wife watching cooking shows on television, and he decides to make salsa. He and the chickens "borrow" some tomatoes and onions from the garden and dine on chips and salsa. The ducks are then encouraged to use cilantro and garlic from the garden to create guacamole. The pigs similarly put together nachos. In all three cases, observant readers will be rewarded to see mice providing the more difficult ingredients such as chips and avocados. The animals plan a fiesta, but are disappointed to find all of the southwestern ingredients gone from the garden. The farmer's wife has made tamales for the county fair. Fortunately for the barnyard animals, she leaves a French cookbook at home.
Chicks and Salsa is a fun book, perfect for preschoolers through second graders. The colorful illustrations are clever with great touches of detail and terrific facial expressions on the animals which help tell the story. Plus, this book provides not one, but three recipes, Hog Wild Nachos, Quackamole, and Rooster's Roasted Salsa. Ole!