earthy's Reviews > Chato's Kitchen

Chato's Kitchen by Gary Soto
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Oct 11, 09

bookshelves: juvenile, picture-books
Read in October, 2009

Chato and his pal Novio Boy think they are being extremely clever as they cook up a meal in Chato's kitchen (to which they intend to add their mice guests!). But the mice outsmart Chato by bringing along a dog, and Chato and Novio Boy are forced to go without mice for dinner—though they like the rest of the food quite well. Guevara's thick, colorful oil pastels bring out the textures of the cats' fur and the garden and apartment backdrops for the story. Little details such as the teenage mouse girl who carries around a phone and the bird wedding taking place in the mailbox add another layer to the story. The plot is simple, with a nice twist in the end. Though Chato is obviously scheming throughout the story and ultimately doesn't get what he wants, all his hard work in the kitchen is still celebrated, and he seems to have a good time with the gathering of friends even though the mice don't make it onto the menu.
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