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Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

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Fry bread is food.
It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.

Fry bread is time.
It brings families together for meals and new memories.

Fry bread is nation.
It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.

Fry bread is us.
It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.

42 pages, Hardcover

First published October 22, 2019

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About the author

Kevin Noble Maillard

2 books37 followers
Kevin Maillard is Professor of Law at Syracuse University, a contributor to the New York Times and a co-founder of Black Stream Partners LLC. He has written for The Atlantic and has provided on-air commentary to ABC News and MSNBC. He is the debut author of Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, a picture book illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, which won the Sibert Medal and the American Indian Youth Literature Honor. An enrolled member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, he is based in Manhattan, NY.

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5 stars
2,987 (57%)
4 stars
1,579 (30%)
3 stars
513 (9%)
2 stars
84 (1%)
1 star
29 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,094 reviews
Profile Image for Calista.
3,792 reviews31.2k followers
April 9, 2020
There is a recipe at the end of the book to make your own Fry Bread.

I spent 4 summers doing a Vision Quest in South Dakota and while I was there I was able to try Fry Bread. I have to say, it was well made and simply not for me, but other people around it loved it. I don't like funnel cake and other goodies many people love, so it's simply me.

I love the artwork in this story. It colorful and the people look so cute. It's a lovely story.

This is basically a love story to fry bread. It sweet and at a beginning level. I did read it too the nephew and he thought it was okay. He was interested in what fry bread tastes like so they are going to make it tomorrow. He gave this 3 stars.
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.2k followers
December 6, 2019
My family reads all the Goodreads-award-nominated picture books every year. This is book #20 (of 20, so the last, I promise!) of 2019, and we liked it. It was written by Oklahoma Seminole and NYC journalist and academic Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated bu Peruvian Juana Martinez-Neal. It's about fry bread as unifying cultural food, across tribes, but also something that everyone anyone can eat. It's not really a story, but a series of categories he finds fry bread IN: Fry bread as food, art, culture unifier. Well, he does use a family story to ground it in, with the family recipe included.

Tara: 4. I really wanted to eat fry bread after reading this! [editor: well, duh!]

Lyra (12): 4. In the beginning they seemed unsure what has to be in a fry bread recipe, since it differs. The descriptions are sweet and so alive! I like the splatter effect of the art on one page, but really all the pages are pretty spectacular, sweet calm art. I had the urge to make it, look up different recipes for it. I like how they relate fry bread to everything.

Harry (15): 4. I really like the page that says fry bread is everything. And that people from different places can come together over it. Let's try out the recipe. [he means, Dad, please make it.]

Dave: 3.5-4. I liked it quite a bit, but maybe partly because I was hungry. The appendix expands on each word he connects to fry bread. And I like the family recipe included, with image of mom. Sweet. Recipes of diverse groups of people everywhere eating it on various occasions. Personal note: My mother made for us what I kind of think is a Dutch equivalent, Oliebollen, or Dutch doughnuts, fried doughballs with raisins and cinnamon:

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/462...
Profile Image for La Coccinelle.
2,242 reviews3,562 followers
February 9, 2020
This is totally not what I expected. Instead of a simple picture book about about fry bread, it's an introduction to a long author's note. As such, it's a wordy non-fiction title, and not really suitable for storytime.

It's also extremely Americocentric, even while briefly acknowledging that Canada also has native peoples. So Canadian parents who were looking for a book that discusses fry bread and its implications and traditions in an inclusive way will probably want to look elsewhere.

For what it is, it's fine. The information is interesting. The pictures are pleasant to look at. But I'm not a fan of the way the book is laid out. It makes for a long, heavy reading session. In the simple story section at the front, we get a lot of words without much context. That comes later, when each spread of the story is meticulously explained in the author's note. So you'll probably be doing a lot of flipping back and forth. (For a book like this, I think I would've rather preferred the factual information provided within the story itself as sidebars. It would make reading the story out loud to an audience tricky, but I don't know if the story can really stand on its own, anyway.)

Overall, this is decent if you're looking for a quasi-textbook for young readers about Native American traditions and history strictly in the United States. If, however, you're looking for a book that's inclusive of all the Indigenous North American cultures that celebrate fry bread, you'll probably find that this one comes up short.
Profile Image for Jodi.
339 reviews69 followers
December 20, 2022
Another beautifully and colourfully illustrated children's book. It's about family. Specifically, coming together as a Native American family to make an Indigenous staple—fry bread. It seems to be aimed at very young children, but there's lots of interesting information at the back of the book meant for adults, including a fry bread recipe, the history of the bread, the thousands of variations made, and lots of other interesting tidbits about native arts, such as doll making, basket weaving, etc. It also includes a rather startling section on the history of abuse of Native Americans by the U.S. Government. Of course, I knew there was a history of bad blood—as a Canadian, I'm well aware of my own Country's shameful history of abuse of First Nations People—but some of the details were a surprise to me, and quite shocking. Thankfully, Indigenous Peoples are resilient and strong. They embrace community and culture, especially in the face of opposition.

As in so many cultures and communities, bread nourishes and comforts, and as the author has written towards the end of the book, "... it's meant to be shared and loved with others, because bread is not meant to be cooked for one."

5 Bread-is-family. Bread-is-love stars⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Profile Image for Paul  Hankins.
770 reviews281 followers
August 31, 2019
"Five Stars for Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story"

From the start, I want to tell you that I could get this review completely wrong. But, I note that a number of friends are giving the book five stars and moving on. Their endorsement with the full five stars says that they loved the book. Found it to be amazing. . . I would love to know the what and the why of those five-star ratings. Let me try to share my what and my why of five stars for Fry Bread.

The reason I could get this wrong is because of my markers. So, I will put those out for you here: White. Male. Cisgender. Straight. All of these create a bit of a disconnect coming into books of any genre or format that center upon diversity and representation. So, while I might get elements of this review wrong, I want to get as much "write" as I can for this book.

First of all, I think we do right by this book when we reference the book for title and subtitle together. How easy it would be to ask if a friend has seen Fry Bread? With a little more effort, we can center the book and its representation by asking, "Have you seen Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story?"

With a little more effort, we reference the full title and add author Kevin Noble Maillaird (Seminole Nation, Mekuskey Band) and illustrator, Juana Martinez Neal (Caldecott Honor: ALMA AND HOW SHE GOT HER NAME).

The dust jacket to case reveal presents Martinez Neal's fuller-faced characters. We see an older matriarch holding a small baby who is nibbling what we might assume is fry bread suggested by the title. The woman holds a bowl finished fry bread suggesting a sort of continuous communion between generations, one offering to the next the gift of tradition by way of shared foods. The woman's glance and the toddler's return look of wonder suggests connection between the two that happens over the bowl. The case reveals multi-colored hands reaching forward toward finished fry bread which serves to continue with the idea of a shared experience in the tradition of creating and baking fry bread.

The end papers which have been celebrated in the social media spaces reveal the many names of the First Nations from, of, and before what we would know of America. Those First Nations that are still recognized today are front-and-center over the spread of the end papers. Turned into thoughtfully, this moment can be one of entering into a liminal space of past and present to the story that will be shared in the book.

As with a number of picture books right now, Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story begins with the title page as the woman presented on the cover now moves toward a group of children with finished fry bread to share.

Noble Maillard's text begins with a sense of rhythm like that of the heart of the art of making and baking fry bread. The "er" sounds at the end of the list of ingredients is a mentor text in how half and slant rhyme work to create an effect without the words getting in the way of the sentiment of this page: "Fry Bread is Food." The reader is reminded that this is something of sustenance that will carry the story. How important may this be to younger readers to be situated in a story that centers food as tradition passed down from generation to generation? And this is achieved in a short list of ingredients coupled with images of the gathering of these by the hands that were introduced on the case of the book.

In the next spread, flour clouds the images of the hands coming together to mix the dough. "Fry Break is Shape" presents in three distinct similes that suggest pancakes and balls and "Nana's" soft pillow. The natural tendency of the person is to categorize and it is the basic stuff of definition to classify before setting differentiae. Here, younger readers are able to conceptualize that fry bread is probably like something they have seen before and has a shape and feel that is familiar.

Noble Maillard continues with expert word choice in "Fry Bread is Sound" with verb choices that include, "clang," "blazes," "sizzle," and "pop" which presents the food product of something that would come of real heat and present warm in the hands. The back matter of the book points to the idea that a patriarch is handling the skillet and his wrist is adorned with tribal patterns of lightning bolts and trees. The multicolored and gender-diverse children in this spread are following the suggestion of the sensory in the handling of dough, the covering of ears, and the closed-eye taking in of the scents in the kitchen coming from the stove. From the early work that I have done to try to understand of First Nations-centered story is to watch who is presented with eyes closed and in a suggested dream state. Here, it is the white child who is taking in the smells with eyes closed.

In the next spread, fry bread becomes the backdrop of the illustration and comes forward, too, in the hands of those who will consume the bread now. "Fry Bread is Color" continues with the flow of Fry Bread is ________ which serves as a mentor text now for vetting out what a subject is and what it means.

The formula becomes, X is _______ and how we see it might be ________ and this means ________.

This book is a marvelous example of listing as a means of vetting out the subject of a story or a full-length book. With FRY BREAD: A NATIVE AMERICAN FAMILY STORY presenting in this manner, we might suggest that this would be a good formula for approaching subjects for how they are seen, depicted and what this might mean.

"Fry Bread is the Flavor" sees the bread held in the hands now of the patriarch as it makes it way from stove to table. Now, its versatility as a bread, a staple, can be seen for the number of ways it might be used with other ingredients. A bounty of tomatoes and cheese and honey and sorghum and cherry compote suggest flavors that might be enhanced by their being atop warm fry bread.

"Fry Bread is Time" presents a character from the book not seen prior to this spread. This seems to be the mother of the family and she is introduced to us with tattoos that run up her arm and onto her shoulders. Her hair is braided and she cradles a small child and the baby from the cover of the book. The character from from the cover of the book is now revealed to be another older child and not a matriarch which suggests different levels of roles and responsibilities within this group of characters enjoying fry bread. We readers are invited to a type of gathering. Noble Mallaird intimates the fry bread is common fare for "supper or dinner" or "powwows and festivals." The reader is able to see this traditional bread as suitable for daily and celebratory use and eating.

FRY BREAD: A NATIVE AMERICAN FAMILY STORY takes a turn now from the kitchen to the idea of fry bread as an art wherein our group of children now observe and take part in traditional art forms centered on fry bread. Basket weaving and doll making are featured here. For this reader, it is as though author and illustrator wanted to assure that the readers were part of the making, baking and eating (being fed) before advancing into the back part and back matter of the book.

"Fry Bread is History" present elders (a woman and a man) who are depicted as though they are presenting a history. The motherly elder now cradles the baby while the fatherly elder leans upon a walking stick, eyes upon the suggested drawings that are being created by the woman's words. The children listen attentively to a story woven:

"The long walk, the stolen land/Strangers in our own world/With unknown food/We made new recipes/from what we had."

There is concern and wonder depicted upon the faces of the five young people taking in the tale and it struck me that this is what we might look like when we are first made aware of a history we were not brought to by way of our instruction. That the elders present this story is an important piece of this books multigenerational approach.

The author presents Fry Bread is a Place and continues with "Fry Bread is a Nation" wherein the end papers now present as a sort of wall to which the mother and father characters point the children. That the end papers are now integrated into the book as feature artwork centers the importance of the "hundreds and hundreds of tribes" that might be shared and celebrated in the children's literature we select, shelve, and share.

Toward the very end of the book, all characters come together in "Fry Bread is Us." Suggestions of those not with us in the composite are seen in a character holding a black and white picture of another character we do not meet. We have down-cast closed eyes here in two of our First Nations characters, one of the mother and the other our senior elder, but these depictions seem to be more in the savoring of a moment than their not being a part of that moment in each and every way sensory.

"Fry Bread is You" invites the reader to commune at least by way of being a part of the book. The back matter of the book celebrated by reviews includes the author's recipe for fry bread along with more information underneath the titles of the spreads throughout the book.

FRY BREAD: A NATIVE AMERICAN FAMILY STORY is an essential book as inclusion within larger units focusing on Native American History and Culture. What's more, a setting that includes a Foods or a Family and Consumer Sciences course could craft and bake its own fry bread as a means of looking into and communing with a culture and tradition.

Family. History. Heritage. Traditions. Moments. Stories. This books pulls all of this together and makes suggestion that we, too, can be a part. Inclusion is the heart of this book as much as inclusion and integration of ingredients are necessary to make bread. Reading and the sharing of stories is how we break that bread and Fry Bread brings us to a table where we can begin to listen and to share from our collective experiences. I am so happy that the publishers wanted to send me a finished copy of this book for review. Even if I missed something in the midst of reading and reviewing, I bring this book to you now so that we can share together what we see.

Author and illustrator come together to create a book I know we will see during award season this year.
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
4,959 reviews164 followers
November 17, 2019
Goodreads Choice Awards Project: Read as many of the Best Picture Book nominees as possible. 2 to go!

Nice art, but the story section didn't really do anything for me. The eight-page Author's Note at the end though was very fascinating, especially the negative feelings some indigenous people have against fry bread. Bonus star for that.
Profile Image for Dov Zeller.
Author 2 books104 followers
January 9, 2020
I love this beautiful, joyful ode to fry bread and Native American culture and the deep meaningfulness and cultural importance of traditional foods and also the way such foods are not just one thing, but sort of continue to grow and have a life of their own as those who carry their traditions become diasporic. I highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Abigail.
7,083 reviews173 followers
October 3, 2019
Native American journalist Kevin Noble Maillard, a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, makes his children's book debut in this lovely picture-book tribute to fry bread, a staple of many native peoples' diet. Using simple but poetic text, he explores the shapes, colors, sounds and flavors of fry bread. More importantly, he explores its role in the Native American family, and its importance as a symbol of Native American resilience. His text is paired with charming artwork from Caldecott Honoree Juana Martinez-Neal (she was honored for Alma and How She Got Her Name ), and accompanied by an extensive afterword giving more information...

I have been looking forward to Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story since I first learned it was coming out, and am grateful to have been given the opportunity to read it a little ahead of its release date, later this month (October 2019). Unlike the other reviewers so far, this wasn't a five-star title for me, although I did find it excellent overall. I loved the ideas of this book, I loved the artwork, and I loved the detailed seven-page afterword, with its history of fry bread, and its information about some of the culturally significant objects used in the illustrations. I also loved the endpapers, which give an alphabet listing of all (I assume?) Native nations and peoples in the United States. All that said, the text itself, although serviceable, didn't particularly impress me, and while this didn't ruin the book for me (witness the four-star rating), it did prevent me from feeling emotionally involved in it, in that way I had hoped to be. Reactions vary, and I appear to be in the minority here, so I'd still strongly recommend this one, both to anyone looking for picture-books about food and family in general, or about Native American cultures specifically.
Profile Image for Agnė.
744 reviews57 followers
February 18, 2021
3.5 out of 5

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story is a picturebook ode to fry bread in Native American culture. Fry bread can be food, shape, sound, color, flavor, time, art, history, place, and nation, among other things.

Kevin Noble Maillard's (he is a member of the Seminole Nation, Mekusukey band) poem is lovely and fairly evocative, but at first I didn't really FEEL it. Apparently, I didn't fully understand it.

Reading an extensive, super informative author's note (it's 8-page-long with 15 footnotes!) not only taught me more about Native American history, traditions, and misconceptions but also made me understand the poem and the accompanying illustrations better and appreciate them more.

Also, Juana Martinez-Neal's illustrations of a modern Native American family are simply beautiful: full of love, joy, color, and energy.





Profile Image for Ashley.
2,555 reviews1,633 followers
October 1, 2020
This book made me so hungry. Kevin Maillard is a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, and he uses fry bread as a way to explore the ways that indigenous people are the same and the ways they can be different. Indigenous tribes in the US (and Canada) are a diverse range of people, but they share common history, and the book doesn't shy away from acknowledging it. There is a sort of devastating mid-book part that shocked the hell out of me, but which was very effective. The existence of fry bread itself is owed to the treatment of native peoples by colonizers.

The book itself is lovely, but it comes with Maillard's own recipe for fry bread, and several long and very educational pages full of historical and cultural context, which I almost liked more than the main story.

Read Harder Challenge 2020: Read a picture book with a human main character from a marginalized community. (I ended up reading two since they were both so short.)
Profile Image for Kathryn.
4,140 reviews
October 20, 2020
Taken as a whole, I very much enjoyed and recommend this debut picture book by Native American journalist Kevin Noble Maillard, a member of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. The accompanying illustrations by Caldecott Honor Winner Juana Martinez-Neal are endearing, full of detail, and represent a variety of modern Native Americans. (Note that though the subtitle says "Native American" the focus here is on the tribes of what is now the United States, so if you are looking for a book on First Nations of Canada, this will probably not be the book for you.)

However, I can't give this a full five stars because I feel there is some disconnect between the strength of the picture book text itself and the extremely lengthy and detailed afterward (most of which is way beyond the comprehension or attention level of the early picture book market). I don't feel the text itself is really descriptive enough for most children who are not already familiar with the subject. Take, for example, this: "Fry Bread is History: The long walk, the stolen land / Strangers in our world / With unknown food / We made new recipes / From what we had" This is poignant for me, knowing the history of the Trail of Tears, but I don't know that most Pre-K or early elementary children will connect with it. Or this: "Fry Bread is Flavor: See beans or soup / Smell tacos, cheese, and vegetables / Delight in honey and jam / Rise to discover what brings us together" These are lovely sentiments showing the diverse traditions that are now interwoven with Native American traditions, but I just feel it is too abstract for the young crowd the book seems aimed toward. I would not discourage from sharing this with youngsters, just be prepared to have read the back matter yourself and elaborate on the text proper as necessary. Indeed, if you read only the main text you would even have an incomplete perspective of what fry bread actually is, because the text introduces it this way: "Fry Bread is Food: Flour, salt water / Cornmeal, baking powder / Perhaps milk, maybe sugar / All mixed together in a bowl" Reading this, I would assume cornmeal was *the* key ingredient, but the author specifically states in his Note that there is no "right" way to make fry bread, every family has their own recipe, and that "my recipe for fry bread uses cornmeal... this may be a surprise to not only traditionalists, but for many natives who have never heard of such a thing. Perhaps the use of cornmeal in my recipe is a Southern influence that reflects the blending of African American and Native American cultures in my family."

As I said, though, there is much to admire and appreciate in this book and I do highly recommend it urging you to make time for the extensive Author's Note which is beautifully written and very educational. I appreciate the emphasis placed on modern Native Americans. I was fascinated and sobered to learn some of the politics that have gone into the process for a tribe to be federally recognized and appreciate that the end papers of the book show many of the names of the 573 federally recognized tribes. I was amazed that the Author's Note even called out the Shingle Springs Rancheria that is near my small home town in California. "While so much of the United States federal policy has acted to weaken Indigenous governments and undermined tribal sovereignty, Native nations continues to exist and demand recognition of their endurance and strength by the United States. Native America is not a past history of vanished people and communities. We are still here."
Profile Image for Ellon.
3,260 reviews
November 17, 2019
I decided to read this book because it was nominated for the Goodreads choice award for best picture book.

I feel bad not giving this 5 stars as it seems everyone else who has read this book has done.

I love that the book is showing a culture that many might not know about. I love it for the "diverse" aspect of it. But the actual book was hard for me to connect to. I know people are praising the illustrations but I did not like them very much. I think that the people looked like caricatures of people.
Some of the pages were truly moving like "Fry bread is history" that mentions "The long walk, the stolen land..." I'm just not seeing children (the intended audience for picture books) actually reading and enjoying the book. It seems like a picture book that adults will love but children won't.

The author's note at the end was actually my favorite part as I learned a lot. But again, most children don't read a picture book to get information from the author's note. I might be a bit harsh but I just didn't love this book as others did. I still think it's an important book and I'm glad that it was published.
Profile Image for Abby Johnson.
3,373 reviews309 followers
Read
November 15, 2019
YES YES YES. Do not miss this wonderful book which celebrates fry bread and Native American life in all its diverse glory. The text of the story takes you through a family enjoying fry bread, "Fry bread is color... fry bread is flavor..." and the gorgeous illustrations depict a diverse-looking group of Native American family members and friends sharing a meal together.

The excellent, extensive back matter includes a lot more information about each section of the book, pointing out notable features in the illustrations, such as the father's Seminole tattoos and what they mean, and giving background information about the history of Native Americans in this country. These could be read by older kids, but are also wonderful resources for teachers and adults, particularly any adults who teach about Native Americans. The end papers list the names of Native nations, both federally recognized and those who are not federally recognized so that they could be included and recognized here.

I do not have enough heart eyes for this book. Seriously, do not miss!
Profile Image for The Library Lady.
3,550 reviews509 followers
July 10, 2020
Once you've read the author's 8 page long "note" at the end, you will probably want to go back and look at some of the details in the pictures that weren't on your mind when you were reading it. This may make this book excellent for older students studying Native American culture--and we certainly need more good books on that.

But as a picture book, well, it has its issues. The author writes with feeling, but the text is stiff.
As for the pictures, they remind me of Pat Mora, and truthfully that's not really a compliment from me. Everyone is round, with puffy faces like troll dolls and popped up eyes.
The author notes how unhealthy fry bread really is, are they all puffed out from eating it?

Yes, this is an award winning book, including here on Good Reads. But dare I ask, is the concept better than the book, and the concept getting the awards? Yes, I do ask that, because that's what I see here.
Profile Image for Ivonne Rovira.
1,840 reviews188 followers
January 30, 2022
Juana Martínez-Neal’s illustrations are so dazzling that they even best the beautiful words of Fry Bread’s award-winning author, Kevin Noble Maillard. The plump grandmother makes flatbread for a multicultural host of children. It makes your mouth water.

A Really Good Reading Nook has a lovely video of the book here.
Profile Image for Deborah.
731 reviews47 followers
March 13, 2021
Fry Bread is more than just food - the shape, the sound, the color, and the flavor. Fry Bread brings family and friends together and preserves their ancestry. Fry Bread is about pride, “sustenance and survival.” It is about embracing, uniting, and recognizing the diversity, identity, history, and culture of Native Americans. Of course, it includes a recipe for Fry Bread, which I must try. “It is commonly believed that the Navajo (Diné) were the first to make fry bread over 150 years ago. It may have been created to deprivation caused by the federal government restrictions.” Everyone believes that their recipe is the best. When the book was published, “There are 573 federally recognized North American tribes in the United States. There are also 67 state-recognized tribes. (In Canada there are 600!)” The insides of the back and front covers list all the tribes. A tremendous celebration of Native American life with vivid artwork. It is impressive how much the author included in this child’s book, however, I think it would be a lot for a young child to assimilate. 4.5 stars.
Profile Image for Elizabeth Moreau Nicolai.
478 reviews16 followers
November 16, 2019
I've read this book to my own children, to my storytimes, and I'm giving this book to as many people as I can get to stand still to listen to me talk about it. It's beautifully done illustrations (and I've NEVER seen multiracial Native people depicted before which is something my biracial Native children need). The text is simple but so powerful. (The long walk, the stolen land... yes that is in a picture book and it isn't too heavy, it isn't too much, it is history, it is culture, it is heritage, it is done perfectly.)

This book is shareable in a group setting but it is also great one on one because there are pages and pages of author notes and back matter to explore. And a recipe for fry bread!

PLEASE READ THIS BOOK.
Profile Image for Marjorie Ingall.
Author 5 books120 followers
January 30, 2020
THIS BOOK.

asfg;aw4twam.aw gr;R/AM H{NWOR;'h GAAAAAHHHH I LOVE IT.

Beautifully written, beautifully illustrated, with back matter so rich and informative and well-written, older kids and adults can really spend time with it. Read it and flip back to find all the references and you're essentially reading a whole second book. I love that the characters have all different skin tones and hair colors and textures; I love that the mama is fat and tattooed and gorgeous; I love the grandmother's beautiful wrinkled face. I love that it's poetry AND it's packed with information. So smart, so disciplined. This is a master class in children's non-fiction book writing, and a love letter.

Deserves every accolade it's gotten.
Profile Image for Becky.
582 reviews8 followers
October 23, 2019
Beautiful book! The celebration of fry bread as food, as history, as community and as tradition in the story of American Indians is embedded and extolled throughout this special book. I especially love the recipe and the back matter author, Kevin Maillard shares as it connect his writing and explains the deeper meaning and connection to Native people.

Juana Martinez-Neal does an exquisite job of illustrating this book. Her thoughtful attention to detail bridges customs from past to present in a thoughtful and beautiful way.
Profile Image for Jillian Heise.
2,270 reviews476 followers
September 8, 2019
I am utterly enamored with this upcoming picture book from debut author Kevin Noble Maillard (Enrolled Seminole Nation Okla.) & a favorite illustrator, Juana Martinez Neal!! 🧡 Beautifully written & lovingly told in both words and illustrations. 🧡 Plus SO MUCH back matter to dive into that will provide perspective and historical context that is valuable for every classroom and library. A must-read, must-share.
Profile Image for Ms. B.
2,797 reviews35 followers
July 22, 2022
#IndigenousYouthLit, this one lives up to the buzz. Fry Bread is a beautiful story about a Native American tradition and the joy of good food made from scratch and from love. It's a well researched book that will make a great read-aloud. And the illustrations by Juana Martinez-Neal are top-notch. It's the book I'll be cheering for, as the 2020 Caldecott winner.
Profile Image for Skip.
3,226 reviews394 followers
December 2, 2019
Nominated for Goodreads' Best Children's book, Kevin Maillard, a Seminole Nation of Oklahoma member, pays tribute to fry bread, a staple of many native American's diet. He explores its role in the Native American family, and the book features striking artwork from Juana Martinez-Neal. Don't miss the extensive afterword providing substantial supplemental information about Native Americans.
Profile Image for Tyler J Gray.
Author 2 books209 followers
November 29, 2021
I'm not a fan of the way the book was laid out because as I was reading it on kindle it made it nearly impossible to read. There is a cute picture story, that's fine, but then come a bunch of author's notes for many pages about the pictures and Native American people, with such tiny tiny words and unlike most books like this it wouldn't let me make them bigger! Even if they had been easy to see i'd still have preferred the notes next to the pictures they pertained to, would have made more sense. It was just made worse but having to have my nose practically on my tablet to maybe make them out.

The story and information are great. The formatting is not.
Profile Image for Nella ☾ of Bookland.
715 reviews91 followers
December 10, 2022
Honestly this was such a cute and informative book, with a lovely audiobook to match. Fry bread, now considered a traditional Native American food, has a dismal history of colonialism, displacement, and poverty. These beautiful illustrations emphasize the author's message about how fry bread is meaningful in so many ways; its usage within the cuisine is perceived differently across Native American communities, especially regarding its suspected negative health effects. Regardless, it is prepared and enjoyed as a staple food for millions of Native Americans. Also I love that there's a recipe included!
Profile Image for Bek MoonyReadsByStarlight.
236 reviews53 followers
November 23, 2020
Such a cute book, but what makes this book special is the breakdown of the story at the end. There is so much meaning in this story and elaborating on that makes this, not just an adorable cooking story, but an incredible teaching tool.
Profile Image for Hannah.
Author 6 books203 followers
Read
March 2, 2020
*kisses fingers* Delicious and bittersweet. A must-have for classrooms and homes.
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975 reviews111 followers
November 7, 2019
Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal is one of my favorite books of 2019. It should be getting more attention. The book is about a modern Native American family. This is the author's first picture book. He is an enrolled citizen of the Seminole Nation. The illustrations are the best that Juana Martinez-Neal has ever created. It is a stunning picture book and a true Caldecott 2020 contender.
Profile Image for Gina.
Author 5 books22 followers
November 10, 2019
This takes fry bread as a commonality with all its variations and takes that as a launching point for exploring families and customs and what the fry bread means and how the fry bread changes. You get the emotional meaning of fry bread even if you can't get a strict definition of it, because there are so many recipes. (A recipe is included, but it is certainly not the only option.)

Warm and enticing illustrations with great diversity.
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