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Chato's Kitchen

(Chato #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  664 ratings  ·  132 reviews
Chato can't believe his luck. Not only is he the coolest low-riding cat in East L.A., but his brand-new neighbors are the plumpest, juciest, tastiest-looking family of mice to move into the barrio in a long time. So Chato and his best friend, Novio Boy, get out the pots and pans, the tortillas and the beans--everything you'd need for a welcoming feast, except for the main ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 22nd 1997 by Puffin Books (first published March 21st 1995)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  664 ratings  ·  132 reviews

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Nov 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Chato's Kitchen / Gary Soto / 1997
Genre: fiction
Format: picture book
Plot Summary: To get the "ratoncitos," little mice who have moved into the barrio, to come to his house, Chato the cat prepares all kinds of good food: fajitas, frijoles, salsa, enchiladas, and more. But he is not prepared for the unexpected guest who accompanies the mice.

Considerations: no red flags
Review Citation: Book List, March 1995

"Chato invites the new neighbor mice for dinner--to be h
Charles Martin
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
"Chato's Kitchen" by Gary Soto would be a great way to introduce a Latin-American or an Hispanic unit. Combining Spanish and English, "Chato's Kitchen" is a trickster tale about a cat attempting to fool a family of mice by inviting them to dinner. Though the book includes animal characters, it utilizes a good number of polite Spanish phrases and introduces readers to a number of delicious Latin dishes. This book would be a great way to introduce these new phrases and vocabulary, because the book ...more
Sheila Welch
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: k5learning-posts
Chato’s Kitchen by Gary Soto is illustrated by Susan Guevara with vibrant, expressive, and imaginative paintings. Soto’s text incorporates many Spanish words and phrases and includes a glossary plus the menu for the meal shared by two cats, a family of mice and one friendly dog. This is an exuberant tale that promises – after some worrisome scenes – fun and camaraderie for the traditionally antagonistic animals. Although a picture book, Chato’s Kitchen can be enjoyed by children from kindergarte ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, childrens
I enjoyed the author's poetry and got excited when I saw he does kids' books. This one has fun language and a mischievous plot without trying to pound your head in with a moral. Great Spanish vocab for the kiddos and fun illustrations by Susan Guevara.
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: child
The story is fine. But the illustrations are going to haunt me for the rest of my life.
1996 Pura Belpré Medal Winner (for illustration)

In Chato's Kitchen, the cat Chato and his friend Novio Boy invite some mice over for dinner, intending, of course, to eat the mice. The mice surprise them, however, by bringing their friend Chorizo, who turns out to be a big dog. No mice on the menu tonight.

This book has a lot going for it in terms of sharing Mexican culture. It's set in an East-L.A. barrio, with animals filling in for people. The author incorporates a lot of Spani
Jan 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: latino-american
Chato’s Kitchen is one in a series of Gary Soto’s children picture books. Chato is a low riding home cat from the barrio. Along with his friend Novio Boy, they cook up a grand feast to welcome the new neighbors. The family of mice thinks they’re going to dine at Chato’s, while he has ulterior motives. Chato’s plan is thwarted when the mice show up riding on the back of their friend Chorizo, a friendly dachshund.

Life in the barrio of East Los Angeles is vividly captured through the depiction of
Sep 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
This playful book is about a cat that wants to eat his new mice neighbors for dinner. He tries to persuade them to come around him, but they are extremely terrified of him, as they should be! Chato the cat finally decides to invite these mice to a dinner party. They accept, but only under the circumstance that their good friend from their old neighborhood can attend as well. There are many words in Spanish in this book, but the author does a good job giving context clues for what these words mea ...more
May 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Chato’s Kitchen is a colorful tale about a trickster cat, Chato, who attempts to welcome the new neighbors (a mice family) by inviting them to dinner…to eat them. They inform him that they are going to bring a friend along with them, who ends up being a dog. In the end, the characters, most importantly Chato, realizes that making friends is better than tricking them. The Latino/a culture is shared consistently through humor and language. The illustrations are vivid, utilizing the full spectrum o ...more
May 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
This was one of those books whose summary seemed really good but all in all it was more of letdown read for me. First of all I have always hated the "low-rider" portrayal, especially as it was hyped up so much with the playing of George Lopez, which I also didn't much care for and for this book to rely on that for their cat characters just basically ended the book for me.

At the same time we get the fact that this Mexican cat is a villain from the start since he is trying to sneak-u
Book Title: Chato's Kitchen
Author/Illustrator: Gary Soto/ Susan Guevara
Reading Level: 3.6
Book Level: k-3
Book Summary: Chato a cool chicano cat welcomes his new friends, five mice into the neighborhood with a meal. He cooks traditional Mexican meal with all the fixings with his friend Novio Boy another cool cat. This story is great for multi-cultural because it gives you the diverse country we are living in with the same feel from a pets view. The book has cats, birds, mic
Not exactly written in Spanish, but uses a number of Spanish words and has a glossary. I like the story and my students liked it also at storytime. I worry a little about the "bad cats" and how they are portrayed and that it might be offensive to those of Hispanic culture. (All the characters in the story are Hispanic--good and bad.) I read this before Thanksgiving with the theme of "family and friends getting together for meals" especially since I have a couple of students who are Jehovah's Wit ...more
Octavia Cade
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Oh, this is fun. A family of mice move into a new neighbourhood, and get a dinner invitation from the cat next door. (I'm sure you can see where this is going.) You can also see the twist, because when the mice ask to bring a guest the story relies on the assumption that this guest is another tasty, sausage-named mouse. Small kids are likely to fall for that but I'm not, so no surprises there either. But I don't mind, because the illustrations are so entertaining, and the story-telling itself so ...more
Kelsey Thompson
Nov 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very funny book about a cat named Chato who invites his new mice neighbors over for dinner. What the mice don't know is that Chato and his friend Novio plan on eating the mice for dinner. The mice bring their friend Chorizo to dinner. The cats are terrified at first because Chorizo is a dog. They decide they aren't eating their guests tonight and end up having a very nice dinner with new friends. This book and it's illustrations are rich with Spanish words and the Spanish culture espec ...more
Madison Powell
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Genre: Diverse Literature
Awards: Pura Belpre Award
Audience: PreK through 2nd grade
A. The Hispanic culture is emphasized in this story. The story does not say which Spanish speaking country the characters live in, but they do speak Spanish throughout the book.
B. The main custom that is discussed is welcoming a new family to the neighborhood by making lots of food for everyone to eat. Some of the food mentioned is las tortillas, fajitas, frejoles (beans), and arroz (rice). The c
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was very silly, and well written. There were many things to enjoy while reading this book. It had fun dialogue between characters. I absolutely loved the the Spanish words and inclusion of Mexican-American culture. The drawings were very colorful and dynamic. I really like the detail of all of them. The pictures really set the tone of the book. I thought the ending of the book was funny. I can just see this book being read aloud to children in a classroom, and the kids laughing towards ...more
Ailsa Graham
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Chato's Kitchen" by Gary Soto caught my attention very quickly. The artwork itself was very colorful and almost realistic to the actual animals. This book would be for older audiences as the font of the story is small and there are Spanish words. The Spanish words are easy to understand if you know a little bit of Spanish. This book was very good as it helps children learn two languages, and has an interesting plot, but the artwork is a little scary to look at. I still liked the vibrancy and ov ...more
Gabriella Petrillo
"Chato's Kichen" by Gary Soto is a cute story about Chato a cool cat and how he tries to interact with a family of mice that moved next door to him. He invites them to dinner and plans to eat them. The story shows diversity in many ways as the reader explores the many different foods that both groups are making. The illustrations are amazing as you see the expressions on their face when the cat and his friend are tricked by the mice at the end.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edu-333
This book has style! It's about a hip cat who invites some mice over for dinner. Just before he plans to eat the mice, the dog friend of the mice shows up to join. It's a hilarious book because the story and writing style are fantastic. The art is vibrant and creative.

An elementary classroom can use this book to practice prediction.
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Chato, a cat, invites the mouse family, new to the neighborhood, over for dinner. He and Novio Boy, his friend, prepare all kinds of Mexican food that will “go with mice.” However, the mouse family invites their friend, Chorizo, to come with. Chorizo just happens to be a dog. So, the meal is quite pleasant after all.
Kate Nichter
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
I was not too much of a fan of this book. For smaller children, this book could be creepy and the illustrations are odd to look at. I think children will have a hard time seeing the bigger image of seeing that all people and all things can be friends.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it
It's a cute story about what is in Chato's kitchen. It teaches the reader the Spanish dishes that he is cooking. It's not the most interesting book, but it is a cool way to teach children about other cultures.
Diana Avalos
Sep 28, 2019 added it
Shelves: ls-3013
This was a cute story and would recommend for older readers. The cats believe to be witty and smart but it turns out the mice outsmart them. But all ends well for everyone by having dinner together, the mice, the cats and the friendly dog.
Lia Smith
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Chato's Kitchen is a very humorous story that is suitable for both English, Spanish readers. I loved the story of the chato meeting interesting new neighbors and how he makes a very mature decision on keeping them as friends. I would definitely recommend !
A bit of a trickster tale, great illustrations but the story just didn't grab me.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Cunning and funny. Colorful and alive.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
A clever cat invites a family of mice to dinner with the inventing of eating them, but his plan is fooled when the mice bring along a friend, who happens to be a dog.
Kristi Brent
I thought this book was hilarious and well written. I really enjoyed reading this one! Such awesome picture detail also. I love the thought behind this book, it really made me laugh.
May 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really liked it, the illustrations had their own unique style and it was a good story as well
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Chato plans to have the mice that just moved in next door over for dinner, but when they arrive with their friend, Chorizo, a dog, his dinner plans are changed.
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Gary Soto, born April 12, 1952, was raised in Fresno, California. He is the author of eleven poetry collections for adults, most notably New and Selected Poems, a 1995 finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the National Book Award. His poems have appeared in many literary magazines, including Ploughshares, Michigan Quarterly, Poetry International, and Poetry, which

has h

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