The Children's Book Compass

Rice Pudding – Yum!

Posted on: December 21, 2010

Arroz con leche * Rice Pudding: Un poema para cocinar/A Cooking Poem by Jorge Argueta.  Illus. by Fernando Vilela.  (2010). Pages not numbered.  Groundwood Books.  Grades 1-5.  Picture Book/Poetry.

When you finish reading this yummy book you’ll want to cook the rice pudding with your children.  Get out a pot and ready the ingredients!  The bilingual poem appears on the page in both Spanish and then English stanzas.  After Argueta explains how much he likes all kinds of rice he describes the steps in making the pudding.  The lilting language makes mental pictures while the illustrations are action packed and compliment the poems.  Here’s a sample of one stanza:

Sprinkle the rice into the pot.

The little white grains of rice

rain music and sing

as they fall.

In the kitchen the rice is singing.

In the kitchen it is raining

Little white grain drops.

The illustration for this stanza shows the boy standing on a high stool while he rains the rice in a stream of white dots into the pot.  The poems are rich in metaphors.  When the boy pours the milk into the pot, “the milk becomes a waterfall./There is a white waterfall in the kitchen.”  Enjoy!

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