Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Harvesting Friends / Cosechando amigos

Written by Kathleen Contreras

Illustrated by Gary Undercuffler

  • ISBN: 978-1-55885-858-9
  • Publication Date: May 31, 2018
  • Bind: Hardcover

  • Pages: 32

This bilingual picture book illustrates that a community garden
can grow more than just fruits and vegetables.

Young Lupe loves helping her mother with their salsa garden full of tomatoes, chile peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro. But one summer day, she sees that the biggest, juiciest tomatoes have disappeared! Who could have taken them?

Two weeks later, she catches the culprit in the act! It’s Antonio, the new boy at school. His family doesn’t have much money and the tomatoes look so good. He offers his gold necklace from his grandmother in Mexico in exchange for the tomatoes, but Lupe has a better idea. “Let’s make a deal. You help me with the garden, and I’ll give back your necklace and some tomatoes.” They become friends over the summer as they weed, water and pick vegetables. When the growing season ends and they have composted the leaves and stems, Lupe happily returns Antonio’s necklace.

The following year, Lupe and Antonio invite their neighbors to help with the garden. Soon everyone is pitching in to grow fruit and vegetables for salsa and much more, from tomatoes to watermelon, and squash, beans and corn—America’s first crops.

Including easy-to-make recipes, this bilingual picture book for children ages 4-8 will have them clamoring for a garden of their own to plant and harvest. Along the way, young readers—and the adults in their lives too—will learn that coming together as a community will enable them to harvest more than just vegetables.

KATHLEEN CONTRERAS is a bilingual educator and author of three other children’s books that highlight her Mexican roots: Pan Dulce (Scholastic, 1995), Braids / Trencitas (Lectorum, 2009) and Sweet Memories / Dulces recuerdos (Lectorum, 2014). She lives and works in Ventura, California.

GARY UNDERCUFFLER has illustrated a wide variety of children’s books, textbooks and magazines. His children’s books include “Happy Birthday”: The Story of the World’s Most Popular Song (Pelican Publishing, 2010). He lives in Pennsylvania with his family.

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