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Groundwood Poetry

Sopa de frijoles / Bean Soup
Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem
By (author): Jorge Argueta Illustrated by: Rafael Yockteng
Jorge Argueta ,

Illustrated by :

Rafael Yockteng


Groundwood Books - Toronto



Product Form:


Form detail:

Paperback , Trade
English, Spanish


Juvenile: Age (years) 4 - 7, Grade (US) P - 2
Mar 01, 2017
$9.99 CAD


7.25in x 10.5 x 0.1 in | 0.27 lb

Page Count:

32 pages


full color throughout
Groundwood Books Ltd
Groundwood Books
USBBY Outstanding International Book 2009, Commended
  • Short Description
Simply written, yet full of vivid imagery, this bilingual book about preparing bean soup is a fun, almost magical experience.

This delightful recipe in poem form shows us all, young and old, how to make a heartwarming, tummy-filling bean soup

From gathering the beans, onions and garlic to letting them swim in the pot until the house smells wonderful and it’s time for supper.

A young boy helps his mother prepare a soup the whole family will enjoy using ingredients from Mother Earth. Onions are “yellow as the dawn,” beans are like stars spread out on the “sky of the table” and the water in the pot is “as deep as a little lake.” While the soup is cooking, the boy buries the cooking scraps under a tree in the yard “so Mother Earth keeps on growing flavors.”

Simply written, yet full of vivid imagery, Jorge Argueta’s verse and Rafael Yockteng’s animated illustrations make preparing bean soup a fun, almost magical experience. This book is a great family recipe/poem for those who already love bean soup — it is a comfort food for many — and for those who are looking for a delicious new healthy food.

Key Text Features
procedural text

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.

Recognize common types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems).

Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.

  • Combines reading with a fun activity for the whole family; steps that require adult supervision are marked
  • Bilingual text appeals to parents who want to expose their children to another language at an early age
  • Reading poetry is a requirement for the Common Core
  • Curriculum connections: social studies (families and communities, food and eating, celebrations); language (poetry)
  • Written by an award-winning author and poet who is very active on the speaking circuit at schools and libraries

JORGE ARGUETA, a Pipil Nahua Indian from El Salvador and Poet Laureate of San Mateo County, is a prize-winning author of more than twenty children’s books. His book Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds won the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and was named to USBBY’s Outstanding International Books List, ALA Notable Children’s Books and the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices. Jorge is the founder of the International Children's Poetry Festival Manyula and the Library of Dreams, a non-profit organization that promotes literacy in El Salvador. Jorge divides his time between San Francisco, California, and El Salvador.

RAFAEL YOCKTENG has illustrated many highly acclaimed children’s books, including Afterward, Everything was Different: A Tale From the Pleistocene; Wounded Falcons (two starred reviews and named a USBBY Outstanding International Book); Jimmy the Greatest! (six starred reviews); Two White Rabbits (three starred reviews); and Walk with Me (three starred reviews) by Jairo Buitrago. Rafael’s books have been included on IBBY’s Honor List, the Horn Book Fanfare and in the White Ravens Catalogue. He lives in Bogotá, Colombia.

Argueta’s lyrical Spanish translated into its counterpart English is filled with visual and aromatic imagery that turns soup-making into art. - Kirkus Reviews

The earthy tones in the soft watercolor illustrations are pleasing to viewers...Kids will enjoy hearing the story read... - School Library Journal

Reinforcing the strong connection between cooking and poetry, Argueta combines the two in a bilingual free-verse recipe for ‘una sabrosa sopita de frijoles,’ or ‘yummy bean soup’...Both versions have an easy flow that positively bubbles with the young chef’s elemental delight. - Booklist

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