The kids picked out a bunch of library books earlier this week. One that I thought would be a dud was really fun! Another, which I thought would be a really nice, multicultural book, was a bit of a surprise. It's called How Nanita Learned to Make Flan. I pictured a little girl in Mexico learning to make flan from her abuela, how sweet. No. In our little story, 6-year old Nanita, who has no shoes, makes herself a pair of shoes out of her father's scrap leather, and they lead her to a house far away where the owner enslaves her and forces her to make flan every day. She finally escapes, with the help of a parrot whom she sets free, her father makes her a proper pair of shoes, and she makes flan for her first communion celebration that is so tasty, her father smiles for the first time in his life. Jeez!
The recipe in the back of the book sounds easy enough, though I've never made flan. But talk about depressing! Shouldn't books like this - in the children's section, anyway - come with a warning label? "Caution: Dark! Depressing! Scary for 4-year-olds!"