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Nonfiction Monday: Nacho’s Nachos by Sandra Nickel

Nacho’s Nachos: The Story Behind the World’s Favorite Snack
By Sandra Nickel
Illustrated by Oliver Dominguez

Lee & Low Books

ISBN: 9781620143698
Grades K-4
Out Now

Find it at:
McLean & Eakin | Your Library

Sometimes great things don’t have great origin stories. Maybe the important details have been lost to history. Maybe we don’t know who invented the thing. Thankfully, nachos – the delicious culinary wonder – do not fall into this sad category. They are a great thing with a great creation story – one that Sandra Nickel and Oliver Dominguez lovingly capture in the nonfiction picture book Nacho’s Nachos.

Nachos wouldn’t be nachos without Ignacio (“Nacho”) Anaya. He grew up working in restaurants, eventually becoming head waiter at the Victory Club in Piedras Negras, Mexico. One day in 1940, when a Victory Club regular asked for something new, a desperate Nacho spread tortilla chips on a platter and topped them with cheddar cheese and slices of pickled jalapeño. It was a hit, and “Nacho’s Special” would come to be known around the world.

The text is straightforward, with pacing that will keep readers engaged. Backmatter includes an author’s note, quotation sources, and a bibliography of the author’s sources.

The painterly acrylic , gouache, ink, and colored pencil illustrations by Oliver Dominguez are vibrant and expressive, maintaining a realism that’s well suited to nonfiction.

I ask you this: who isn’t interested in how the world’s favorite snack came to be? Read this with students (but maybe not right before lunch).

Review copy from the publisher.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.