Latino Literary Hall of Fame, Second Place, Children's Picture Book Category
The protagonist of The Bakery Lady/La señora de la panadería, Mónica, spends her life around a bakery not just because she likes the sweets, but also because she loves her grandparents who own the bakery. She watches wide-eyed, as the pans slip in and out of the oven and in and out of the appreciative customers' hands straight into their happy bellies.
In this colorful bilingual picture book, Mónica yearns to be a baker like her grandparents. Her first real test comes as she and her beloved grandparents prepare for the coming celebration of January sixth, Feast of the Three Kings, el Día de los Reyes Magos. When Mónica finds the traditional baby figure in the round bread ring that shines with cherries and pecans, the rosca de reyes, it becomes her responsibility to plan the celebration: invitations, decorations, and most important of all, the lemon cookies that Mónica will bake especially for her family and friends. And although she wants to do it all herself, she discovers that the love and help of family can make any job a joy.
Pat Mora once again weaves a tale rich with tradition in which we become active participants in the wonderfully sweet bakery world of la panadería. Children aged 3 to 10 will delight in the delicious sights and savory smells of the panadería and Mónica's quest to be the baker.
"The Bakery Lady is a look behind the glass shop doors of a Mexican family and its traditions. It gives children another look at the richness of diversity."—Houston Chronicle
January 6, 2015
I wrote The Bakery Lady/La señora de la panadería to show a close Mexican-American family celebrating this tradition by baking together. As part of my research, I had the pleasure of visiting behind-the-scenes of a small bakery I liked. Wonderful scents of bread baking and spices. Years later when the book came out, I discovered that indeed a young girl had been raised at the bakery by her loving grandparents.