Title: Chato’s Kitchen
Author: Gary Soto
Illustrator: Susan Guevara
Publisher: Puffin Books
Published Date: September 22, 1997
Chato can’t believe his luck. Not only is he the coolest low-riding cat in East L.A., but his brand-new neighbors are the plumpest, juciest, tastiest-looking family of mice to move into the barrio in a long time. So Chato and his best friend, Novio Boy, get out the pots and pans, the tortillas and the beans–everything you’d need for a welcoming feast, except for the main dish, and the guests of honor. Of course, in Chato’s mind they are one and the same thing.
But the mice are bringing a surprise guest of their own, who may be more than a cool cat can swallow.
Chato thinks he is slick. He sees the new mouse family move in next door and thinks, “Dinner!” But he is mistaken! He cooks up a scheme to invite to the mouse family over for dinner. But wait! They have a dinner guest too! And he’s a dog! So much for the mouse dinner!
What I really liked about this was the description of the actual cooking of all the food. Plus, I don’t think the cat was actually going to eat the mice. Why would he have made all that food? To fatten them up? They were already fat. Who knows?