By Lisa Lopez
On a scorching hot day, somewhere in a small town in Texas, extreme thirst and competitive snow cone sales lead readers to a colorful adventure in the bilingual tale of The Battle of the Snow Cones/La Guerra de las Raspas by Lupe Ruiz-Flores.
Ten-year-old Elena is an imaginative and enthusiastic ten-year-old girl who comes up with a grand idea of quenching her communities' thirst and desire to cool off. She decides to open up a homemade "Raspa" or snow cone stand in front of her yard.
With the help and support of her family, Elena unleashes her entrepreneurial skills and commences the festive and colorful sale distributions of tasty frozen treats to her neighbors.
The tale twists when her best friend Alma gets an idea too; to open her own better-than-Elena's snow cone stand. The competition is on when both girls continue to battle with better flavors, impressive decorations, and even main attractions such as puppetry and "folklorico" dances in order to increase sales and win the crowds over.
As greed and rivalry plagues the story's plot, readers are treated to twists and turns that beautifully lead to a jovial ending that embraces the nature of true friendship.
The multihued and life-like illustrations by Alisha Gambino are aesthetically pleasing, while the storyline nurtures our longing for true friendship and excitement for competition.
The story is vividly written and illustrated to engage readers from all walks of life. This book is a winner!
Lisa Lopez is a school librarian and part of the Review 'n Receive book review program.