In this love letter to the Philippines (and to grandmothers), a young girl comes up with a brilliantly delicious way to attract customers after a heat wave leaves her lola’s store empty.
Nora loves spending summers with Lola at her sari-sari store, a treasure trove filled with everything you could need, from hair accessories to toys, creamy yema to sour tamarind candy. And this year, Nora is big enough to help her grandmother. But when a heat wave strikes and no one comes to the store, Nora worries that she won’t get to spend the rest of the summer with her lola—until she gets a sweet idea. After all, the mangoes on the tree outside are finally ripe, and with a bit of measuring, mixing, and a good deal of tasting, Nora and Lola have a refreshing way to bring people together—and to the sari-sari store. With soft, heartfelt illustrations, Lynnor Bontigao’s endearing picture book—featuring a recipe for making mango ice candy like Nora’s—is an ode to ingenuity and to intergenerational relationships that’s as sweet and gentle as a kiss on the cheek.
hails from one of the more than 7,600 islands of the Philippines. She
is the illustrator of Jack & Agyu
by Justine Villanueva and You Are Revolutionary
by Cindy Wang Brandt. Sari-Sari Summers
is her debut as author-illustrator. A member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the winner of the 2020 SCBWI Tomie dePaola Professional Development Award, Lynnor Bontigao lives in New Jersey with her family.
Lively text provides an engrossing picture of the Philippines. . . thoughtful portrayals of Filipino customs along with speech bubbles featuring both Tagalog and English lend an authenticity. Bontigao’s debut brims with heart-warming delight as the loving intergenerational relationship between Nora and her lola making ice candy shows how food brings a community together.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Delectable. . . This sweet summer tale has Tagalog words interspersed throughout the dialogue, mostly terms of endearment that reflect the cozy relationships with family and the community. . . . Like a sari-sari store, brimming with joy and heart.
Readers get to share Nora's eagerness as they are treated to a two-page spread depicting colorful, delectable items stacked neatly on the store shelves. . . . This sweet story of intergenerational love will resonate with many readers.
This is a love letter to grandparents who live far away and the special bond that develops when grandchildren get to spend time with them. . . . The illustrations, digitally created, capture the busy street where the store is located as well as the love shared between Nora and her lola. . . . Celebrating the special bond between a child and an older relative, along with the setting and language details of the Philippines, makes this a highly recommended title.
—School Library Journal