Fry bread is food.It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate. Fry bread is time.It brings families together for meals and new memories. Fry bread is nation.It might look or taste different, but it is still shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond. Fry bread is us.It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.Fry Bread is a story told in lively and powerful verse by Seminole Nation member Kevin Noble Maillard, with vibrant art from Pura Belpre Award winner Juana Martinez-Neal.
I have been looking forward to Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story since I first learned it was coming out, and am grateful to have been given the opportunity to read it a little ahead of its release date, later this month (October 2019). Unlike the other reviewers so far, this wasn't a five-star title for me, although I did find it excellent overall. I loved the ideas of this book, I loved the artwork, and I loved the detailed seven-page afterword, with its history of fry bread, and its information about some of the culturally significant objects used in the illustrations. I also loved the endpapers, which give an alphabet listing of all (I assume?) Native nations and peoples in the United States. All that said, the text itself, although serviceable, didn't particularly impress me, and while this didn't ruin the book for me (witness the four-star rating), it did prevent me from feeling emotionally involved in it, in that way I had hoped to be. Reactions vary, and I appear to be in the minority here, so I'd still strongly recommend this one, both to anyone looking for picture-books about food and family in general, or about Native American cultures specifically.
Nice art, but the story section didn't really do anything for me. The eight-page Author's Note at the end though was very fascinating, especially the negative feelings some indigenous people have against fry bread. Bonus star for that.