When I was asked to review "A Taco For El Presidente," written by Seema Vora Bakhru and illustrated by Eduardo Rama, I was immediately intrigued by the title. It is an obvious ode to the political climate we currently inhabit. I was curious as to how a children’s book would tackle such a sensitive subject and explain it all to children in a manner that is truthful and respectful to all readers.
I sat down with book in hand and prepared myself for an interesting read. Right away, I was won over with the charm of Max the taco who only wants to be the best taco he can be so that he can show the President that tacos are indeed great.
As Max sets out to make himself into the best taco, he realizes that the best taco should include many different flavors. He incorporates Mediterranean flavors, Korean flavors, and Indian flavors but is not met with positive reviews from his boss who runs the taco truck that Max works for. His boss would prefer Max to stick to the same typical flavors that everyone is used to.
Even though Max is met with resistance from his boss, some enchanting and other delicious food friends encourage him to stay true to himself. When the time comes to finally meet the President, Max is ready to pass his message along that having more than one flavor is what makes the taco truck great.
This is a story that all ages and flavors can embrace. In a time when issues of multiculturalism, diversity, and even being true to one’s identity are constantly debated, I must say that this story is needed. With humor, creativity, and charm, it respectfully teaches the lessons of acceptance and understanding and being true to one’s self. It is a story of coming together and embracing the best in all of us. Not only do I recommend it for little ones who want a fun and funny read, but I also recommend it for parents who want to introduce their kids to new and different foods and cultures. This would be great encouragement for them to try new things. But in addition, I suggest it to any adult who needs and wants to address the issues of diversity and our world with positivity, hope, and even a little humor.