Bella’s Recipe for Success is about resilience and having a growth mindset, which is something I think today’s kids definitely need in their books and in their lives.
Bella’s brother is great at piano. Her sister is great at gymnastics. When Abuela says, “We’re all good at different things,” Bella wonders, “What am I good at?” The book humorously describes Bella’s bumbling attempts at gymnastics, piano, and baking (Abuela’s specialty). When she fails miserably, she decides to quit, and covers her eyes so no one will see her cry. “But Abuela sees everything.” (So sweet!) Abuela teaches Bella how to bake polvorones, which doesn’t go well at first. Bella feels like a failure until she notices that her brother and sister mess up sometimes, too. And yet they keep trying. Bella picks herself up and tries (and tries again) until she finally succeeds at becoming “good at baking and the master of … practicing!”
This book includes some delicious back matter – a recipe for Polvorones Con Dulce de Leche. And the illustrator nailed the characters’ emotions on every page. I know this is a funny thing to focus on, but I also LOVE Bella’s hair. It’s cute and just a little messy, which makes her oh-so-relatable.
Note: I was given a free PDF copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I am also one of Ana’s critique partners and got to watch her shape this wonderful story from rough draft to polished and published. Ana is the master of revision, which is why it’s no surprise that she has a few more books coming out in the next couple of years. You can check out Ana’s website (linked above) for more information. Congratulations on your debut book, Ana!