Esperanza Caramelo (English)

Publisher: Knopf/PRH
Illustrator: Elisa Chavarri
Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2023
ISBN-13: 978 05934 88676


On the eve of Nochebuena, a spark of magic lights up Lita’s bakery. Esperanza Caramelo opens her eyes. Esperanza is a sugar figurine meant to sit atop the Nochebuena cake—but tonight she whirls through the bakery, singing and dancing, throwing a fiesta with all the other ornaments until . . . disaster strikes! A Christmas cake emergency ensues, and time is running out, Will Esperanza and her friends be able to save Nochebuena?


This book is inspired by my Abuelita who was a wonderful baker and story maker. Below are some of the original sugar figurines she made:


“Valenti whips up a delectable tale of whimsical enchantment. Her narration has a lyrical feel, like a Christmas fairy tale. Chavarri’s effervescent artwork offers an appealing depiction of Navidad, with all its baked-in promises of magic.”
– Kirkus Reviews

“In a magical kitchen full of bakery and pastry tools, a cake ornament comes to life…Richly ­illustrated with vibrant colors, this picture book is sure to please.”
– School Library Journal

“Valenti’s wonder-filled addition to the holiday collection—vividly depicted by Chavarri’s bright, exciting scenes—will have readers wishing they could visit Lita’s Pastelería and meet Esperanza, whose name aptly means “hope.” In several wordless scenes, the art is enough to evoke the magic filling the night, and the sweet backgrounds are full of delicious and delightful clues and plenty of other details to keep readers invested as they root for this unlikely heroine.”
– Booklist