Join us for a special virtual story time with author John J. McLaughlin as he reads his bilingual book The Good Stranger's Sancocho Surprise/ El sancocho sorpresa del buen desconocido, featuring all the book illustrations, songs, and rhymes. Proceeds of the book go to Education Across Borders to support their programs in the DR.
The Good Stranger's Sancocho Surprise/ El sancocho sorpresa del buen desconocido is a bilingual re-telling of the classic "Stone Soup" tale, set in the Dominican Republic. A stranger who has lost his family to tragedy comes to a rural town, and he is starving. He asks for help, but only a penniless girl, with no knowledge of cooking, will offer it. Together they make sancocho-- a traditional Dominican soup, the kind in which everything can get thrown into the pot-- using a secret recipe the stranger learned from his grandfather during a time of suffering. From seemingly nothing, they create a miraculous banquet, and teach the villagers a lasting lesson about generosity, and overcoming fear. The Good Stranger's Sancocho Surprise/La sorpresa del buen desconocido is as timely as ever, and will be enjoyed by children, parents, and teachers alike.
A story of great cariño and hope—one we sorely need in these times of divisiveness, fear, and separation. Seemingly humble in setting, McLaughlin’s story is a luminous and generous parable of how we can all come together as a human(e) familia on our planetary island home. McLaughlin reveals “the true secret of living…” Read The Good Stranger’s Sancocho Surprise and find out that secret, and then invite others to feast at this story’s table. Ruddy Núñez’ illustrations add flavor and sabor to this luscious tale. The bilingual text allows readers—across the divide of language, country, and culture—to join in the feast. A modern fable with old roots to be shared with those you love, and especially with any stranger who comes to your door.
-- Julia Alvarez, the author of Afterlife and Already a Butterfly: A Meditation Story.