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A Dash of Trouble: 03/03/18
A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano is the first book in the middle grade fantasy series, Love, Sugar, Magic. Lenora "Leo" Logroño is the youngest child. Her sisters have all been invited to help out in the family bakery but so far she's being kept out of the family business. With el Dia de los Muertos coming and the bakery being super busy, Leo wants to help. When everyone in her family tells her no, she decides to find out why.
Leo learns that the women in her family are brujas de la cocina (kitchen witches). There are normal recetas (recipes) and magical ones. She convinces her older sisters to teach her simple spells and then things get out of hand. Can Leo fix things without getting Mami involved?
It took me a while to get into Leo's story because it seemed so improbable that a family with such a long standing magical tradition would be capable of keeping it a secret from those who aren't into their powers yet. It also seemed like a wasted opportunity to teach before their are actual magical stakes at risk. I also found it odd that Leo wasn't taught Spanish even though she would be needing it later on to read the recipes. The original, untranslated recipes are included in the body of book, as are Leo's English translations at the back of the book.
Qualms aside, the reasons are explained in story and once the stage it set the resulting story is a good mixture of humor and consequences. Leo working magic unsupervised goes horribly wrong but she is able to undo her mistakes.
Book two, A Sprinkle of Spirits comes out in 2019.