Gomes, Filomena 1965-
Gomes, Filomena 1965-
Born 1965, in Canada; married; husband's name David; children: Madeleine, Zachary, Eva Simone. Education: Université Laval, B.A. (French). Hobbies and other interests: French culture and literature, community enhancement projects, politics, music, cooking.
Home—Calgary, Alberta, Canada. E-mail—[email protected]
Educator and author. Teacher at St. Matthew's School and St. Francis School, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
R. Ross Annett Children's Book Award shortlist, 2007, for My Mom Loves Me More than Sushi.
My Mom Loves Me More than Sushi, illustrated by Ashley Spires, Second Story Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2006.
Canadian teacher Filomena Gomes shares her love of international cuisine with young children in her entertaining picture book My Mom Loves Me More than Sushi. In part inspired by the author's experiences growing up in a Portuguese-Canadian family, Gomes' story actually grew out of an observation voiced by the author's oldest daughter following a delicious home-cooked dinner of Japanese-style sushi. Gomes' debut was met with positive praise, and was also shortlisted for the R. Ross Annett Children's Book Award.
Featuring colorful illustrations by Ashley Spires, My Mom Loves Me More than Sushi focuses on a mother and daughter who are busy in the family kitchen, preparing delightful foods from around the globe. From Japanese sushi to Italian biscotti to Moroccan couscous, the two cooks prepare and sample each delicacy, and the book's text includes information on both ingredients and preparation. As the family pets look on with interest, other foods follow, among them a Louisiana jumbalaya, Portuguese canja, and Indian samosa. As much as her mother may express her love for each new dish in turn, the younger chef knows that the woman loves her best of all; in fact, each new food is introduced by the words "My mom loves me more than …." Calling My Mom Loves Me More than Sushi "a nice introduction to the concept of multiculturalism and different foods," a Kirkus Reviews writer noted that the picture book "is served [up] with warmth and smiles." Gregory Bryan wrote in his Canadian Review of Materials review that Spires' "playful watercolour illustrations … complement" Gomes' "bright and bubbly text," the critic adding that all the recipes described in the story are available at the publisher's Web site. Describing Spires' cartoon art as "a nice balance" to Gomes' text, Resource Links contributor Lisa Berezowski concluding that My Mom Loves Me More than Sushi will "lend itself well" to classroom use, either for a unit on cultural diversity or a unit on food.
"Introducing ethnic foods to kids, I find they respond better if they're putting their fingers in the flour, mixing and measuring," Gomes explained to a Second Story Press Web site interviewer while discussing her book's culinary slant. "It's the sensuous feeling they love, the scent of exotic spices. Kids can be a part of preparing meals, not just eating them, and they'll tend to try the food if they're part of cooking the meal. It's a way to introduce other cultures through food."
Biographical and Critical Sources
Canadian Review of Materials, September, 2006, Gregory Bryan, review of My Mom Loves Me More than Sushi.
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2006, review of My Mom Loves Me More than Sushi, p. 1014.
Resource Links, December, 2006, Linda Berezowski, review of My Mom Loves Me More than Sushi, p. 3.
Second Story Press Web site,http://www.secondstorypress.on.ca/ (October 17, 2006), "Filomena Gomes."