Chato's Kitchen

Last updated Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Author: Gary Soto
Illustrator: Susan Guevara
Date of Publication: 1995
ISBN: 0399226583
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jan. 2004

Synopsis: "Chato, a low-riding cat with six stripes, was slinking toward a sparrow when he heard the scrape of tiny feet coming from the yard next door." You get the idea. Chato is a sly, mustachioed "cool cat" from an East Los Angeles barrio.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Go over the Spanish words in the beginning of the book -- make a list on the board.
•  What are some other commonly used spanish words?
•  Does anyone know how to Mambo? (do ahead option: check out websites such as )
•  Ever had dinner at someone else's house and eaten different foods than you usually do? What foods? What was that like?
•  What do you do when someone challenges you? What are ways to resolve that?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a menu card of items to eat based on the dinner in the book, and decorate.
•  Make paper airplane invitations from the mice to the cats and Chorizo.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!