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Austin Taco Expert Publishes Spanglish Taco Book for Kids

“Vitamina T for Tacos” is a combination illustrated alphabet book and an introduction to the world of tacos

Illustration of two kids eating tacos
The cover of Vitamina T for Tacos
Jade Publishing
Erin Russell is associate editor of Eater Austin, a native Austinite, and a big fan of carbs.

Austin-based taco journalist Mando Rayo has co-authored a taco-centric children’s book, Vitamina T for Tacos. Written with Texas-raised, California-based professor Suzanne García-Mateus, the book is available now at major retailers and online.

Vitamina T for Tacos is a combination alphabet book and taco dictionary for kids, with colorful illustrations from Mexican artist Martha Samaniego Calderón. The book, which switches between Spanish and English, explores taco culture from al pastor to zanahorias en escabeche, and includes a glossary of taco terms.

Rayo is no stranger to publishing. He got his start with a breakfast taco blog that he ran with Jarod Neece, and together they published Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day followed by Tacos of Texas, which became a digital series. That led to a television series, United Tacos of America, on director Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey network.

In a press release, co-author Dr. García-Mateus, who is Assistant Professor of Education and the Director of the Monterey Institute for English Learners at California State University - Monterey Bay, explained the importance of language in the book, saying, “We centered our love for tacos and Spanglish as symbolic representations that honor our bicultural & bilingual identities in the borderlands.”