Nacho’s Nachos

The Story Behind the World’s Favorite Snack

by Sandra Nickel & Oliver Dominguez (Lee & Low, August 11, 2020)

Nacho’s Nachos is the true story about how nachos were invented—about what happened when a regular customer asked Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya for something new, and there were no chefs in the kitchen.

2020 was the 80th Anniversary of the invention, and Oliver Dominguez’s illustrations transport us back to the border of the Rio Grande in 1940, when Nacho’s quick thinking resulted in a snack now eaten everywhere from Texas to Paris to Hong Kong!

 “Nickel’s thorough research, including communications with the descendants of the principals, brings to life the man behind the world’s favorite cheesy bites. . . . Nickel’s homage to this congenial, hardworking man and his renowned snack is a celebration of ingenuity and kismet.” —KIRKUS REVIEWSstarred review 

“This tale of the humble origins of nachos, bolstered by vivid and period-specific illustrations, will whisk young readers away to a different time and place.” —BOOKLIST

“VERDICT A unique biography read-aloud title for younger kids.” —SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

“I have your book on display along with 17 other books related to the topic ‘Everyday Heroes.’ Everyone who looks at the display goes directly to your book, and only your book. I’ve had about 5 conversations about it just while sitting here at my desk.”—Mary Beth Romö, Librarian, St. George’s International School

Awards & Lists

Nacho’s Nachos is the winner of a Christopher Award, which recognizes works affirming the highest values of the human spirit. It was named as a finalist for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Award, a Best Picture Book of 2020 by Kirkus Reviews, a Best Children’s Book of the Year by the Bank Street College of EducationBest Book for Kids of 2020 by the New York Public Library, a Delaware Diamond Title for 2021-2022, a Eureka! Nonfiction Children’s Book Award Honoree by the California Reading Association, a Black-Eyed Susan Book Award Nominee for 2023-2024, a Grand Canyon Reader Award Nominee for 2024, and a Best Book of 2020 by the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature. It was also purchased for use in classrooms across New York City–the largest school district in the US.