Battle of the Snow Cones / La guerra de las raspas

Overview

It was so hot in Caliente, Texas, that the townspeople gulped gallons of lemonade and poured buckets of water over their heads, but they couldn't stay cool.

Swinging on the front porch with her mother, Elena suddenly has an idea. Raspas—icy cold snow cones—are what the neighbors need to stay cool. And she can make and sell the refreshing treats from a stand in her own front yard! So with the help of her parents, Elena soon has a stand and the ...

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Hardcover (Spanish-language Edition)
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Overview

It was so hot in Caliente, Texas, that the townspeople gulped gallons of lemonade and poured buckets of water over their heads, but they couldn't stay cool.

Swinging on the front porch with her mother, Elena suddenly has an idea. Raspas—icy cold snow cones—are what the neighbors need to stay cool. And she can make and sell the refreshing treats from a stand in her own front yard! So with the help of her parents, Elena soon has a stand and the items needed to make and sell the snow cones. Before long everyone is lining up to buy the frosty delights in delicious flavors.

Elena's best friend Alma watches her friend's success from across the street and decides to start her own snow cone stand. And so begins the battle of the snow cones, with each girl devising ever more elaborate plans to attract clients: decorating their stands with colorful Mexican crepe paper flowers and papel picado, adding exotic flavors such as coconut and mango to their menus, staging puppet shows and even a folkloric dance. The girls' ice shaving machines furiously crank out raspas, until one day both machines go bonkers!

Readers will enjoy the girls' clever antics to attract customers in this lively, colorful picture book for children ages 4 - 8. And just as important, children will learn—along with Elena and Alma—that competitors can still be friends.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mandy Cruz
Flowers wilt in the scorching heat of Caliente, Texas. Ten-year-old Elena gets an idea after noticing that a bucket of water poured over her head does not cool her off any more than her mom's fanning. Elena pitches a snow cone stand to help cool down the neighborhood. After Elena offers to use her allowance for the supplies, her mom agrees to help her set up the stand. Elena excitedly runs to her best friend's house, street, but Alma brushes Elena off, she'd rather swim in the pool at the park. Elena gets her stand going and once Alma sees all the neighbors lining up to buy snow cones, she decides to open her own stand opposite her best friend's. War breaks out. When Alma offers new flavors, Elena does too; when Alma springs for fancy decorations for her stand, Elena spruces up her own. They engage in this kind of tit-for-tat until their snow cone machines malfunction from overuse and cause all of their syrups to flow down the hill, leaving a rainbow slip ?n' slide into a mound of ice at the bottom. Without hesitation, the neighborhood kids begin sliding down the syrupy hill as their means of staying cool. After an exchange of accusations the girls decide to join in the fun. A little competition does not have to mean the end of a friendship. With wistful illustrations and colorful words, this book delights readers and makes them think about the importance of friendship and working together. Reviewer: Mandy Cruz
School Library Journal
Gr 1–3—The residents of Caliente, TX, can't stay cool in the sweltering summer heat even when drinking lemonade by the gallon and pouring buckets of water over their heads. Elena, who is joined by her mother on the front porch, comes up with a fun, profitable idea to deal with the situation—selling raspas, or snow cones. Before long, her successful business gets the attention of her best friend, Alma, who sets up a stand of her own. The girls compete, or "battle," to be the best on the block by employing new strategies and adding touches such as Mexican paper flowers or syrup flavors like coconut or mango, and entertainment like puppet shows or folkloric dances. In the midst of all the competitiveness, the girls' snow-cone machines malfunction and they realize how much their friendship matters. Gambino's vibrant acrylic artwork shows neighborhood scenes and captures the bold colors of the snow-cone syrups and the girls' stands. Learning that true friendship can be more important than success is an elemental concept for young children to understand.—Rhonda Jeffers, Coweta Public Library System, Newnan, GA
Kirkus Reviews

On one of the hottest weeks of the summer in Caliente, Texas, best friends Elena and Alma open competing snow-cone stands across the street from each other. As business booms and wanes, the competition gets stronger, as do the sales pitches and incentives. Extravagant decorations, puppet shows and folk dancing in traditional costume cause ever more customers to crisscross the street, until both ice machines simultaneously malfunction, pouring out colored ice shavings until a slushy rainbow ribbon of the stuff tumbles down the street, encouraging everyone to "[cascade] down the dazzling icy mound" and leaving Elena and Alma to dissolve their rivalry and renew their friendship. The full-color paintings are mostly realistic, featuring appealing, if stiff, protagonists; the rainbow-colored snow-cone slide makes for a startling and unconvincing intrusion. Lacking the charm of Strega Nona and her magical spaghetti pot, this summery, bilingual story jars with the quick flight of fancy. While the themes of friendly rivalry and work-made-fun are worthwhile, the odd deus ex machina mystifies more than it delights. (Picture book. 5-7)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781558855755
  • Publisher: Arte Publico Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2010
  • Language: Spanish
  • Edition description: Spanish-language Edition
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,401,774
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.10 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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