Don't Say a Word, Mama / No Digas Nada, Mama

Don't Say a Word, Mama / No Digas Nada, Mama

by Joe Hayes
     
 

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Mamá says she has the best daughters in the world. The two women live near their mother—Rosa with her husband and children, Blanca by herself. They both have flourishing gardens. Rosa and Blanca are so generous and kind and thoughtful—well, everyone, including Mamá, ends up with too much corn, tomatoes, and red hot chiles! It's crazy! It's also

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Overview

Mamá says she has the best daughters in the world. The two women live near their mother—Rosa with her husband and children, Blanca by herself. They both have flourishing gardens. Rosa and Blanca are so generous and kind and thoughtful—well, everyone, including Mamá, ends up with too much corn, tomatoes, and red hot chiles! It's crazy! It's also Joe Hayes at his finest, telling one of those stories young kids love, full of mishaps, surprise endings, and happy mommas! In fact, one seven-year old—after hearing Joe tell Don't Say a Word, Mamá!—came home and told her mother, "I heard a story today that I think changed my life!" That's a pretty fantastic endorsement!

2014 Honor Book, Patterson Prize for Books for Young People

Joe Hayes has been enchanting listeners and readers alike for over thirty years. His books have received many awards including two Land of Enchantment Children's Book Awards and an Aesop Accolade Award. His books have also been on the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List three times. Ghost Fever won the Texas Bluebonnet Award for 2006–2007.

Esau Andrade Valencia comes from a family of folk artists. He is increasingly being recognized as a master artist in the tradition of Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo. His paintings are included in the collection of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, California, as well as in the Downey Museum of Art in Downey, California.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times - Sarah Harrison Smith
…perfect for readers of either language, or for language learners. Hayes balances humor with sentiment, and abundance with a concern for privation in a way that imbues the notion of harvest with a sense of real value.
Children's Literature - Ramirose I. Attebury
Sisters Rosa and Blanca care about each other very much, and their mother thinks she is the luckiest mother in the world. When the girls grow up, Rosa gets married and has a family while Blanca continues to live on her own. As they each begin to have successful gardens, they automatically want to share—Rosa with her sister who has no one at home to help her and Blanca with her sister who has a houseful of people to feed. Each wants to surprise the other, so they begin taking each other a basket of produce in the middle of the night; in the dark they do not notice each other passing. When each awakes in the morning and sees an abundance of the garden goods, they end up taking extra to their mother. Their mother appreciates the extra corn and values the extra tomatoes; but when she realizes her daughters plan to share their abundance of hot chilies next, she has to spill the beans about what has been going on—after all, what ever will she do with extra hot chilies!? The heartwarming tale about generosity and thoughtfulness is accompanied by colorful and appropriate illustrations. The sisters’ repetitive actions make it easy for young readers to grasp and enjoy the story. Reviewer: Ramirose I. Attebury; Ages 8 to 11.
From the Publisher

STARRED REVIEW. "A sweet family tale that never turns saccharine … Esau Andrade Valencia contributes highly saturated paintings that combine a folk aesthetic with magical realism … This book overflows with affection—and you can never have too much of that."—Kirkus Reviews

"Hayes balances humor with sentiment, and abundance with a concern for privation in a way that imbues the notion of harvest with a sense of real value … Perfect for readers of either language, or for language learners."—The New York Times

"A funny, affectionate tale of two sisters who let their mother in on their secret gift-giving mission … This bilingual tale of sisterly generosity by master storyteller Joe Hayes (Ghost Fever) brims with humor and love, while Esau Andrade Valencia's Mexican folk art matches the siblings' affection and playfulness … Author and artist celebrate family and abundance in a story that will be a favorite read-aloud at harvest time or anytime."—Shelf Awareness

"Children will enjoy the back and forth and will laugh at Mamá’s predicament … Culturally relevant in its depiction of Latina characters, the book makes an excellent read-aloud to a broad audience. Hayes’s many fans will enjoy this story as will those looking for tales about families and goodwill among siblings."—School Library Journal

"A lushly illuminated bilingual original tale with a precious moral for all times, the value of sisters sharing of carefully harvested garden bounty and love… a beautiful tale of sharing plenty that is exactly what the notion of thanksgiving is about." —Midwest Book Review

"[Valencia's] brush presents tomatoes so tantalizing, corn so sweet, and chiles so peppery, as to make the taste buds salivate from memories of a perfect Sinaloan posole! Join Hayes and Valencia for this delicious fare that’s both nourishing for the grumbling belly … and the hungry soul."—Book Dragon

“Visual beauty, humor, storyline, and a moral come together in this excellent book for kids.” —Molly Kincaid, Edible Baja Arizona

School Library Journal
10/01/2013
Gr 2–4—Rosa and Blanca are loving sisters who grow up and live separately-one by herself and the other with a family-in close proximity to their mother's home. Both have bountiful gardens and decide to share their harvests, in secret, with one another. While Rosa, worried that her sister has so many mouths to feed, sneaks half of her tomatoes into Blanca's kitchen, Blanca, concerned that her sister has no one to help support her, is adding half of her crop to Rosa's stash, and both are amazed to discover that they have a surplus. Only Mamá knows of her daughters' generosity, and she is the recipient of the extra tomatoes and corn. The chile peppers are the last straw, and, finally, Mamá spills the beans about what has been going on. Children will enjoy the back and forth and will laugh at Mamá's predicament. The writing is good and the Spanish text is fluid and accessible. The colorful paintings are realistic for the most part, with a little magic when depicting the personified veggies. The text is placed nicely alongside the paintings. Culturally relevant in its depiction of Latina characters, the book makes an excellent read-aloud to a broad audience. Hayes's many fans will enjoy this story as will those looking for tales about families and goodwill among siblings.—Maricela Leon-Barrera, San Francisco Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-09-01
Mamá has always been proud of her loving daughters, even when they've grown. Rosa, her husband and their three children live "in a little house just down the street from her mother." Sister Blanca lives alone "in a little house just up the street from her mother." One year, each sister plants a garden, growing tomatoes, corn and "good hot chiles." Each woman gives their mother some and tells her that she is going to give her sister half her yield--but: "Don't say a word, Mamá!" In the night, each unknowingly passes the other with a basketful and leaves it in her sister's empty kitchen. In the morning, each is astonished at the enormous pile of tomatoes and gives still more to her mother, who accepts them with a shrug: "you can never have too many tomatoes." This is repeated with the luxuriant crop of corn, but Mamá at last spills the beans--or rather the peppers--as she can't manage a similar surplus of chiles. Storyteller Hayes uses repetition, parallel structure and short sentences masterfully, unspooling a sweet family tale that never turns saccharine. His own Spanish translation appears alongside the English text. Andrade Valencia contributes highly saturated paintings that combine a folk aesthetic with magical realism, playfully depicting anthropomorphized vegetables marrying and having babies as the sisters marvel at the bounty. This book overflows with affection--and you can never have too much of that. (Bilingual picture book. 4-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781935955450
Publisher:
Cinco Puntos Press
Publication date:
09/24/2013
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
405,913
Product dimensions:
10.78(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.10(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Joe Hayes: Joe Hayes is the author of over twenty books for children and young adults. His writing style is storytelling-tested and has its roots in the oral traditions of the American Southwest. Each summer, he delights children and adults alike with his summertime storytelling performances at Santa Fe’s Wheelwright Museum. The rest of the year finds him speaking to thousands of readers around the United States at schools, libraries, and conferences. His book Ghost Fever/Mal de Fantasma won the Texas Bluebonnet Award in 2007. Dance, Nana, Dance / Baila, Nana, Baila, his collection of folktales from Cuba, won the Aesop Prize in 2009. The New Mexico Library Association named Joe the Centennial Storyteller in 2010, a storyteller so good he only comes around once every 100 years!

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