Mice and Beans

( 1 )

Overview

Rosa Maria loves to cook big meals for her big family, and she's determined to make her youngest grandchild's birthday party a special occasion. But when important items start to disappear from her kitchen, she doesn't know what to think. You will delight in uncovering the clues that lead to a very funny surprise. Vibrant paintings with brilliant comic touches, a winsome main character, jaunty rhythms, and playful refrains make MICE AND BEANS a feast for the eyes and ears. ...
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Overview

Rosa Maria loves to cook big meals for her big family, and she's determined to make her youngest grandchild's birthday party a special occasion. But when important items start to disappear from her kitchen, she doesn't know what to think. You will delight in uncovering the clues that lead to a very funny surprise. Vibrant paintings with brilliant comic touches, a winsome main character, jaunty rhythms, and playful refrains make MICE AND BEANS a feast for the eyes and ears.

In this rhythmic cumulative tale Rosa Maria spends the week getting ready for her granddaughter's birthday party and trying to avoid attracting mice--unaware that the mice in her walls are preparing for a party of their own.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Kindheartedness lies at the core of this story, even if the main character wishes to banish all mice--via a battery of snapping traps--from her hearth and home. Rosa Maria might live in a tiny house, but she wants to celebrate the birthday of her grandchild Little Catalina with a party and lots of food. "When there's room in the heart, there's room in the house, except for a mouse!" So she sets a trap to make sure none of her preparations are snacked up by the resident mice. Strangely, each evening as she goes to check on the traps after fixing up a batch of enchiladas or frijoles (Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the text), the traps are gone. She blames her own forgetfulness and sets another. Comes Catalina's big day and Rosa Maria suddenly remembers that she has forgotten to stuff the pinata with candy. But it's too late--the children are already whacking away. When scads of candy cascade from the pinata as it bursts, Rosa Maria figures she has simply forgotten that she has filled it. Yet when she is cleaning up after the party, she discovers evidence of mice--"RATONES!"--and said evidence also points to the mice having stuffed the pinata for Rosa Maria. So she changes her tune: "When there's room in the heart, there's room in the house, even for a mouse." In artwork as sumptuously rich as Catalina's birthday cake, Cepeda's (Daring Dog and Captain Cat, above, etc) color-drenched scenes stuffed with detail make Rosa Maria's world a pleasure-giving place. And now that the mice are welcome--these mice, after all, pull their own weight--it might be the most beneficent home ever.
--Kirkus Reviews, August 1st, 2001

Rosa Maria is getting ready for her granddaughter's seventh birthday and for the celebration that will bring the whole family to her casita. She knows her little house will be crowded, but she believes her mother's saying: "When there's room in the heart, there's room in the house, except for a mouse." Each day of the week Rosa Maria does chores connected to the birthday party; every night she sets a mousetrap, only to find it missing the following day. By the time of the birthday party all is ready--except Rosa Maria forgets to fill the piñata. Luckily, as viewers will have known all along, she has help-the mice who Eve in her house have been assisting with the birthday preparations all week, and they've filled the piñata with sweets. Rosa Maria then realizes she has remembered her mother's saying incorrectly all these years and the correct saying is 'When there's room in the heart, there's room in the house ... even for a mouse.' Ryan's cheerful text is a festival all its own, its pithy phraseology and folkloric overtones adding interest. Cepeda's high-spirited, thickly brushed paintings display a beehived Rosa Maria in party- colored clothes against party-colored backdrops; viewers will get a kick out of finding the anthropomorphized little mice who, like the shoemaker's elves, secretly assist with every task. The text includes italicized Spanish words (there is a brief glossary and pronunciation guide), and repeating phrases are emphasized by changing size and color from spread to spread. Birthday books are popular additions to story times, and this one is a gift wrapped in carnival colors. JMD
--Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September 2001

It's time for Little Catalina's seventh birthday, and grandmother Rosa Maria is ready to celebrate. She has room in her heart and her casita for nearly everyone on this happy occasion---everyone except mice. Grandmother joyfully sees to every detail, from food to fun, except for one. She forgets to fill the empty piñata, and when she discovers that mice have filled it for her, she opens a place in her joyful heart just for them. The story is charming, but what makes it special is the quiet authenticity of the Hispanic characterizations. Cepeda's pictures are as good as the story, with bright, funny

Publishers Weekly
Muoz's (Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride) rollicking birthday tale stars one Spanish-speaking grandmother, one very long list of party preparations and a band of enterprising mice. Rosa Maria spends all week getting ready for her seven-year-old granddaughter's birthday party, and each day items for the party keep disappearing. So do the mousetraps she sets each evening to ensure the celebration isn't ruined by uninvited guests. Cepeda's (What a Truly Cool World) full-bleed, sun-splashed paintings show with gleeful candor the missing objects being spirited away by resourceful rodents. Shots from the tops of cupboards or two inches off the floor show the busy creatures sneaking back and forth past Rosa Maria's feet as she cooks and cleans in her big earrings and flashy high heels. But the mice redeem themselves by remembering to fill the pi?ata with candy when it slips the hostess's mind. The dialogue is rich in Spanish phrases ("-Qu? boba soy! Silly me"), descriptions of Mexican food and images of a boisterous extended family "Where there's room in the heart, there's room in the house even for a mouse," Rosa Maria concludes. Cepeda wraps up this festive volume by showing how the well-meaning vandals have put their loot to use by throwing a mouse party of their own. Ages 4-7. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
Grandmothers take special pride in planning wonderful birthday parties for their grandchildren. Rosa Maria is no exception;she begins her chores a week in advance of the party, completing one each day of the week. There is housecleaning to do, groceries to buy, a piñata to prepare, a cake to order and food to cook. The last thing Rosa Maria does each night is to set a mousetrap to protect against the intrusion of any unwanted visitors—something her mother had warned her about long ago. Unbeknownst to Rosa Maria, the mice are already a part of her household and are participating in the birthday preparations right along with her. In the end, Rosa Maria realizes that she had remembered her mother's words of wisdom incorrectly and she welcomes the mice as a part of the family. This is a fun multicultural story with Spanish words and traditions woven throughout. A brief glossary and pronunciation guide to the Spanish words can be found at the end of the story. Cepeda's colorful illustrations are a wonderful complement to the story. 2001, Scholastic, $15.95. Ages 3 to 8. Reviewer:Carol Lynch
Child Magazine
A Child Magazine Best Book of 2001 Pick

The only thing Rosa María doesn't have room for in her big heart is mice -- but she changes her mind after furry little helpers secretly come to her aid when she forgets to fill the piñata for her granddaughter's birthday fiesta. An amusing visual storyline provides the perfect seasoning for this appealing tale, appropriately spiced with Spanish words and phrases.

Kirkus Reviews
Kindheartedness lies at the core of this story, even if the main character wishes to banish all mice-via a battery of snapping traps-from her hearth and home. Rosa Maria might live in a tiny house, but she wants to celebrate the birthday of her grandchild Little Catalina with a party and lots of food. "When there's room in the heart, there's room in the house, except for a mouse!" So she sets a trap to make sure none of her preparations are snacked upon by the resident mice. Strangely, each evening as she goes to check on the traps after fixing up a batch of enchiladas or frijoles (Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the text), the traps are gone. She blames her own forgetfulness and sets another. Comes Catalina's big day and Rosa Maria suddenly remembers that she has forgotten to stuff the piñata with candy. But it's too late-the children are already whacking away. When scads of candy cascade from the piñata as it bursts, Rosa Maria figures she has simply forgotten that she filled it. Yet when she is cleaning up after the party, she discovers evidence of mice-"RATONES!"-and said evidence also points to the mice having stuffed the piñata for Rosa Maria. So she changes her tune: "When there's room in the heart, there's room in the house, even for a mouse." In artwork as sumptuously rich as Catalina's birthday cake, Cepeda's (Daring Dog and Captain Cat, above, etc.) color-drenched scenes stuffed with detail make Rosa Maria's world a pleasure-giving place. And now that the mice are welcome-these mice, after all, pull their own weight-it might be the most beneficent home ever. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780439183031
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 786,853
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 440L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.89 (w) x 11.26 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Pam Munoz Ryan is the recipient of the NEA's Human and Civil Rights Award and the Virginia Hamilton Literary Award for multicultural literature. She has written more than thirty books which have garnered, among countless accolades, the Pura Belpre Medal, the Jane Addams Award, and the Schneider Family Award. Pam lives near San Diego. You can visit her at www.pammunozryan.com.

Mr Cepeda received his BFA in illustration from California State University, Long Beach in 1992 and also studied Engineering at Cornell University. He is the illustrator of awarding-winning picture books such as What a Truly Cool World and Nappy Hair.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2007

    READ THIS BOOK !!!!!!!!!!!

    The book is about a old lady that lives in a tiny house. She is going to have a big party on her house. She dosen't like Mice a lot. She always fetchs a mouse traps on night and at the moring it had disapeered. But one day she has noticed that some friends came and help her. I recomend this book because it shows you that you can help other people by helping her and thatit makes you enjoy the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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