Senorita Gordita


In this Tex-Mex retelling of The Little Gingerbread Man, Senorita Gordita--a little corn cake-- escapes from the frying pan and leads a merry chase. She runs through the desert boasting, "You'll never catch me!" while fleeing from a spider, a rattler, and other hungry creatures "with a flip, and a skip, and a zip-zoom-zip." A fast-paced and wildly illustrated twist on an old favorite.
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In this Tex-Mex retelling of The Little Gingerbread Man, Senorita Gordita--a little corn cake-- escapes from the frying pan and leads a merry chase. She runs through the desert boasting, "You'll never catch me!" while fleeing from a spider, a rattler, and other hungry creatures "with a flip, and a skip, and a zip-zoom-zip." A fast-paced and wildly illustrated twist on an old favorite.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“Gordita,” a word that is both a Mexican endearment (it’s the equivalent of calling someone a “little dumpling”) and the name of tortilla-based street food, inspires this Spanish language–seasoned variation on “The Gingerbread Man” from the duo behind The Three Little Gators and Armadilly Chili. Ketteman’s text skitters along thanks to the feisty, catchphrase-laden declarations of the taunting, deep-fried antiheroine. “I am rather fine-looking, aren’t I?” Gordita tells one potential nemesis. “But I airstreamed Araña, gassed past Lagarto, and cruised past Crótolo. So put down your zinger of a stinger, Escorpión. You’ll never catch me!” Terry’s illustrations are sometimes undermined by an odd and at times frustrating haziness, but for the most part they have the vivacity of graffiti and Mexican street art, rendered with exaggerated dimensionality and spray-paint colors. As for his long-lashed, sassy Gordita (who is stylish to boot in her cowboy hat with pink ribbon trim), she exudes just enough snark that children won’t mind her gustatory comeuppance. A recipe for gorditas and a glossary of Spanish terms are included. Ages 4–7. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Nancy Garhan Attebury
Arana, the spider, bakes a tasty looking gordita and she thinks she is in for a treat. However, the gordita (Senorita Gordita) has a mind of her own. She quickly runs away in a fun-filled tale that resembles "The Gingerbread Boy" story. As Senorita Gordita runs through the desert, she encounters creatures such as a large lizard, a huge snake, a pincer-wielding scorpion, a Javalina, and a coyote. All the desert-dwellers pretend to offer help while really eyeing the gordita as a delicious treat. In addition, they all chase after the speedy gordita who finally spies an owl atop a cactus. Owl claims he will save her if only she jumps up beside him where the chasers can't get her. When she does, Senorita Gordita is quickly gobbled up by the owl. His moral to the story is that, "Being zip-zoom-fast is good...but being smart is better!" The text of this fast-paced book includes enticing sing-song language that will have young readers/listeners laughing and repeating the words. It offers a twist to an age-old tale while teaching a moral of caution. The books works well as a supplement to geography lessons about the desert and reading lessons using familiar tales. The bright illustrations add humor and flavor to the delightful tale. Reviewer: Nancy Garhan Attebury
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—In a book that combines food and folktales, the Little Gingerbread Boy is transported to the American Southwest. He also receives a gender and cuisine switch to become a thick, fried, corn masa tortilla known as Señorita Gordita, who escapes numerous desert predators until she is tricked by an owl sitting atop a saguaro cactus. Terry's illustrations emphasize the menacing nature of critters such as Araña, the spider, along with a snake and a scorpion.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Ketteman continues her run of appealing fractured folktales. When the story begins, it's quickly apparent that this is a retelling of "The Gingerbread Man" set in the Southwest. Araña, a spider, is cooking herself a treat when one of the gorditas (little fried homemade tortillas) hops up and starts running. The chase is on, and several desert animals join in on the hunt for the tasty morsel. Will Señorita Gordita survive or will one of those crafty animals catch her? The refrain is different from the traditional one but still catchy, and listeners will be chanting along. Ketteman incorporates Spanish terms and phrases, and each animal takes center stage in Terry's illustrations. This way, readers can make connections between the name Crótolo and the enormous, threatening rattlesnake. But if confusion persists, a glossary (along with a recipe for gorditas) is appended. The art is full of Southwestern charm and depicts the setting accurately. Gordita is sassy, the other animals shifty and speedy, and these elements all add up to a yummy folktale. Definitely a hit in regional libraries, but it should be popular anywhere.—Susan E. Murray, formerly at Glendale Public Library, AZ
Kirkus Reviews
A sassy gordita attempts to outwit a bevy of desert creatures in this retelling of "The Gingerbread Man." Ketteman and Terry (The Three Little Gators, 2009) reteam for this cumulative tale centered on the escapades of a fleet-footed, deep-fried corn cake. From her humble beginnings in the oven of Araña (spider), Señorita Gordita sets off across the Southwestern desert, besting the spider, a lizard, a rattlesnake, a scorpion, a javalina and a coyote. All of these animals are eager to enjoy a taste of the feisty, chatty snack, but "with a flip and a skip and a zip-zoom-zip," Señorita Gordita manages to escape them all. When she arrives at the saguaro where Búho (owl) awaits, she may have finally met her match. The author introduces young readers to Spanish vocabulary through desert geography, flora and fauna, including all of the animals in the tale. Although saguaros and regional clichés abound, the illustrator's use of brilliant colors and humor will hold the attention of younger and older readers, as will Señorita Gordita's parting words to each of the animals she escapes. The author's inclusion of a recipe for gorditas rectifies the story's abrupt ending. A welcome retelling, particularly suited for reading aloud to groups. (Spanish glossary, recipe) (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781621278917
  • Publisher: Av2 by Weigl
  • Publication date: 9/28/2013
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.80 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen Ketteman is the author of more than nineteen picture books. She writes for children ranging from preschool through fourth or fifth grade, and especially enjoys telling fractured fairy tales. Helen earned her Associate of Arts degree from Young Harris College in Young Harris, GA, and her B.A. degree in English from Georgia State University in Atlanta.

Will Terry grew up just outside the beltway of Washington, D.C., where he enjoyed scouting, sports, and playing cello in his HS orchestra. He studied illustration at BYU, developing his interests and skills in drawing and painting. Will has illustrated 17 children's books including The Three Little Gators and Armadilly Chili. He teaches illustration part time at UVSC and enjoys snowboarding with his three sons and a warm fire with his wife.

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