Too Many Tamales

Too Many Tamales

4.5 9
by Gary Soto, Ed Martinez
     
 

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Christmas Eve started out so perfectly for Maria. Snow had fallen and the streets glittered. Maria's favorite cousins were coming over and she got to help make the tamales for Christmas dinner. It was almost too good to be true when her mother left the kitchen for a moment and Maria got to try on her beautiful diamond ring . . .

This is the story of a treasure

Overview

Christmas Eve started out so perfectly for Maria. Snow had fallen and the streets glittered. Maria's favorite cousins were coming over and she got to help make the tamales for Christmas dinner. It was almost too good to be true when her mother left the kitchen for a moment and Maria got to try on her beautiful diamond ring . . .

This is the story of a treasure thought to be lost in a batch of tamales; of a desperate adn funny attempt by Maria and her cousins to eat their way out of trouble; and the warm way a family pulls together to make it a perfect Christmas after all.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A very funny story, full of delicious surprises . . . a joyful success." --Booklist, starred review

"A warm family story that combines glowing art with a well-written text to tell of a girl's dilemma." --School Library Journal, starred review

"A mini-drama rendered so acutely that anyone who has lost something special will respond." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Snow is falling, preparations for a family feast are underway and the air is thick with excitement. Maria is making tamales, kneading the masa and feeling grown-up. All she wants is a chance to wear her mother's diamond ring, which sparkles temptingly on the kitchen counter. When her mother steps away, Maria seizes her opportunity and dons the ring, then carries on with her work. Only later, when the tamales are cooled and a circle of cousins gathered, does Maria remember the diamond. She and the cousins search every tamale--with their teeth. Of course the ring turns out to be safely on Mom's finger. Soto, noted for such fiction as Baseball in April , confers some pleasing touches--a tear on Maria's finger resembles a diamond; he allows the celebrants a Hispanic identity without making it the main focus of the text--but overall the plot is too sentimental (and owes a major debt to an I Love Lucy episode). Martinez's sensuous oil paintings in deep earth tones conjure up a sense of family unity and the warmth of holidays. The children's expressions are deftly rendered--especially when they are faced with a second batch of tamales. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
This story will have readers hungering for tamales. Maria is convinced that she has lost her mother's diamond ring while she was making tamales for the family's Christmas celebration. When her favorite cousins arrive she tells them her story and they eat all the tamales trying to find the ring. Everyone can identify with Maria's panic and the too-full tummies, but this also inspires children to share the way their own family celebrates holidays. The joyful paintings portray a loving Hispanic family. 1996 (orig.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698114128
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
08/28/1996
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
95,906
Product dimensions:
8.06(w) x 10.75(h) x 0.12(d)
Lexile:
670L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A mini-drama rendered so acutely that anyone who has lost something special will respond." —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Meet the Author

Born in Fresno, California to Mexican American parents, Gary Soto learned the hard work ethic through his share of chores, including mowing lawns, picking grapes, painting house numbers on street curbs, and washing cars. His hard work paid off at California State University at Fresno, from which he graduated with an English degree, and later at the University of California at Irvine, where he earned a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

Gary Soto is an acclaimed poet, essayist, and fiction writer. The awards for this multi-talented author are many, ranging from the U.S. Award for International Poetry Forum in 1977 for his first published book of poetry, The Elements of San Joaquin, to a Before Columbus Foundation American Book Award in 1985 for Living Up the Street, his first published work of prose recollections. His short story collection Baseball in April, was named an American Library Association's Best Book for Young Adults. In 1993 Gary Soto received the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video for Pool Party, and in 1995 he was nominated for a National Book Award.

His other credits include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the California Arts Council. Gary Soto is also one of the youngest poets to appear in the Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry. Several of his books have been translated into French, Spanish and Italian.

Too Many Tamales was named a Booklist Books for Youth Editors' Choices of 1993. Hazel Rochman of Booklist said, "Gary Soto is an accomplished poet and adult writer, and his children's stories are widely popular. His first entry into the picture book genre is a joyful success."

When he is not writing, Mr. Soto serves as a volunteer English teacher at his church. He also enjoys eating at new restaurants, which he does often with his wife, Carolyn, and their daughter Mariko. Other members of the Soto household include their two cats, Corky and Sharkie. The Soto family resides in Berkeley, California.

copyright ? 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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Too Many Tamales 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I remember this a story as a child and just loved it! The pictures are lovely and the tone is very inviting! 12 years later, I still love this story and cherish the humor and passion that Gary Soto adds into this tale. As a teacher at a preschool, I enjoy reading this book to the children and listening to their questions of what are tamales to how many they can eat! Its a treasure to own in your library!
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
"Too Many Tamales" is a wonderful tale of what happens when you consume too much of a food. Also, it offers a lesson about eating "too many tamales" in an enjoyable way for youth. It is rather comical. This tale could be used for picture book and read-aloud time. The illustrations are engaging and the storyline is sure to hold young learners attention. You may want to consider it for cultural awareness and for the Christmas season. A good book for a school library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
grmafluffy More than 1 year ago
I bought this for my daughter (whom is now 21 years old) and just bought it for Christmas for my son's daughter (my 9 yr old granddaughter). I will be buying it for both of my daughter's children (a 2 year old boy and a 3 month old girl) as soon as they get a little older.
RetiredTeacher-Mimi More than 1 year ago
I am a retired teacher and loved to read this story to my elementary students. I recently purchaed it for a lesson I did at my grandsons Kindergarten class at Chrismas. After the story, we had a tasting party. Was surprised at all the students that had never tasted tamalies. Also, took a poinsetta plant and discussed the orgin of the flower at Christmas. The teacher loved it when I gave her the plant and book. Would highly recommend the book for a teaching lesson.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. I first heard it when I was 12 year old. It was read on a tv show. I am now 23 years old and I still remember the title! That just shows how long a good book can stay in your mind and heart. Feliz Navidad!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Great for lesson plans involving cooking!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I believe that this book was fun and exciting.