Tamalitos: un poema para cocinar = A Cooking Poem
Tamalitos: un poema para cocinar = A Cooking Poem

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Annotation: Provides a poetic recipe for cheese tamalitos that not only offers instructions for making them but highlights the importance of corn in the foodways of the Americas.
Catalog Number: #150036
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Domi,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-7730-6091-0 Perma-Bound: 0-605-99507-9
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-7730-6091-0 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-99507-9
Dewey: 861
Dimensions: 27 cm.
Language: Spanish
Bilingual: Yes
ALA Booklist
"When I say I'm going to make tamalitos / I think about kernels of corn white, yellow, blue ones, / purple, red and black ones like a rainbow / when it's drizzling." Argueta's latest cooking poem, essentially a recipe, serves up playful prose in both Spanish and English, and is complemented by Domi's broadly stroked, saturated watercolors. As he did in Guacamole: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem (2012), Argueta provides rich, sensual descriptions of the process; in this case, as two siblings prepare tamales in the kitchen, we hear what the dough should feel like ("neither too squishy or too squooshy") and catch a whiff of the yummy smells. In fact, the whole poem invokes singing, dancing, and celebration. The joyous rhythms of Argueta's text are animated in the artwork, and by the end of the poem, readers will be ready to roll up their sleeves and make some tamalitos of their own. All stages of the recipe that require adult supervision are marked with an asterisk.
Horn Book
Part recipe, part poem, this book takes the reader step by step through the creation of corn tamales with cheese filling. Accompanied by Domi's color-rich, whimsical watercolors, both the Spanish and translated English text of this bilingual volume lyrically convey the magical art of cooking. The elements of the recipe that may require adult supervision are marked with an asterisk.
Kirkus Reviews
The latest of Argueta's free-verse recipes is a savory tribute to corn--as ancient a foodstuff as it is delicious. Presented in bilingual passages with the Spanish over the English, his directions begin with an invitation to think about "kernels of corn-- / white, yellow, blue ones, / purple, red and black ones-- / like a rainbow / when it's drizzling." Following references to corn's antiquity, he goes on to describe how to gather the simple ingredients, assemble the tamalitos and cook them, all while dancing "the Maya corn dance / and the Aztec dance / and the powwow dance / and the corn dance / of all the people of corn." Using a high intensity palette, Domi reflects the author's infectious energy in watercolor on wet paper, painting scenes of broadly grinning young cooks capering through cornfields and kitchen, demonstrating how to hold and stuff the corn leaves and then, in the end, chowing down: "Ummmm, ¡qué deliciosos tamalitos, / estos tamalitos de maíz hechos con amor!" Rather than list "oil" and "fresh white cheese" as ingredients, the author could have been more specific, but this is a minor quibble. Steps that require adult assistance are signaled throughout the text with asterisks. Even for novice chefs (and readers) the "Ummmm"s are easily attainable. (Picture book. 4-8)
Publishers Weekly
Argueta-s fourth bilingual -cooking poem- is built around another elementally simple dish: tamalitos, -little tamales- of corn and cheese. The poem unfolds as a recipe, narrated by a boy who is well aware of the importance of corn in his family history: -Our indigenous ancestors ate/ tamalitos made from corn./ It also says in the Popol Vuh,/ the sacred book of the Maya,/ that the first men and women were made of corn.- Bright colors blend like tie-dye in Domi-s naïf watercolors, which alternate between scenes of the boy assembling tamalitos and more esoteric images of celebration. While the soaking, kneading, and steaming of these basic ingredients lacks some of the drama of Argueta-s earlier books, Domi-s paintings communicate plenty of enthusiasm, and readers may feel the pull to -Baila la danza del maíz.- Ages 4-7. (Apr.)

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3&12; Argueta takes readers on a journey from "the Popol Vuh/the sacred book of the Maya," where it says "that the first men and women were made of corn," to their own kitchens, where "it's very easy to make/corn tamalitos stuffed with cheese." Threads exploring the cultural and historical resonance of corn and masa are woven throughout this free-verse offering. The young narrator mixes his dough, drumming and dancing "the Nahua corn dance/and the Maya corn dance/and the Aztec corn dance/and the powwow dance/and the corn dance/of all the people of corn." Argueta places Spanish and English translations of his lively verse side by side, allowing readers to savor the flow and vitality of both languages. Some younger children might benefit from a little more detail when it comes to cooking tamalitos while nonetheless appreciating the effusive celebration of Latin American culture and cooking. Steps where adult assistance or supervision is required are noted. Domi's vivid, watercolor wash illustrations, full of bold primary and secondary colors, provide an able counterpart to this ode to "these tamalitos made of corn with love.&12; Ted McCoy, Oakland Public Library, CA
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist
Horn Book
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal
Word Count: 929
Reading Level: 3.2
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 157467SP / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:5.1 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q60317
Lexile: NP

In this bilingual cooking poem for young children, Jorge Argueta encourages more creativity and fun in the kitchen as he describes how to make tamalitos from corn masa and cheese, wrapped in cornhusks. The book opens with an homage to corn -- white, yellow, blue, purple, red and black. In Maya mythology the first men and women are even said to be made of corn. It has been an important food for people in Central America for centuries, and one of the most delicious things you can make using corn masa and husks are tamalitos, or little tamales. In simple poetic language, Argueta shows young cooks how to mix and knead the dough before dropping a spoonful into a cornhusk, wrapping it up and then steaming the little package. He once again makes cooking a full sensory experience, including beating on a pot like a drum, dancing the corn dance, delighting in the smell of corn masa ... And at the end, he suggests inviting the whole family to come and enjoy the delicious tamalitos "made of corn with love." Domi's vivid paintings, featuring a sister and her little brother making tamalitos together, are a perfect accompaniment to the colorful text. Key Text Features procedural text recipe Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts). CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.7 Explain how specific aspects of a text's illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting)

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