Too Many Tamales
Too Many Tamales

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Annotation: Maria tries on her mother's wedding ring while helping make tamales for a Christmas family get together, but panic ensues when hours later, she realizes the ring is missing.
Catalog Number: #303937
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
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Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
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Copyright Date: 1993
Edition Date: 1996
Illustrator: Martinez, Ed,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-698-11412-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-05443-6
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-698-11412-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-05443-1
Dewey: E
LCCN: 91019229
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Maria tries on her mother's diamond ring while she helps her parents make tamales for Christmas dinner. Hours later, convinced that the ring fell off while she was kneading the 'masa', she and her three cousins eat all twenty-four of the increasingly less delicious tamales. Illustrated with rich oil paintings, the book offers a nonreligious glimpse into the celebration of Christmas in one affluent Latino household.
Kirkus Reviews
The whole family is coming for Christmas, so Maria and her parents are busy making tamales—Maria helps Mom knead the masa, and her father puts them in the pot to boil. While they're working, Maria secretly tries on Mom's diamond ring, then forgets about it until she's playing with her cousins. Since it's not on her thumb she's sure it's in a tamale, so the four cousins consume all 24 (with some difficulty) in hopes of finding it. No luck—the ring's on Mom's finger, after all. In this family, there's no scolding: Aunt Rosa says, ``It looks like we all have to cook up another batch,'' and so they do, three generations laughing and working together. Soto's simple text is charmingly direct; he skips explanations, letting characters reveal themselves by what they do. Martinez's realistic, nicely composed paintings are glowing with light and life, while he reinforces the story with particularly expressive faces and gestures. This one should become a staple on the holiday menu. (Picture book. 4- 8)"
Word Count: 990
Reading Level: 3.4
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.4 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 8680 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.2 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q11660
Lexile: 570L
Guided Reading Level: M
Fountas & Pinnell: M

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.

Also available in Spanish as ¡Qué montón de tamales!

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