Sunday, April 10, 2011

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto, illustrated by Ed Martinez

Lexile     670          Pages     32          Ages      4-8
AR Quiz No. 8680 EN Fiction
  IL: LG - BL: 3.4 - AR Pts: 0.5
  AR Quiz Types: RP, RV, VP

Maria is feeling all grown up. She is wearing her mother's apron and helping to make the Christmas tamales. She has the job of helping knead the masa. If only she could wear the diamond ring that Mama has removed and lain on the counter. Her mother has to leave the room for a moment and temptation strikes - and Maria is unable to resist. She slips the ring on her thumb and then after admiring it for a moment, resumes her kneading. It isn't until later, after the tamales are finished and her extended family have arrived that she realizes the ring is missing! The last time she remembers seeing it was when she was kneading the masa, watching it disappear and reappear as she kneaded. Realizing what must have happened, she gathers her three cousins and they start eating tamales. Pretty soon, the tamales that looked so delicious piled on the plate aren't tasting so good anymore . . . . .

Does Maria find the ring? Does she confess her mistake to her mother? Does her Christmas turn out to be happy afterall?

The illustrations in this book are rich and beautiful. They, along with the story, convey the meaning behind family, traditions, and honesty. Too Many Tamales also lets children know that we are all confronted with temptations at one time or another, and that we sometimes give in to those temptations.

Come to the Lake County Public Library and check out a copy of Too Many Tamales or click here to reserve a copy for pick-up at your favorite branch.

Happy Reading!
Miss Laurie

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