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Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

Too Many Tamales (edition 1996)

by Gary Soto

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Title:Too Many Tamales
Authors:Gary Soto
Info:Puffin (1996), Paperback, 32 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:multicultural lit, holidays, family, interaction

Work details

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

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Summary (Spoilers): It's Christmas time for Maria and her Mexican-American family. As per their usual tradition, the family works hard on Christmas Eve to prepare for the Christmas feast, complete with a big batch of home-made tamales. While cooking the tamales, Maria's mother removes her diamond ring from her finger to protect it from getting lost or dirty. Maria has always admired her mother's ring, and decides that she will borrow the ring and wear it for awhile without her mother's permission.

Maria ends up forgetting that she still has the ring on as she continues to help prepare the tamales, and it's not until all the tamales are done that Maria realizes that the ring is no longer on her finger. When Maria's extended family has arrived at her house, she convinces her cousins to try to help her find the ring before her mom realizes that it is missing. They deduce that they must eat tamales until the ring is found.

It comes as no surprise that the ring is never found inside the tamales, causing panic and upset tummies in Maria and her cousins. Maria ends up having to confess to her mother that she lost her ring, only to discover that her mother had it all the whole time.
  AnnaSavage | Dec 6, 2016 |
This multicultural book describes the process of making tamales, a yummy hispanic dish. Maria wants to try on her moms beautiful wedding ring as they are in the kitchen making tamales. She sneakily puts it on and continues to make the tamales. As she goes about her day with her cousins, she realizes the ring is not on her finger anymore!! This creates a huge problem and she thinks the ring in being cooked into the tamales. They end up eating all of the tamales to find the ring but it was not there. It turns out, her mom had already found the ring and was wearing it so they cook another batch of tamales all together. Cute story that a lot of children can relate to but also incorporating culture. ( )
  Ashley.Setzekorn | Nov 9, 2016 |
When Maria is asked to help her mother make tamales, she is excited to help. Maria's mother takes off her wedding ring to make the tamales, Maria is excited to try it on. Soon after, the wedding ring is missing, and the girls think that it has been baked into the tamales. They eat up all the tamales in search for the ring, only to realize it has already been found. ( )
  BethBaugh | Nov 6, 2016 |
I love this book. I love that it incorporates a multicultural aspect, without making it seem forced, I love that it is more than just a multicultural book. This book deals with problem solving, and being honest - which as two things that young children sometimes need help understanding. ( )
  danimeineke | Nov 4, 2016 |
I really liked this book for many reasons. Maria, a hispanic girl, is helping her parents make tamales for Christmas. Maria sees her mother diamond ring to the side and decides to put it on because she loved how beautiful it was. She continues to help with making the tamales and when they were all done, she realized the ring was gone and she thinks she lost it while making the food and the ring is now in the tamales. Maria asks her cousins to help her find the ring by eating all twenty-four tamales to see if the ring was in there. After they finally eat all the tamales, Maria realizes it was on her mother’s hand already. Maria confesses to her mother about the ring and is worried because there is no more tamales of dinner so the whole family comes together to make more tamales for dinner. I really liked how this multicultural books about food has a goofy story to it because it is more entertaining for the children reading it. The character is easily relatable to the reader because children are always making mistakes that they try to fix on their own with no help from adults, just like Maria and her cousins did. Although the culture aspect of this not the main focus of this story, it is still an important aspect. The reader learns about the Hispanic food, tamales, and how they are made because it is explained through the story. Overall I really enjoyed this book and I think it is a great book to use in the classroom to teach children about hispanic cultures and traditions.
  Sierra_Lawson | Nov 1, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gary Sotoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Martinez, EdIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Book description
While preparing dough for her family's Christmas tamales, Maria discovers that she has lost her mother's prized diamond ring somewhere in the dough and sets out to eat her way through the many finished tamales to find the missing ring.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0698114124, Paperback)

Maria is feeling so grown-up, wearing her mother's apron and helping to knead the masa for the Christmas corn tamales. Her mother even let Maria wear some perfume and lipstick for the big family celebration that evening. When her mother takes off her diamond ring so it won't become coated with the messy masa, Maria decides that life would be perfect if she could wear the ring, too. Trouble begins when she sneakily slips the sparkly ring on her thumb and resumes her kneading. Uh oh. It is not until later that night, after all the tamales have been cooked and after all her cousins and relatives have arrived, that Maria suddenly realizes what must have happened to the precious ring. Ed Martinez's warm oil paintings celebrate the riches of South American Christmas colors--adobe reds, dusty gold, lacey whites, and rain-forest greens. Martinez also has a gift for capturing children's animated expressions, especially when Maria begs her cousins to help her find the missing ring by secretly eating the enormous stack of steaming tamales! Gary Soto's delightful Christmas-spirit closure will relieve young readers who empathize with the negligent Maria. Grown-ups, too, will appreciate this playful reminder about the virtues of forgiveness and family togetherness. (Ages 4 and older) --Gail Hudson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:51 -0400)

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Maria tries on her mother's wedding ring while helping make tamales for a Christmas family get-together. Panic ensues when hours later, she realizes the ring is missing.

(summary from another edition)

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