Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

Too Many Tamales (edition 1996)

by Gary Soto

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
901919,793 (3.91)None
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



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
I like this book for several reasons. One reason I like this book is the illustrations. Each illustration is very detailed and goes along with the text that is one the same page. Every time the mother's ring is mentioned, there is a clear visual of the ring in the illustration. I also like how the illustrations take up most of the pages. Another reason why I like this book is the plot. When Maria noticed the ring was gone she did not go tell her mother, but instead, wanted to fix the problem with the help of her cousins. This is very relate-able because many young children do not tell their parents when they have done something wrong because they are afraid they will get in trouble. The main message of this book is to go to your parents when you think you have done something wrong because they are there to help you. ( )
  lbrink2 | Apr 6, 2015 |
A young Hispanic girl is enjoying time with her family during the holidays, but while preparing tamales with her mother, drama ensues when she supposedly loses her mother's ring during cooking time.

Personal Reaction:
This brought me back to when I would help my family cook during the holidays, not exactly losing jewelry but the fun close knit feeling everyone had.

Classroom Extension:
Maybe have a day exploring multicultural foods prepared by students and their families. ( )
  TimothyOtotivo77 | Mar 26, 2015 |
This is the story of a Hispanic family around Christmas Eve when they are making tamales. Maria, the young girl and main character of the story, tries on her mother’s diamond wedding ring before she loses it. Thinking she lost it in the tamale dough and cooked it into the food, she and her cousins eat twenty-four tamales, hoping to find it, only to see that her mother had it on her finger and that they had eaten all the food for nothing.
Personal Reaction
I enjoyed this story, because I come from a Hispanic family myself and cooking together during holidays is a huge staple in our culture. There is also three generations of women in our household as well, so I related to this in many ways. It was also funny and quirky, showing how children are children regardless of what their culture.
Extension Ideas:
1) I can read this story to the class around Christmas time and encourage students to bring in dishes that are typical in their own cultures for a party.
2) Students can look up recipes on how to make tamales and bring them in to class for a party.
  GSoto95 | Mar 25, 2015 |
Maria and her mother are in the kitchen making tamales for the Christmas family get together, when all of a sudden the phone rings. Her mother leaves the kitchen to answer the phone, Maria sees the ring and decides to try on her mother's wedding ring. The ring is to big so she puts it on her thumb. Panic ensues when hours have past and Maria realizes the ring is missing! When guests finally begin to show up, Maria asks her cousins to help her find the ring. The four begin to all the tamales. What has become of the ring? Do they find it in the tamales? Has cousin Danny swallow the ring? This is a warm family story that is interesting to read. A classroom extension for this book; have students write their own story about the way their family celebrates holidays with a special food, or find a recipe on how to make tamales. Another great idea is to use play dough and make tamale shaped tamales, use them as a math problem solving game. ( )
  Jihan0228 | Mar 22, 2015 |
It’s Christmas day and Maria and her mother are preparing a traditional Mexican American dinner, tamales. Since it is Christmas, Maria’s mother lets her help. She even gets to wear make-up and an apron. She is feeling so grown up, so she tries on her mother’s wedding ring to top it off. She continues mixing the masa with her hands when the rest of the family shows up for the holidays. Her mom finishes the tamales while she goes to play with her cousins. Some time goes by when Maria notices that she’s not wearing the ring anymore. Assuming it’s been cooked into the tamales, her and her cousins eat the entire batch trying to find it. After they are all gone and everyone is sick from eating too much, the youngest cousin admits he may have swallowed the ring. Maria works up the courage to tell her mother only to find her mother has had the ring the whole time. With all the food gone, the entire family goes to the kitchen to make a second batch or tamales.

Personal Experience:
When I was in the first grade, my father was in the military. Most of the men he was stationed with at the time were Mexican American. That Christmas we spent at one of their house. I had a great friend there named Marie. I remember thinking it was so wonderful how they didn’t have ham or turkey for dinner like we usually did at Christmas time. They had tons of tamales and Menudo. When I read this to my son, I told him that story. We also talked about how every family has their own holiday traditions.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1.) I would read this around Christmas time. The students and I would have a discussion about something their families do around Christmas time. Then I would have them write some of it down and draw a picture to go with it. Then it would be fun to put all of them together in a printed book as a gift to their families.
2.) I could ask the students to tell me about a time that they felt really grown up and helpful like Maria did before she borrowed her mother’s ring.
3.) If Maria hadn’t borrowed her mother’s ring without her permission or at least told her when it was lost, her and her cousins wouldn’t have had to eat all of those tamales. She also would have saved herself some worry. Among other things, this book shows the importance of being honest. I could ask the students if they can tell where Maria went wrong and what were the consequences? Then ask, “What would you have done if you were Maria?” ( )
  CamilleSchmidt | Feb 19, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 91 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gary Sotoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martinez, EdIllustratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


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.
Haiku summary

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)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
5 avail.
18 wanted
2 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.91)
1 1
2 5
2.5 1
3 17
3.5 4
4 37
4.5 4
5 23


An edition of this book was published by Audible.com.

See editions

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 97,879,317 books! | Top bar: Always visible