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Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

Too Many Tamales (edition 1996)

by Gary Soto

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1,0421058,096 (3.93)None
Title:Too Many Tamales
Authors:Gary Soto
Info:Puffin (1996), Paperback, 32 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:multicultural lit, holidays, family, interaction

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Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto



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Showing 1-5 of 105 (next | show all)
I really liked this story. The illustrations each look like their own beautiful paintings, which are realistic and take up the majority of each page. They help the reader feel as if they are in the story. The language is very descriptive. For example, the main character of the story described her mother’s diamond ring by saying it “sparkled like their Christmas tree lights”. The story also clearly described the step by step process of how Maria and her family made twenty-four tamales for their Christmas celebration. I like how the tamales were symbolic for a Spanish family’s Christmas tradition and a much deeper meaning in this story than a food that Spanish people like to eat. There are some Spanish words in the story, such as masa, which is “dough” in English. This can help make Spanish speaking students feel more connected to the text, and can help English speaking students begin to learn vocabulary in a new language. The plot was suspenseful, since the youngest son “ate” the beautiful, sparkly ring when it was accidentally mixed in the tamale dough. This will leave a student wondering how the children will handle the situation and if they will tell their parents the truth. The plot twist was when Maria found out that the ring was actually on her mom’s finger and was not eaten. The characters experienced relatable emotions, such as fear, relief, and nervousness throughout the story, making it more engaging. I was not able to grasp the big idea of this story. While family, togetherness, and honesty were all emphasized, it was hard to figure out the one main purpose the author had for writing this story. However, it is lighthearted and enjoyable, which are qualities that any elementary school student would appreciate. ( )
  NicoleFrankel | Oct 23, 2016 |
Christmas Eve started out so perfectly for Maria. 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. What follows is a desperate and funny attempt by Maria and her cousins to eat their way out of trouble.
  Jennifer LeGault | Oct 17, 2016 |
A ring goes missing and all of the tamales must be eaten.....what could possibly be wrong with this picture?
  Gabrielle_Stoller | Oct 14, 2016 |
I enjoyed this book because of the illustrations and the plot. This picture book had very warm and realistic illustrations that allowed me to get a good sense of the family members and the time of year. The setting was during Christmas night and I was able to tell because the children were all dressed in their best dresses and the parents followed behind them with green and red wrapped gifts. The illustrations also gave off a feeling of warmth and family by using warm colors like red and orange and by drawing all of the family members sitting together and laughing. The plot kept my attention the entire time that I read it because it was easy to follow, but it also had very suspenseful events that kept me intrigued. Some of these events included when the daughter took her mother’s ring when she wasn’t supposed to, when she forced herself and her cousins to eat all of the tamales in order to find the ring and we she pled for forgiveness from her mother when she thought the ring was gone for good. This book has many messages including that it is always better to tell the truth and that no matter what the situation is, your family will always support you. ( )
  tvance2 | Sep 27, 2016 |
While helping her parents make their traditional meal for christmas, Maria decides to try on her mother wedding ring. Through all the fun and chaos of extended family ariving little Maria soon remebers that she forgot to return the ring. Thinking that the ring was baked in the tamales that she and her mother made,Maria and her cousins devour the family meal in hopes of finding the lost ring.

With the ring still not found and worry in the air Maria decides that she should tell her mother about her mistake. During her confession, Maria, notices the ring on her mother's finger and feels a sense of relief ,and goes on to tell her mother about how the ring became "lost". She then tells her mother of her search and how she and her cousins ate the family meal to find the ring. With the truth out in the open Maria,with a full stomach, her mother and aunt make a new batch of tamales with all troubles of the lost ring behind them.

This book is a great read for elementary level students. Through the story honesty,family ,culture etc are acknowleged. Making this book a story of life lessons and how said lessons are important in daily living. ( )
  mkb027 | Aug 30, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gary Sotoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Martinez, EdIllustratormain 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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