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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

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Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto



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Maria helps her mother make tamales for her family's Christmas Eve dinner. When her mother leaves in the middle of the tamale making, Maria tries on her ring. Upon finishing up the tamales, Maria realizes she has lost her mother's ring. She decides that they must be in the tamales. Maria, with the help of her cousins, eats all of the tamales in search of the ring. When all hope is lost, Maria confesses this to her mother, who had the ring the whole time.

This book talks about honesty, and the importance of it. If Maria had been honest with her mother from the start, they would not have had to eventually make even more tamales.

Although honesty can certainly be taught with this book, it also includes culture. The food, the holiday, and family over are all Maria's traditions that are a part of her culture. This would be a great book to use to teach about how all cultures are unique and start discussion on what our personal traditions are.
  meygyn11 | Mar 20, 2017 |
Christmas Eve started out perfectly for Maria and her family. The trees were covered in snow and the streetlights perfectly lighting up the pretty soon. Maria and her mother are making tamales and preparing to host their family over for Christmas dinner. Unfortunately, Maria is distracted by her mother’s beautiful wedding ring. When she realizes that her mother is not paying attention, she decides to try on her mother’s ring. Fate takes a turn for the worse when Maria realizes that she dropped the ring in the tamale batter! Her family shortly arrives and she gathers her cousins to eat all the tamales until they bit into something hard. Maria and her cousins tried all 24 tamales and came up short. Maria, saddened, has to tell her mother that she lost her ring and that her cousin ate it when they were trying to find. As she was about to tell her mother what happened, she realized that the ring was on her mother’s hand all along. Her aunt told her that since the children ate all the tamales, everyone has to help make a second batch of tamales – something that the cousins were not looking forward to! This is a story that I read several times when I was a young girl, but I never realized how many beautiful family themes there were in the book. The author did an amazing job illustrating how sparkly the ring was and how tasty the tamales looked. The best theme of this entire book to me is forgiveness, family, and traditions. Maria’s mother was able to forgive Maria for eating the first batch of tamales and taking her ring. Her family came to the rescue when they offered to help make a second batch of tamales and when Maria’s cousins helped her eat all the tamales. I would definitely recommend this book to all young children so they understand that it is normal to make mistakes and that there is always a solution to every problem – as long they are honest! ( )
  sameentaj | Mar 7, 2017 |
This book is about a Hispanic family, the time takes place during Christmas time. A girl named Maria helps her mother make tamales for the Christmas meal. When her mother leaves the kitchen for a little while, Maria tries on her mother's ring. Shocked, Maria realizes that the ring is missing. She starts to panic and gets her cousins to help her eat all the tamales to find her mother's ring. They find nothing and when Maria's mom comes back she sees her mother wearing the ring. This is a great book to read aloud for second, third. and fourth graders. I love this book because it teaches students an important lesson, that it's better to tell the truth than to panic and try to cover up a problem. I also loved the illustrations of the book and the attention of facial expressions fitting with the events in the book. ( )
  Sthefania | Mar 7, 2017 |
This book is about a young girl who helps her mother cook for Christmas. The story teaches about forgiveness and family. It is useful for multicultural lessons and book shares. ( )
  Devin_Woodall | Feb 6, 2017 |
a group of children are coming together and they end up eating too many of the tamales and have to tell their parents that they ate them all
1 book
  TUCC | Jan 23, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gary Sotoprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cuervo, AlmaNarratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martinez, EdIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ada, Alma FlorTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Campoy, F. IsabelTranslatorsecondary authorsome 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.
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.
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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.

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