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Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

Too Many Tamales (edition 1996)

by Gary Soto

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991998,651 (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

Work details

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto



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While making a large feast for the family's Christmas dinner, Maria decides to try on her mother's wedding ring while making tamales. She panics when she loses the ring in the tamale mix.
  mbrandel | May 3, 2016 |
Genre:Contemporary realistic fiction.
Use: Finding lost things. Tell the truth.
Media: Paint. Mexican feel to it.

It is Christmas time.Maria and her family are making tamales. She thinks something happened to her mother's wedding ring. Maria and her cousins eat all the tamales to try to find it. She thinks one of her cousins accidentally swallowed it. She didn't get away with not telling her mom. Something to be aware of. Always tell the truth. This definitely happens in real life. Don't try to hide things. She goes to tell her mom and sees that her mom actually has the ring on and is surprised. She confesses everything to her mother. Her mother is nice and loving. They then make a second batch which is even yummier. We learn a little bit about Spanish culture too like some words and what they eat. ( )
  HannahChesnutt | Apr 15, 2016 |
Summary: Too many Tamales is a book about a Hispanic family around Christmas time. One of the little girls is helping her mom make tamales and when her mom walks out of the kitchen she tries on her moms ring. Though a little while later she realizes the ring is gone and she has some of her cousin help her look for it. They eat all the tamales thinking it got cooked into one. Though come to find out her mom had the ring all along.

Personal Reaction: I really liked this book. It was nice to see that her family chipped in to help her when she realized there was a problem.

Classroom Extensions:

1. The teacher can ask the children questions about the book. Also what their families make for Christmas.

2. The teacher could read this to the students around Christmas time and then the class could have a Christmas feast together and they can all bring a dish that they eat at their Christmas dinner so they can learn about each others different cultural.
  kimberlywatts94 | Mar 24, 2016 |
Illustrated by Ed Martinez

Maria’s family is getting ready for Christmas. When her mother goes to answer the phone, Maria gives into temptation and tries on her mother’s diamond ring. It’s so sparkly and she feels like a princess! She doesn’t notice that it has slipped off her finger and into the masa she is kneading.

There are several things about this story that I really like. First, the illustrations clearly show that the family lives in a northern climate where it snows for Christmas. Theirs is a lovely home with wreaths in the windows, and a large Christmas tree. Maria’s bedroom is every little girl’s dream. I also like the closeness of the family – not just the immediate nuclear family of Maria and her parents, but the extended family including grandparents, aunt, uncle and cousins. And I like Maria’s character. When she realizes what must have happened to the ring, Maria organizes her cousins to try to solve the problem themselves. She still goes to her mother to confess and she learns her lesson.

It’s a lovely story that parents and children – whether Hispanic or not – will enjoy.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
Realistic fiction. This is a very good book, it reminds me a lot about my family. The book is about a little girl helping her mom make tamales for their Christmas party. The little girl was super excited to finally be old enough to help with the food making. As they started making the masa for the tamales the little girl puts her moms wedding ring on without her mom noticing. The girl starts making making and forgets all about the ring. Later that night she remembers about the ring but it is no longer on her finger. She thinks it is in one of the tamales. She runs down to tell her mom but then sees the ring on her finger.
  Rsantoyo13 | Nov 25, 2015 |
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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)

(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)

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Average: (3.93)
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