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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

Recently added bylesleenelson, HVRBERN, KarynBenet, tieclc, mansonlib, private library, teachers.BFS, AshlyB, sradomsk



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Summary Of Book: This book is about a Hispanic family making tamales for their family during Christmas. Maria and her mother are making Tamales together and she feels like a grown up. Her mother takes off her ring while she is mixing the tamale masa up and Maria slips it on while she isn't looking. She loses the ring in the masa and is terrified that it is baked into the tamales. Her and her cousins decide the only way to find the ring is to eat all of the tamales. 24 tamales later, they can't find the ring anywhere and Maria is afraid her little cousin swallowed it and it's lost forever. She goes to tell her mother and sees that her mother is wearing the ring and is relieved. Since all the tamales are eaten, her entire family goes into the kitchen to make more and have a wonderful Christmas.

Personal Reaction: I liked this book because it reminded me of Christmases that my family would have together. We would also get together every year and make tamales just like Maria and her family did. Maria loved to make tamales with her mother and father and it shows a tradition of them doing it together. I think it's important for children to be included in these traditions. I remember it making me feel like I was part of something bigger. It was very special.

Extension ideas:
1. I would ask the children if they had any traditions in their homes and have them write me a story about their families traditions
2. I would have the children get with their parents and write down some of their favorite recipes so that we could bind them in a book for the whole class.
3. I would ask the children if they wanted to start any new traditions with their family every year and have them write them in a letter to their family. ( )
  Gizellecardiel | Jul 13, 2014 |
This is a story of Maria, and finally being old enough to help her mother make the tamales for Christmas. She feels so important wearing mother's perfume and apron, and then she sees mother's wedding ring. After all the tamales are made, she remembers her mother's ring fell in the masa and with the help of her cousins, they eat all the tamales looking for the ring. They find out the the ring didn't make it into any of the tamales in the first place, but her family is understanding of the trouble they caused. This could lead the way to have a small food day at school, with each student bringing something culturally important to them to share. You could also take the time to discuss any traditions that the students may have with their families and what they mean to the student. ( )
  hellwanger | Jul 7, 2014 |
A little girl feels capable and important when she gets to help her mom make tamales for the holiday. On top of making tamales she gets to wear her mothers ring that she loses in the process. She thought she lost it in in the tamales but then finds it on her mothers hand after her and her cousins eat all the tamales when looking for the ring.
  cabram90 | Jun 24, 2014 |
Maria is finally feeling like a big girl when she helps her mom make tamales. She has her mom's apron on and even her mom's perfume. One thing that Maria really wants to wear is her mom's wedding ring. She ends up seeing mom's ring on the countertop while kneading the masa for the tamales and the ring falls in and Maria forgets all about the ring. She finally remembers about the ring when she is upstairs with her cousins. She runs downstairs to try to find the ring in the 24 tamales that she had help make. She had her cousin help in eating the tamales to find the ring.

Personal Reaction:
I find it funny how the kiddos had to eat all those tamales and the ring was not even found. I love how honest the little girl was and was relieved to know that the ring was not in any of the tamales. This story shows the love of a family/ mother and how everyone works together and that parents and family can be so understanding.

Classroom Extension:
1) have a talk circle of the different foods and traditions that each child has around Christmas time.
2) Make tamales in class or any other traditional dishes
  MataSoolua | Mar 26, 2014 |
I enjoyed this book for a couple of reasons. One reason is that is based of the Hispanic culture and children that are hispanic can relate to the food, tamales, and can connect with the book. The plot of the story also pulled the reader in. When the ring gets lost in the tamales the reader wants to know what is going to happen next and if the ring is going to be found. This is suspenseful for children and lets them use their imagination to think of ideas of where the ring could have gone. The pictures also show the emotions of the characters in the book. When the children come to the conclusion that the ring may be in the tamales you can tell by their eyes being wide and the shocked look on their face that they don't know what to do. The book also teaches children the lesson that although accidents may happen, family and teamwork can solve the problem and what might seem like a big issue isn't that big in the scheme of things. ( )
  mooste2 | Feb 24, 2014 |
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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.
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:39:39 -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: (3.87)
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2 5
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