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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



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A Christmas story around some of the most delicious Mexican traditions: making tamales. In a a colorful walk through impressionism art expressions, a little girl loses her mother's ring, when helping her to make tamales for a family gathering. I like this realistic fiction, because it provides some of the home culture I have had among my students, and presents as a good opportunity to talk about how holidays are celebrated in different ways. Perfect to access and use prior knowledge, visualize the experience and also summarize to determine importance.
  eearly15 | Jul 24, 2016 |
Christmas Eve started out so perfectly for Maria. Snow had fallen and the streets glittered. Maria's favorite cousins were coming over and she got to help make the tamales for Christmas dinner. 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 . . . This is the story of a treasure thought to be lost in a batch of tamales; of a desperate and funny attempt by Maria and her cousins to eat their way out of trouble; and the warm way a family pulls together to make it a perfect Christmas after all.
  wichitafriendsschool | Jul 4, 2016 |
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 |
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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 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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