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15 December 2011

Seasons Readings: Too Many Tamales / Que Monton de Tamales

I have two copies of this holiday book, one in English and one in Spanish.  I usually read this to my students in Spanish and have one of them (or sometimes, another teacher) read in English (taking turns reading it page by page).  If its a student, they are practicing reading aloud in English, while I am practicing reading aloud in Spanish.  Now, be warned, this does make for a long read aloud, but my students really seem to enjoy it.
Here is the summary from Goodreads:
Maria was feeling very grown-up on Christmas Eve as she helped her mother prepare the tamales for Christmas dinner. When she slipped her mother's diamond ring onto her finger, she only meant to wear it for a minute. But suddenly, the ring was gone, and there were 24 tamales that just might contain the missing ring.

I always feel so bad for Maria when she realizes her mother's ring is lost!  And then, when the kids hatch the plan to find the ring--the look on their faces when they get to the last tamale is priceless!
The story itself is cute, Maria is happy to be helping her family make tamales in celebration of Christmas.  Mama has to take her ring off in order to shape and kneed the dough, but when her back is turned, Maria slips it on and continues to kneed the dough.  Of course, it goes missing!  And where does Maria and her cousins finally decide where it is?  Inside one of the tamales, of course!

Now, do I think that Maria should have just told her Mama straight out, taken her punishment, and then had the entire family help look---yes, but I'm also not 8.  I know kids don't want to 'fess up.  Finally, Maria does have to own up to her mistake, but learns that its ok, and that the "second batch of tamales tastes better than the first."

The illustrations were great, so lifelike!  And like I said, I just love the expressions on the faces of the kids.  Makes me giggle, just a little, every time!

Don't forget to head over to the Seasons Readings page and check out the other books and reviews and to link up your own!

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