Brown Quarterly - Vol. 2, No. 1 (Fall 1997)

Book Nook

Too Many Tamales

by Gary Soto
Illustrated by Ed Martinez
G.P. Putnam's Sons

Maria loved helping her mother on Christmas Eve. They were making masa for tamales. Maria also loved her mother's wedding ring. She loved how it sparkled and twinkled on her mother's finger.

Mother set the ring aside as she and Maria worked on perfecting the masa. Then the chance came for Maria to try on the ring when her mother was called away from the kitchen.

You won't believe what happened! She thought that the ring became a part of a batch of tamales. Maria became so desperate that she persuaded the cousins who had come over for Christmas Eve to help eat the entire batch of tamales in an attempt to find it.

With stomachs stuffed with tamales, they learn that the ring is where it should be, on mother's finger. So the search ends on a note of humor, with everyone bubbling over with laughter at Maria and the cousins.

Everything turns out fine when the entire family gets together to make another batch of tamales for Christmas celebration.

The mystery is solved!
The tamales are made!
Let the celebration begin!

Gracias The Thanksgiving Turkey

by Joy Cowley
Illustrated by Joe Cepeda
Scholastic Press

Wouldn't it be nice to have a turkey for a friend? That's just what happened to Miguel. His father, who worked out of town, sent a turkey to Miguel to keep for Thanksgiving dinner. But there was one problem, Miguel and the turkey became the best of friends. Miguel named her "Gracias." She followed Miguel everywhere, even to church. What a sight that was, a turkey strutting right up the aisle.

The rest of the family knew there would be problems in keeping a turkey in an apartment. Abuelo (grandfather) didn't like bathing with the turkey in the bathroom. Abuela (grandmother) wanted the turkey to be part of the Thanksgiving meal. Tía Rosa (Aunt Rosa) said they live in an apartment and there would be no room for a turkey. But Miguel loved his turkey and he was determined to keep her.

In this book, you will find a Puerto Rican family that exemplifies the community they live in with love and caring. You will be inspired by this book not only about Thanksgiving, but also about the way the Spanish language weaves it's way throughout the story.

If you want colorful humor sprinkled with warmth and love, read Gracias The Thanksgiving Turkey.