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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars don't underestimate the power of this book
I got this book because of its truly exceptional illustrations. The colors are rich and evocative. But I was surprised to see the profound effect that this book had on my four-year-old daughter. She empathized so deeply with the shame and the desperation of the main character that for an entire week after reading this story she was coming to me to make confessions of...
Published on February 19, 2005 by J. Stout

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Copycat
A copy of the classic novel, Homer Price by Robert McCloskey, without even a mention of this book being a different version of this classic story! Same on the author and the publisher.
Published 10 months ago by J. Terrell


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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars don't underestimate the power of this book, February 19, 2005
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This review is from: Too Many Tamales (Paperback)
I got this book because of its truly exceptional illustrations. The colors are rich and evocative. But I was surprised to see the profound effect that this book had on my four-year-old daughter. She empathized so deeply with the shame and the desperation of the main character that for an entire week after reading this story she was coming to me to make confessions of all the times she was tempted to do things that were wrong. It was a combination of the story and the intense emotions that are depicted in the paintings that came together to shake her to the core. For that reason, think this is a great book for all children, not just Latinos and not just for Christmastime.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2* One Ring to Fool Them All, December 22, 2004
This review is from: Too Many Tamales (Paperback)
The warm interiors suffusing this beautifully illustrated Christmas time story convey the entire emotional tone of the book. Although we're waiting for an accident to happen-we can just tell that young Maria is somehow going to lose her mother's ring while helping her make tamales-we also are pretty certain thins are going to work out alright. While this may take away a bit of suspense, this is a comforting book that promises a happy conclusion (delivered her by a surprise).

The text is simple and flows well; Soto is an experienced writer. He incorporates traditional activities like food, the visiting of extended family, and gift exchanges. I was a bit puzzled that no religious elements were included, not even as an incidental (e.g., the family is returning form church, a religious decorative element). However, I was not familiar with illustrator Ed Martinez, and it is his warm, emotional pictures that make this a "holiday book." He has a varied painting style, one drawing of Maria in light with a high contrast background recalls Renaissance paintings; other pictures use a Rockwellian focus on emotional faces and tableau-like scenarios. Production values are good, although Putnam might have published a larger book with thick, glossy paper, and a heavier cover.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, July 28, 2005
This review is from: Too Many Tamales (Paperback)
This is a beautiful picture book that just melts your heart. This is one of Gary Soto's classics. This is an asset for any classroom to have. The illustrations are so beautiful that you could almost reach out and hug Maria when she is looking at the ring on her finger. Her smile is adorable.The illustrations show the glittery feeling of the holiday season. This book could be used in teaching many lessons on honesty, traditions, Christmas, family and the humor within the storyline. Every child should have a chance to hear this story being read to them and have the opportunity to read the story on there own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Son's New Favorite, January 3, 2012
This review is from: Too Many Tamales (Paperback)
This one is surprising because it really did nothing for me. My mother gave it to my son, along with a lot of other Christmas books. However, he has gravitated to this one. The description says that it is for 4 to 6 year olds, but my son is only 2 1/2. We've read it about ten times, but he has it memorized. We can randomly ask him to state the next word and he always gets it. Every night he asks for the tamale book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Class loved it!, January 12, 2007
This review is from: Too Many Tamales (Paperback)
My class of second and third graders really enjoyed this book. Many of them make tamales at home every year. They enjoyed reading about someone else that shares the same traditions. It opened up a lot of discussion about telling the truth. The only problem was all the talk about tamales made them hungry!
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13 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Many Tamales, March 26, 2000
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This review is from: Too Many Tamales (Hardcover)
Too Many Tamales is an excellent book that portrays the traditions and celebrations in a Latino family. Tamales are the traditional Christmas food in Latino families. This book is about a mother and daughter making Tamales during the christmas season. Somehow the daughter losses her mother's ring while making the Tamales. Could it be in the Tamales? A wonderfully vivid story with great illustrations.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Starting our own tradition, November 29, 2007
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This review is from: Too Many Tamales (Paperback)
Our family loves this book! We checked it out from our local library and soon it was my four year old daughter's favorite. When December rolled around, I checked it out again, bought tamale makings and my four year old and I made cheese tamales. We took them to her pre-school class for snack along with the book. Her teacher read the book to the class and then they all had the tamales that my daughter and I made. It was a huge hit!! Now that she is in kindergarten, we will do it again (I am buying the book since I have two girls and I think this tradition will go on for a while!). Tamales are a really kid friendly activity and it was a great experience for both of us. You should try it!
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4.0 out of 5 stars LOL!, June 5, 2010
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This review is from: Too Many Tamales (Paperback)
Just looking at the picture on the cover, you can imagine how the story is going to go.

Poor Maria. SUCH a big girl - helping out, wearing lipstick, a dab of perfume... why not wear her mother's ring as well?

Why not? Because when you can't find it, you'd BETTER find it. And yes, she tries to find it in the only way possible. By eating every. single. tamale.

Even for a picture book, I refuse to spoil the ending. But the ring does (eventually) get found, and the family has a happy holiday regardless.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, April 4, 2014
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This review is from: Too Many Tamales (Paperback)
My students have really enjoyed it. The expressions on the characters faces are on target. Excellent for supplementing any multicultural Unit.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Martinez's Artwork makes This Book Worthy, April 2, 2014
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This review is from: Too Many Tamales (Paperback)
This is one of my favorite books of all time- incredible paintings by Martinez make this story! Favorite read aloud and springboard for discussion of multiple topics
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Too Many Tamales
Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto (Paperback - August 8, 1996)
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