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The Runaway Tortilla Paperback – Picture Book, September 6, 2016

4.8 out of 5 stars 105 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


"Perfection can be dangerous, as restaurateurs Tía Lupe and Tío José discover when one of their delicious tortillas comes to life and runs away. The handmade tortillas, "light as a cloud and as soft as the fuzz on a baby's cheek," are so gravity-defying that one takes off, pursued at first by the couple, and then by a parade of conejos (rabbits), sapos cornudos (lizards), vaqueros (cowboys), and other locals. The story should sound familiar; it's a Spanish-sprinkled update of The Gingerbread Man....The text is energetic, and the baked-in Spanish avoids feeling dumbed down; it's placed so well in context that non-Spanish-speaking readers won't feel lost. The illustrations evocatively convey the cacti, sand-beached rubble, and reptilian fauna of the Southwest as well as the crispy-masa body of the tortilla herself...Anyone who's ever driven across town for the perfect taco will understand the allure of the world's most entertaining tortilla." –Kirkus Reviews

"The Runaway Tortilla is a classic takeoff on The Gingerbread Man traditional children's story, sort of the Southwestern equivalent featuring Hispanic, Native American influences, and desert animals, people, customs, and foods. The runaway tortilla begins as a perfect, fluffy, light tortilla made by Tio Jose and Tia Lupe at El Papagayo Feliz (the Happy Parrot) taqueria. When the adorable talking tortilla learns that she is destined to be eaten, she decides to escape her fate by running swiftly away, saying, "Run as fast as fast can be. You won't get a bite of me. Doesn't matter what you do, I'll be far ahead of you." A hilarious chase begins with Tio Jose and Tia Lupe chasing the runaway tortilla into the desert, soon followed by a cavalcade of animals, including seis vaqueros (six cowboys), cinco cascabeles (five rattlesnakes), cuartro conejos (four jackrabbits), tres burros (three burros), y dos sapos cornudos (and two horned toads). The runaway tortilla outruns them all and believes she is safe from being caught and eaten. Then she meets Senor Coyote, her nemesis. Coyote is very sly, using a devious trick to finally catch and eat the delicious, vain little runaway tortilla. All is illustrated in lovely soft desert hues, with comical expressive faces on all characters, animal, human and edible. The interweaving of Spanish terms is seamless in the narrative, inviting children ages 5 and up to enjoy this refreshing Southwestern American version of a beloved classic." –Children's Bookwatch

About the Author

Award-winning author Eric A. Kimmel is a native of New York who taught teachers as a professor of Education at Indiana University at South Bend and Portland State University. His favorite classes were children’s literature, language arts, storytelling, and handwriting. He left the university in 1993 to become a full-time writer, a dream he had had since kindergarten. Eric has written more than fifty books and has won numerous awards. He and his wife, Doris, live in Portland, Oregon.

Erik Brooks is the author and illustrator of many books for children, including the Washington State Book Award winner, Polar Opposites, and the CBC/IRA Children’s Choices Award winner, The Practically Perfect Pajamas. His most illustrated book Sea Star Wishes was selected as the July 2013 “Book of the Month” by US Children’s Poet Laureate, Kenn Nesbitt. From his home in Winthrop, Washington, Erik also writes and draws Harts Pass, a weekly comic strip for the Methow Valley News, visits schools and libraries around the country, and plays in the woods like a wolverine!
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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ WestWinds Press; Reprint edition (September 6, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1943328706
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1943328703
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 5 - 8 years
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ AD590L
  • Grade level ‏ : ‎ Kindergarten - 3
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 8 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 105 ratings

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