[REVIEW] Too Many Tamales, by Gary Soto, illustrated by Ed Martinez

(Buy it HERE.)

**This book is also available in Spanish as ¡Qué montón de tamales!

Thing I said approximately 337 times while reading this book: Awwww, my HEART!
Christmas is a great time to create, remember and celebrate childhood memories and this beautifully illustrated picture book is great for all three. Little Maria is feeling very grown up as she helps her mother make tamales for Christmas Eve. When the cousins, aunts and uncles arrive mom goes to answer the door, and Maria is left alone to play with mom’s beautiful diamond ring…which somehow gets mixed into the masa! Maria and her cousins are faced with a pile of Christmas tamales secretly containing a fancy ring–how will they find it? ⠀

There’s so many lovely things about this little book. Living abroad it’s sometimes hard to explain that not everyone in the USA has an ahem white Christmas, so it’s nice to see a book showing some of the other cultural traditions and holiday foods from the USA in a simple, affectionate way–specifically Mexican-American traditions. The lovely painted illustrations feel like perfect snapshots of a loving family Christmas and I wish I’d gotten the print version, not the e-book. They’re that beautiful.⠀

This book reminded me of long ago Christmas Eve gatherings–playing with all my cousins, hearing my father and uncles take turns reading Christmas scriptures(and trying not to doze off), overeating all the good food my mother, aunts, and grandmother prepared but still finding room for candy canes, and inevitably getting into some shenanigans that had Santa Claus threatening to leave coal in everyone’s stocking. Basically, this book got me all up in my Christmas feelings and I really enjoyed it. Bring on the eggnog and the pecan pie!☃️⠀

Five stars and fiiiiiiivvve GOLden RINGS to Too Many Tamales.

(Feliz Navidad, fellow readers. This is your regular reminder that this blog has affiliate relationships and if you click and purchase anything from a link you find here, a commission may be earned. However, all reviews are 100% honest and unbought. Peace!) ⠀


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