Too Many Tamales, a picture book by Gary Soto and Ed Martinez. 1993 edition.


Written by Gary Soto. Illustrated by Ed Martinez. First edition, third printing. G. P. Putnam's Sons. New York.

"Snow drifted through the streets and now that it was dusk, Christmas trees glittered in the windows.

"Maria moved her nose off the glass and came back to the counter. She was acting grown-up now, helping her mother make tamales. Their hands were sticky with masa.

"That's very good," her mother said.

"Maria happily kneaded the masa. She felt grown-up, wearing her mother's apron. Her mom had even let her wear lipstick and perfume. If only I could wear mom's ring, she thought to herself."

Oh why not? Marie slips the ring on her thumb, admires it, and promptly forgets about it as she plunges her hands into the masa to help make two dozen tamales. Only later, playing with her three cousins, does she remember the ring. She looks at her hand. It's gone! It must have fallen off in the masa. She marches the cousins downstairs to the kitchen, past the adults in the living room, to eat their way through the tamales in search of the ring. When no one finds it, Marie is prepared to confess to her mother that cousin Danny must have swallowed it in the search. But as she begins her story, she sees the ring on her mother's finger. All is forgiven and mom and the aunts take her back to the kitchen to help make another batch of tamales.

Gary Soto (1952 - ) is a distinguished American poet, novelist, and memoirist who draws from his experiences growing up in a Mexican-American family in Fresno CA. Despite facing the tragedy of losing his father at a young age and the subsequent economic hardships, Soto found solace and inspiration in literature. He became the first Mexican-American to earn an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of California, Irvine. Soto's children's books include "Petty Crimes" and "Living Up the Street." Soto has served as a professor and a 'Young People's Ambassador' for the United Farm Workers of America.

Ed Martinez is a distinguished illustrator and portrait painter. Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Ed's family moved to the United States when he was a young boy. He has illustrated for various publishers and advertising agencies, and his work for Too Many Tamales was celebrated at Washington's Kennedy Center and the National Book Fair. His passion for art is reflected in his ability to capture the essence of his subjects with a unique and expressive style.
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Condition: Fine/Fine. Dust jacket: Mild shelf wear; small crease at head of the spine. Illustrated cover boards. Pages are clean, undamaged, and complete.

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