Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred

The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred
written by Samantha R. Vamos; illustrated by Rafael Lopez
(Charlesbridge) 2011
Source: A review copy was provided by the publisher

The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred is a jubilant tale written like the classic nursery rhyme "The House That Jack Built." Each page builds upon the last which makes this great read aloud material for younger readers. In the story, a community works together to make arroz con leche (rice pudding) and the process starts with the campesina (farm maiden) finding a cazuela (pot). Next the cabra (goat) churns the mantequilla (butter) to make the crema (cream) and soon other animals and people are joining in to help make the dish that will be shared in a merry celebration.

It is appropriate that there is a recipe for arroz con leche in the back matter since so many ingredients come together to create this spirited bilingual story. Rafael Lopez's vivacious illustrations full of brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges could be considered the spice in this treat. Children will want to look at them again and again. Another wonderful component of this dish are the words in Spanish. Each ingredient is introduced in English and then the Spanish word appears in the next round of the story. There is also a glossary in the back of the book. In our school, the Spanish teacher comes to our classes for a weekly lesson and I recognized several of the words mentioned in the book. Since children enjoy playing with words, you have a virtual language toy chest in front of you. The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred would be an excellent shared reading experience in kindergarten and first grade. I would also introduce it to your Spanish teacher who would greatly appreciate this resource. Rice pudding is a favorite dessert of mine, so I can't wait to try the recipe in the back matter.

Author Samantha R. Vamos is giving away an autographed copy of this book, so check out her website linked above. Click below to see the book trailer.

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