DON'T SAY A WORD, MAMÁ / NO DIGAS NADA, MAMÁ by Joe Hayes
Kirkus Star

DON'T SAY A WORD, MAMÁ / NO DIGAS NADA, MAMÁ

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7

KIRKUS REVIEW

Mamá has always been proud of her loving daughters, even when they’ve grown.

Rosa, her husband and their three children live “in a little house just down the street from her mother.” Sister Blanca lives alone “in a little house just up the street from her mother.” One year, each sister plants a garden, growing tomatoes, corn and “good hot chiles.” Each woman gives their mother some and tells her that she is going to give her sister half her yield—but: “Don’t say a word, Mamá!” In the night, each unknowingly passes the other with a basketful and leaves it in her sister’s empty kitchen. In the morning, each is astonished at the enormous pile of tomatoes and gives still more to her mother, who accepts them with a shrug: “you can never have too many tomatoes.” This is repeated with the luxuriant crop of corn, but Mamá at last spills the beans—or rather the peppers—as she can’t manage a similar surplus of chiles. Storyteller Hayes uses repetition, parallel structure and short sentences masterfully, unspooling a sweet family tale that never turns saccharine. His own Spanish translation appears alongside the English text. Andrade Valencia contributes highly saturated paintings that combine a folk aesthetic with magical realism, playfully depicting anthropomorphized vegetables marrying and having babies as the sisters marvel at the bounty.

This book overflows with affection—and you can never have too much of that. (Bilingual picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 10th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-935955-29-0
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Cinco Puntos
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2013




BEST PICTURE BOOKS OF 2013 ABOUT FAMILY & FRIENDS:

Children BUILDING OUR HOUSE by Jonathan Bean
by Jonathan Bean
Children HAVE YOU SEEN MY NEW BLUE SOCKS? by Eve Bunting
by Eve Bunting
Children DEEP IN THE SAHARA by Kelly Cunnane
by Kelly Cunnane
Children GRANDMA AND THE GREAT GOURD by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

MORE BY JOE HAYES

ChildrenTHE LOVESICK SKUNK by Joe Hayes
by Joe Hayes

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenPLANT A LITTLE SEED by Bonnie Christensen
by Bonnie Christensen
ChildrenRAINBOW STEW by Cathryn Falwell
by Cathryn Falwell
ChildrenTOO MANY TAMALES by Gary Soto
by Gary Soto