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THE CAZUELA THAT THE FARM MAIDEN STIRRED by Samantha R. Vamos Kirkus Star

THE CAZUELA THAT THE FARM MAIDEN STIRRED

By Samantha R. Vamos (Author) , Rafael López (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-58089-242-1
Publisher: Charlesbridge

With the help of her animal friends, a farm maiden begins to cook. The goat lends some butter; the cow, fresh milk; the chicken, a few eggs—all for a pot of rice pudding. Inspired by “The House that Jack Built,” Vamos offers a fresh, new twist, playfully introducing Spanish into this cumulative tale. The pot becomes the cazuela; the goat, the cabra; the butter, the matequilla; and so forth, until the text is bursting with bilingual energy. With each repetition, the momentum builds and bubbles until it reaches a boiling frenzy. Vamos then skillfully ties it all together, as each animal’s Spanish name and accompanying ingredient is reiterated in a simple phrase—allowing readers to recall their meaning and relationship to the rice pudding. A party ensues, and all return to the cazuela to give thanks and share in their communal creation. López’s artwork, with its desert palette punctuated by brilliant primary colors and its graphic, hard edges, suggestive of folk art, is a perfect match. His sophisticated, multilayered textures create depth, give form and work together to create an image that’s easily readable, humorous and harmonious. Complete with an arroz con leche recipe and glossary of Spanish words, this thoughtful work will appeal to both Spanish speakers and learners. A wonderful read-aloud, filled with merriment and conviviality. (Picture book. 4-7)