By: Gary Soto, Illustrated By: Ed Martinez
Age Range: 4-8 years.
This story tells of a young girl names Maria who is making Christmas Tamales with her mother. While mixing the tamale dough when her mother is out of the kitchen, Maria tries on her mother's wedding band. Later on as Maria is playing with her cousins, she realizes that the ring is missing! A heart-warming example of childhood courage and honor ensues as Maria and her cousins stare at 24 tamales, knowing that somewhere in them MUST be the ring!
I personally think that a lot of people would benefit from this story, especially young children who are just learning how to tell right from wrong and the consequences of their actions. It shows that it is okay to make mistakes and that you can always go to an adult you trust for help. This book also shows the importance of family relationships and the different kinds of roles they play within their lives.
I don't forsee any real problems with this book, unless the children misunderstand and try to copy Maria's actions (Such as taking the ring, eating the tamales, etc.)
I have always loved this book. When i was young, I loved looking at the pictures because even if I couldn't read the words, the pictures told me the story. When i was young, I was very interested in different cultures and how other families might do or celebrate things differently. This is one of those special books that helped me to learn about those things.