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Author: Terri Fields

Illustrator: Sherry Rogers

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Publisher: SylvanDell Publishing,

Material: hard cover

Summary: The corn was so tall. According to the burro, it was tall enough to make tortillas. So he called his friends -- coyote, bobcat and jackrabbit. Would they want to help him pick the corn and remove the kernels? No one volunteered. Grind the kernels and make the dough? No takers. When the tortillas were cooked, Burro's friends came running. They want to help him eat the tortillas. Can they help him now? This picture book builds Spanish words into a story, which offers a twist on the Little Red Hen

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 9; read yourself: 6 to 9

Age of Child: Shared with a Kindergarten class of children ages 5 and 6.

Young Reader Reaction: The children liked the story and the chance to practice their Spanish.

Adult Reader Reaction: If you've read The Little Red Hen, you know the sequence of events. Still, this retelling -- with different animals and some Spanish mixed in -- offers a nice change. We enjoyed reading the book (and practicing our Spanish, too).

Pros: This picture book offers a different cultural version to the farmyard classic about fairness, work ethic, and personal achievement.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, at least. This is a nice way to introduce a new culture using an already familiar tale. The Spanish vocabulary is relatively basic, but goes beyond the usual set of "nouns" that are set out for the elementary crowd.


Educational Themes: There are several layers to the story itself, offering themes for discussion: fairness, hardwork, work ethic, selfishness, friendship to name a few. The text has plenty of Spanish to complement the story and give it some authenticity. There are activity pages at the back, too, to expand the learning.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, bilingual, Spanish, fables and folklore, multicultural, animal characters

Date(s) Reviewed: December 2007

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