Samantha Vamos

Book Reviews

Reviews for "The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred"

Language Arts (January 15, 2011)

One look at the cover art, and readers will want to join the parade of animals prancing behind a farm maiden as she dances across the sun-saturated landscape. As the story begins, the vibrant panorama disappears, and the reader is left with a table, covered in a green cloth, set against a white background, and the simple sentence, "This is the pot that the farm maiden stirred."

So begins this new cumulative tale. As each additional step in a recipe for arroz con leche, or rice pudding, is introduced, additional layers are added via pictures and words. The illustrations move from simple to vivid warm colors and detailed scenes. Readers are first introduced to important ingredients and equipment in English, accompanied by a concrete image. On the next page, they meet that concept again in Spanish. And thus the presence of the Spanish alongside English builds within the story, accompanied by rising action and visual momentum, and culminating in a celebratory feast.

Fans of "The House That Jack Built" will want to hear this read-aloud again and again, to chant along in both English and Spanish, and to enjoy the satisfying certainty of the cumulative tale. For young chefs, a recipe is included.