Chiles for Benito / Chiles para Benito


by Ana Baca
Illustrated by Anthony Accardo
Spanish translation by José Juan Colín

ISBN: 978-155885-389-8
Category: Picture Book
Published: 30 Nov 2003
Bind: Hardcover
Pages: 32
Age Group: 3-7

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Chile ristras adorn kitchens and dishes all over New Mexico. In the winter, when the nights grow longer and the winds blow stronger, chiles season meats and stews bringing New Mexico spice to every hungry taste bud. But chiles didn’t always grow in New Mexico, and Ana Baca tells a special fable about Benito and the chiles that crawled all over his family’s simple homestead.

Benito’s mother sends him to the county fair in the hopes of their cow winning the first place prize. This would give them money to buy some seeds for the crop, but the cow misbehaves and they must leave the fair. Suddenly, Benito is stopped by a mysterious man with a peculiar bird on his shoulder. The man offers Benito some powerful seeds in exchange for his cow, which Benito quickly accepts. But when only uncontrollable weeds grow from the ground, Benito begins to feel foolish.

Even the neighboring farmers begin to complain that the relentless weeds are killing their crop. How will the community survive? Will the rapidly growing weeds ever bear fruit to help Benito?


“The text, as good in Spanish as it is in English, reads well aloud.”—School Library Journal

ANA BACA, a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the author of three lively bilingual children’s books; Benito’s Sopaipillas / Las sopaipillas de Benito (Piñata Books, 2007), Chiles for Benito/Chiles para Benito (Piñata Books, 2003) and Benito’s Bizcochitos/Los bizcochitos de Benito (Piñata Books, 1999). She graduated from Stanford University (B.A.) and the University of New Mexico (M.A.) with degrees in English Literature and currently resides in New Mexico.

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ANTHONY ACCARDO has illustrated more than fifty children’s books, including Chiles for Benito / Chiles para Benito (Piñata Books, 2003) and The Last Doll / La última muñeca (Piñata Books, 2001). His paintings have been exhibited in both the United States and Europe. A New York native, he lives in Brooklyn.

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JOSÉ COLÍN is an assistant professor of Spanish at the University of Oklahoma. His field of expertise is the Latin-American Literature and Culture of the 20th & 21st Century. Born and raised in Mexico City, he has a deep love for his country and culture and enjoys teaching it. He has published articles on contemporary Central American, Mexican and Caribbean writers as well as those of South America.

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Accelerated Reader Quiz #73826 | ATOS English: 3.7 | ATOS Spanish: 3.7 | ATOS Interest Level: Lower Grade