Growing Up with Tamales / Los tamales de Ana
This delightful bilingual picture book for children examines sibling rivalry and an important Hispanic tradition: making tamales!
by Gwendolyn Zepeda
Illustrated by April Ward
Spanish translation by Gabriela Baeza Ventura
Publication Date: May 31, 2008
Imprint: Piñata Books
- About the Book
- About the Author
- About the Illustrator
- About the Translator
- Educational Resources
“My name is Ana. Every year, my family makes tamales for Christmas. This year, I am six, so I get to mix the dough, which is made of cornmeal. My sister Lidia is eight, so she gets to spread the dough on the corn husk leaves. I wish I was eight, so that my hands would be big enough to spread the dough just right—not too thick and not too thin.”
And so the years pass, and Ana turns eight, ten, twelve, fourteen, sixteen. But every year, big sister Lidia is always two years older. Ana envies her elder sibling and wishes she could do what Lidia does: put just the right amount of meat inside the tamales and roll them up; steam the tamales without scalding herself with the hot, hot steam; chop and cook the meat for the tamales without cutting or burning her hands.
When she turns eighteen, though, Ana knows she will keep making tamales and she will be able to do all of the steps herself in her very own factory. When Christmas comes around, Ana will deliver tamales to all of her customers around the world, in delivery trucks that say “Ana’s Tamales.” And, Ana thinks, if her sister Lidia wants to, she can work for her!
Gwendolyn Zepeda’s rhythmic prose is combined with April Ward’s bright illustrations to create an affectionate and amusing story about sibling relationships that introduces an important Hispanic holiday tradition—making tamales!
Highly Commended Title–2009 Zolotow Award
Finalist, 2009 Foreword Book of the Year Awards
Named to the 2008-2009 Tejas Star Reading List
“[This] charming story celebrates the satisfaction found in accomplishing a goal and the trust new responsibility engenders.”―Kirkus Reviews
“An involving look at what it means to earn responsibilities―with just a little soupcon of sibling rivalry thrown in. Recommended for school and public libraries.”―Críticas
GWENDOLYN ZEPEDA is the author of three bilingual picture books for children: I Kick the Ball / Pateo el balón (Piñata Books, 2011); Growing Up with Tamales / Los tamales de Ana (Piñata Books, 2008), a 2009 Charlotte Zolotow Award Highly Commended Title; and Sunflowers / Girasoles (Piñata Books, 2009), winner of the Texas Institute of Letters’ Austin Public Library Friends Foundation Award for Best Children’s Book. She lives and works in Houston, Texas.
Learn more at gwendolynzepeda.com.
APRIL WARD is the illustrator of Butterflies on Carmen Street / Mariposas en la calle Carmen (Piñata Books, 2007) and Juan and the Chupacabras / Juan y el Chupacabras (Piñata Books, 2006). Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and has been working in children’s book publishing ever since. She currently lives in San Diego, California.
GABRIELA BAEZA VENTURA is an associate professor of Spanish at the University of Houston. She has translated numerous children’s books, including Dalia’s Wondrous Hair / El cabello maravilloso de Dalia (Arte Público Press, 2014), There’s a Name for this Feeling: Stories / Hay un nombre para lo que siento: Cuentos (2014), Adelita and the Veggie Cousins / Adelita y las primas verduritas (2011) and Remembering Grandma / Recordando a Abuela (2003).
Learn more by visiting her faculty page.
ATOS Interest Level: Lower Grades
Category: Picture Book
ATOS English: 3.3
ATOS Spanish: 3.6
LEXILE Spanish: 610L
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 122548