The Battle of the Snow Cones / La guerra de las raspas
This spirited bilingual kids’ book blends themes of entrepreneurship and friendship.
by Lupe Ruiz-Flores
Illustrations by Alisha Gambino
Spanish translation by Amira Plascencia
Publication Date: November 30, 2010
Imprint: Piñata Books
It was so hot in Caliente, Texas, that the townspeople gulped gallons of lemonade and poured buckets of water over their heads, but they couldn’t stay cool.
Swinging on the front porch with her mother, Elena suddenly has an idea. Raspas—icy cold snow cones—are what the neighbors need to stay cool. And she can make and sell the refreshing treats from a stand in her own front yard! So with the help of her parents, Elena soon has a stand and the items needed to make and sell the snow cones. Before long everyone is lining up to buy the frosty delights in delicious flavors.
Elena’s best friend Alma watches her friend’s success from across the street and decides to start her own snow cone stand. And so begins the battle of the snow cones, with each girl devising ever more elaborate plans to attract clients: decorating their stands with colorful Mexican crepe paper flowers and papel picado, adding exotic flavors such as coconut and mango to their menus, staging puppet shows and even a folkloric dance. The girls’ ice shaving machines furiously crank out raspas, until one day both machines go bonkers!
Readers will enjoy the girls’ clever antics to attract customers in this lively, colorful picture book for children ages 4 – 8. And just as important, children will learn—along with Elena and Alma—that competitors can still be friends.
Named to the 2012-2013 Tejas Star Reading List
“Girls compete, or ‘battle,’ to be the best on the block…Learning that true friendship can be more important than success is an elemental concept for young children to understand.”—School Library Journal
“This positive family story is a great way to start off a new school year or a unit on kites.”—School Library Journal on Lupita’s Papalote / El papalote de Lupita
“Ruiz-Flores crafts an uncomplicated and heartwarming story…and the colorful, full-page illustrations depict daily life in a small community. Great for reading aloud.”—Críticas on The Woodcutter’s Gift / El regalo del leñador
LUPE RUIZ-FLORES resides in San Antonio, Texas, where she writes poetry and children’s stories. She is the author of Lupita’s Papalote / El papalote de Lupita (Piñata Books, 2002) and The Woodcutter’s Gift / El regalo del leñador (Piñata Books, 2007).
ALISHA GAMBINO, the illustrator of Sunflowers / Girasoles (Piñata Books, 2009), teaches for Continuing Education at the Kansas City Art Institute and is the Art Education Curator for the Mattie Rhodes Art Center. She has exhibited her work at galleries around the country. She lives and works in Gladstone, Missouri.
ATOS Interest Level: Lower Grades
Category: Picture Book
ATOS English: 3.9
ATOS Spanish: 3.7
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 138368