Reviews for Three Little Tamales

Booklist Reviews 2009 March #2
Tía Lupe and Tío José and their taquería in Texas are back, and this time Tía Lupe is making her famous tamales in this “Three Little Pigs” takeoff. The three tamales are encouraged to run for their lives by a runaway tortilla rolling by. Since the little tamales do not want to be eaten, they flee and seek safer places to live. The first tamale runs to a prairie where she builds a casita out of sagebrush. The second tamale builds his casita out of cornstalks. The third tamale finds herself in the desert where she builds a casita out of a cactus with prickly thorns. All is well with the tamales until Señor Lobo, the Big Bad Wolf, comes calling at their doorsteps, threatening to blow their casitas from “here to Laredo.” Docampo’s oil-on-paper illustrations add dimension to the story and bring the three little tamales to life. An excellent addition to collections of fairy-tale retellings. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 February #1
The traditional "Three Little Pigs" gets a southwestern flavor in Kimmel's latest updated tale, a takeoff on his previous The Runaway Tortilla (2000), illustrated by Randy Cecil. Taking their cue from the aforementioned tortilla, three tamales from T'a Rosa's restaurant also decide to make a break for it. Each builds a different type of casita: the first of sagebrush, the second of cornhusks, the third of cactus. When Se-or Lobo makes his appearance, youngsters will have no doubt as to who he is: "I'll huff and I'll puff / like a Texas tornado / and blow your casita / from here to Laredo!" A glossary helps readers unfamiliar with Spanish, although most words are defined in context. Docampo's oils are filled with southwestern colors and details. Her tamales each have a stereotyped personality all its own: the mustachioed macho brother, the pretty but not-too-bright sister and the smart sister who wears glasses. A flavorful addition to the folktale shelf that begs to be shared with a group. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 June

K-Gr 3--Kimmel has pulled the pork from "The Three Little Pigs," wrapped it in masa, and cooked up another traditional tale flavored with Southwestern spice. Three little tamales cooling on the windowsill of Ta Lupe and To Jos's taquera receive a heads-up from a runaway tortilla ("If I stay here, someone's going to eat me. You'll be eaten, too. You'd better run!"). The tamales leap down and take off as fast as their cornhusk legs will carry them. The first one (a real doll with long eyelashes and a bow headband) runs to the prairie and builds a casita of sagebrush, the second (sporting a curled mustache) stops in a field and builds a casita of cornstalks, and the third (wearing round red spectacles)--such a smarty--runs all the way to the desert and builds a casita of cactus. Along comes Seor Lobo, and youngsters will be able to guess the rest. This Big Bad Wolf threatens the tamales with a comedic flair ("I'll huff and I'll puff/like a Texas tornado/and blow your casita/from here to Laredo!"), his breath swirling in a burst of color and energy. Done in a palette of gold, green, and blue, the action-packed spreads blend the exaggerated gestures and expressions of cartoons with the rich color and texture of oil on paper. The colorful artwork combines with a text brimming with humor and sound effects ("Ay! Ay! Ay!") for a delightful parody sure to satisfy readers' appetite for fun.--Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library

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