Growing Up With Tamales/Los tamales de Ana by Gwendolyn Zepeda

Title: Growing Up With Tamales/Los tamales de Ana

Author: Gwendolyn Zepeda

Illustrator: April Ward

Publisher: Pinata Books

Published Date: 2008

This story is about a young girl and her family Christmas tradition. Every year the family makes tamales for their Grandma and other family members. But each year, this young girl feels like she is too small to do something that her older sister is allowed to do. Eventually she gets to do everything the older girl does, but she always envies and looks up to her sister. By the time she is an adult, she decides that she is going to open her own business selling these tamales. And the kicker…she will let her older sister work there.

I really enjoyed reading this. I like how the Spanish tradition of tamales on Christmas is part of the novel, but it is more about the young girl. If anyone has even been the youngest, then they know what it’s like to want to do whatever the elders are doing. The greatest part of the story is at the end when she decides that she is going to build a business around the tamales. This is her idea, not her sisters. In fact, her sister doesn’t have any plans. So the youngest says that her sister can work for her.

The illustrations are great. They go right along with the story. I like the vivid colors. Also, it shows the aging of the girls. You can really see the admiration the younger girl has for her sister.

Happy Reading!

R

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