The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred
Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred
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Samantha R. Vamos, illus. by Rafael López
ISBN 9781580892421
Charlesbridge, 2011.
2012 Pura Belpré Honor for Illustration
4 ½ stars
Keywords: bilingual cazuela-that-farm-maiden-stirred cooking cooperation house-that-jack-built samantha-vamos spanish

The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred
by Samantha R. Vamos, illus. by Rafael López

Many farm hands and hooves help make a meal that everyone can enjoy in this exuberant tale. Your child may recognize the form of this story from  “The House that Jack Built.” Each phrase builds upon the last. But instead of constructing a house, the characters contribute to a recipe that remains a surprise to the end. Author Samantha Vamos cleverly and smoothly works in the Spanish words for each ingredient and helper, so your child painlessly acquires and repeats the new words until they trip off the tongue.

“This is the pot that the farm maiden stirred,” the story begins. “This is the butter that went into the cazuela that the farm maiden stirred.” In this way, your child learns that “cazuela” means “pot.” But the farm maiden isn’t the only one cooking. A goat (cabra) churns the cream (crema) as the cow (vaca) coaches the cabra. Jose López’s artwork resembles Mexican folk art at its best. The chicken, the duck and even the sun laugh, smile and sing. Each time you read it, you see something else (like the burro’s first appearance). If only the Little Red Hen had known about this farm, where everyone does their part and deserves to share in the delicious results.

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