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The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred
The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred
By author: Samantha R. Vamos   Illustrated by: Rafael López
Product Code: 
Binding Information: Hardback 
5  - 8
In Stock
Price: $17.95

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A Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book

A bilingual celebration with a delicious ending.

This is the story of how the farm maiden and all the farm animals worked together to make the rice pudding that they serve at the fiesta. With the familiarity of "The House That Jack Built," this story bubbles and builds just like the ingredients of the arroz con leche that everyone enjoys. Cleverly incorporating Spanish words, adding a new one in place of the English word from the previous page, this book makes learning the language easy and fun.

Rafael Lopez covers each page with vibrant, exuberant color, celebrating tradition and community.

Back matter includes a glossary of Spanish words and a recipe for arroz con leche-perfect for everyone to make together and enjoy at story time.

This book is good for your brain because:
multicultural, patterns of language, vocabulary building, sequencing events

Download the cover image.
Download the Activity & Discussion Guide for The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred.
Download the recipe for arroz con leche
Read about where Samantha Vamos got the idea for The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred.

If you like this book, you'll love these:
  • El gusto del mercado Mexicano/A Taste of the Mexican Market
  • Ve lo que dices/See What You Say
  • Tita y Ben

  • Also Available As:
    Binding Information: Paperback 
    ISBN: 978-1-58089-243-8
    Availability: In Stock
    Price: $8.95

  • A Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book
  • ALA Notable Children's Book
  • Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts (NCTE)
  • NY Public Library's 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing
  • Texas 2x2 Reading List

  • Reviews
      Kirkus Reviews - January 1, 2011
    With the help of her animal friends, a farm maiden begins to cook. The goat lends some butter; the cow, fresh milk; the chicken, a few eggs—all for a pot of rice pudding. Inspired by "The House that Jack Built," Vamos offers a fresh, new twist, playfully introducing Spanish into this cumulative tale. The pot becomes the cazuela; the goat, the cabra; the butter, the mantequilla; and so forth, until the text is bursting with bilingual energy. With each repetition, the momentum builds and bubbles until it reaches a boiling frenzy. Vamos then skillfully ties it all together, as each animal’s Spanish name and accompanying ingredient is reiterated in a simple phrase—allowing readers to recall their meaning and relationship to the rice pudding. A party ensues, and all return to the cazuela to give thanks and share in their communal creation. López’s artwork, with its desert palette punctuated by brilliant primary colors and its graphic, hard edges, suggestive of folk art, is a perfect match. His sophisticated, multilayered textures create depth, give form and work together to create an image that’s easily readable, humorous and harmonious. Complete with an arroz con leche recipe and glossary of Spanish words, this thoughtful work will appeal to both Spanish speakers and learners. A wonderful read-aloud, filled with merriment and conviviality.
      Language Arts - January 15, 2011
    One look at the cover art, and readers will want to join the parade of animals prancing behind a farm maiden as she dances across the sun-saturated landscape. As the story begins, the vibrant panorama disappears, and the reader is left with a table, covered in a green cloth, set against a white background, and the simple sentence, "This is the pot that the farm maiden stirred." So begins this new cumulative tale. As each additional step in a recipe for arroz con leche, or rice pudding, is introduced, additional layers are added via pictures and words. The illustrations move from simple to vivid warm colors and detailed scenes. Readers are first introduced to important ingredients and equipment in English, accompanied by a concrete image. On the next page, they meet that concept again in Spanish. And thus the presence of the Spanish alongside English builds within the story, accompanied by rising action and visual momentum, and culminating in a celebratory feast. Fans of "The House That Jack Built" will want to hear this read-aloud again and again, to chant along in both English and Spanish, and to enjoy the satisfying certainty of the cumulative tale. For young chefs, a recipe is included.
      Publisher's Weekly - February 21, 2011
    Farm animals collaborate to make a pot of rice pudding in this energetic riff on "This Is the House That Jack Built." Animals and their contributions are first introduced in English ("This is the donkey/ that plucked the lime"), but ensuing verses feature Spanish translations in bold (a multitasking hen lays eggs "while grating the limón/ plucked by the burro"). López's acrylics-on-wood paintings have a burnished copper glow, while the menagerie exudes cartoonish joie de vivre. The seamless integration of Spanish vocabulary makes this a rousing primer.
      NC Teacher Stuff - February 8, 2011
    The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred is a jubilant tale written like the classic nursery rhyme "The House That Jack Built." Each page builds upon the last which makes this great read aloud material for younger readers. In the story, a community works together to make arroz con leche (rice pudding) and the process starts with the campesina (farm maiden) finding a cazuela (pot). Next the cabra (goat) churns the mantequilla (butter) to make the crema (cream) and soon other animals and people are joining in to help make the dish that will be shared in a merry celebration. It is appropriate that there is a recipe for arroz con leche in the back matter since so many ingredients come together to create this spirited bilingual story. Rafael Lopez's vivacious illustrations full of brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges could be considered the spice in this treat. Children will want to look at them again and again. Another wonderful component of this dish are the words in Spanish. Each ingredient is introduced in English and then the Spanish word appears in the next round of the story. There is also a glossary in the back of the book. In our school, the Spanish teacher comes to our classes for a weekly lesson and I recognized several of the words mentioned in the book. Since children enjoy playing with words, you have a virtual language toy chest in front of you. The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred would be an excellent shared reading experience in kindergarten and first grade. I would also introduce it to your Spanish teacher who would greatly appreciate this resource. Rice pudding is a favorite dessert of mine, so I can't wait to try the recipe in the back matter.
      Latin Baby Book Club - February 27, 2011
    The LBBC's recommendation for March's Libro del Mes, is Samantha R. Vamos' The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred.

    A few years ago, we were proud to announce the first book of a new author. This year, we are excited to launch Samantha's Virtual Book Tour for her second book, which released this month.

    Written in the same rhyming format as that of "The House That Jack Built", Cazuela gives this classic rhyme a bilingual twist. It all begins with a pretty farm girl who gets out her pot to start cooking something sabroso. Before you know it, the farmer and all the farm animals are chipping in - leche from the vaca, limón from the burro, etc. - each one contributing an ingredient for the bubbling pot.

    The book is written in English and the reader is introduced to simple words in Spanish such as the names of the animals, and the foods they are sharing. The book introduces the words first in English, and then in Spanish so that the meaning is easily understood by non-Spanish speakers. And just in case, a glossary with a pronunciation guide has been included in the back of the book for your convenience. There is also a delicious recipe at the back of the book for making arroz con leche.

    The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred contains 21 Spanish words embedded in the text on every page. The repetitive format not only gives structure to the story, but also helps the reader to retain the introduced words. This book is best suited for English-dominant and bilingual families.

    A sample passage:

    "This is the duck
    that went to the market
    to buy the sugar
    to flavor the LECHE
    made fresh by the VACA
    while teaching the CABRA
    that churned the CREMA
    to make the MANTEQUILLA
    that went into the CAZUELA that the farm maiden stirred."

    Rafael López's illustrations are vibrant and warm and engaging, making this picture book a visual delight for children and parents alike. Through his art, Rafael helps to bring Samantha's story to life, and he does it in such a way as to convey the underlying theme of cooperation and community within the story.

    This book is suited for children of all ages. It is great for read-alouds and both infants and older children will benefit from the rhythmic text. Families and teachers will love the opportunities this book creates to discuss the following themes: rural life, farms, farm animals, food, recipes, team work/cooperation, rhyming/verse, friendship, fiestas, fantasy vs. reality, and many more. You can find an activity and discussion guide on Samantha's website.

      School Library Journal - March 1, 2011
    In a colorful nod to "The House That Jack Built," a young farm girl stirs her pot (cazuela) with the help of all the animals, and the resulting accumulation of ingredients and helpers produces a celebratory explosion of music and festivity. Past the first simple sentences, increased text and single images suddenly blossom into paintings of vibrantly warm and detailed graphics that quickly pull readers into the rhythmic repetition of the tale; animals (and foods) are given their Spanish names and a riot of jewel-toned colors emerge in full-page illustrations. "This is the duck/that went to the market/to buy the sugar/to flavor the leche/made fresh by the vaca/while teaching the cabra/that churned the crema/to make the mantequilla/that went into the cazuela that the farm maiden stirred." Spoons, banjo, maraca, and drum sound to tapping feet while voices sing-all as the cazuela bubbles-in anticipation of the final stir of arroz con leche (rice pudding). A recipe is appended to this delicious cumulative tale. Its images are spiced with a feast of richly colorful characters, the warmth of a Southwestern palette, and lush, swirling colors. The artistry of this book makes it a must buy for all libraries.
    Ah. I have This Thing for sun images, and so I'm really kinda crazy about Rafael López's sun here. (Note: Visiting that link there to his site will just improve the quality of your day and make your eyes and brain happy. I highly suggest going there to take in his art.)

    Also, that post title is supposed to be "The Book This Blogger Enjoys," but seven bajillion apologies to all Spanish-speakers of the world if I just mangled that. I am not one. A Spanish-speaker, that is.

    Where was I? Oh. Right. That sun, as well as this goat to the right [pg. 3], comes from one of my favorite early-2011 picture books, written by Samantha R. Vamos and illustrated by Mr. López, The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred (Charlesbridge, February 2011). Think of this as the bilingual "The House That Jack Built." But, okay. Well, there is no malt or rat or shaven and shorn priest or farmer sowing his corn. Instead, we have a farm maiden, who is quite the opposite of forlorn, as she's happy to be baking. Mmm. Baking. There's a goat churning cream, a duck heading to the market, a donkey plucking a lime, a farmer planting rice, and much more. They're getting ready for a rice pudding celebration - the yummy treat, that is, along with some dancing and singing and banjo-playing and maraca-shaking.

    And Vamos introduces the Spanish words in the text seamlessly and cleverly, which I'll explain with an example. Here's how the book opens:

    "This is the pot that the farm maiden stirred. This is the butter that went into the CAZUELA that the farm maiden stirred. This is the goat that churned the cream to make the MANTEQUILLA that went into the CAZUELA that the farm maiden stirred."

    And so on. (Those Spanish words are not only capped and in a separate type, but they're also bolded.) No glossary of Spanish terms even necessary, though the author does provide one at the end, it turns out (as well as pronunciations, heaven bless). As well as a recipe for arroz con leche, or rice pudding. Mmm again. And Vamos knows how to build momentum with each page turn, as the tension in the tale builds until-while everyone was having too much fun dancing and celebrating-the cazuela "simmered and sputtered" and "bubbled and burbled" and nearly burst. Fortunately, the farm maiden catches this in time, and the animals join her in stirring the pudding to satisfaction.

    I'm really rather taken with López's illustrations, acrylics on grained wood. There's so much joy and humor depicted in his artwork. Or, as the experts write (in this case, Publishers Weekly), "López's acrylics-on-wood paintings have a burnished copper glow, while the menagerie exudes cartoonish joie de vivre." Adds Kirkus, "López's artwork, with its desert palette punctuated by brilliant primary colors and its graphic, hard edges, suggestive of folk art, is a perfect match. His sophisticated, multilayered textures create depth, give form and work together to create an image that's easily readable, humorous and harmonious."

    That's all I want to say. That is, I've given you my enthusiastic opinion, I've quoted the real reviewers, and now I'm going to let the art speak for itself. That's the least I can do here in 7-Imp Land. Enjoy. See you another day this week.

      Booklist - April 15, 2011
    In the cumulative style of the traditional children's chant "This is the House That Jack Built," this joyful, bilingual picture book, set on a vibrantly colored farm, describes each step in making arroz con leche, or rice pudding. An appended glossary defines each Spanish word used in the text, but within the context of the rhythmic lines, Vamos cleverly makes the meaning of each word clear by starting with the English term: "This is the pot that the farm maiden stirred. This is the butter that went into the cazuela that the farm maiden stirred." The barnyard's smiling animals help to gather the ingredients until the pudding comes together, creating a moment of suspense: will the potbubble over? The perfectly paced words are well matched with the richly shaded, acrylic-on-board illustrations, which extend the sense of cooperation and fun as everyone works together and are reminiscent of Eric Carle's art in their patchwork-collage texture, clearly defined shapes, and joyful energy. An excellent choice for interactive, multilingual read-alouds.
      Puget Sound Council Reviews - April 1, 2011
    Hurray for Washington State author, Samantha Vamos! Her second book is a clever cumulative story similar to "The House that Jack Built." She's woven Spanish words into the story. Cazuela is pot. And into this pot the farm animals bring all the ingredients to make arroz con leche (rice pudding). Because the story is cumulative, participants in this book that begs to be read aloud will have ample practice remembering the word and saying it. I see this book developing into a class reader's theatre complete with the drum and maracas. Add the bright Mexican colors of Rafael Lopez' acrylics on grained wood and you are all set for a fun filled story time. The rice pudding recipe follows. There's also a note about limóns, which to a gringo is confusing. The glossary and pronunciation guide will also be useful to gringos!
      Waking Brain Cells - May 11, 2011
    This is a fresh, fabulous cumulative tale that is made spicier and more interesting thanks to the Spanish sprinkled liberally throughout. It is the story of a farm maiden who stirred a pot. Once she started stirring, all of the animals wanted to help with what she was cooking. The cow gave milk, the hen gave eggs and zested the lime which was picked by the donkey who was carrying the duck to the market. Eventually everyone is waiting for the treat to be finished until they started playing music and dancing. Then no one was watching or stirring the pot! Thank goodness that they returned just in time to enjoy the arroz con leche that they had all cooked together.

    When I read this book to myself silently it really didn't work, but read aloud it merrily dances along, even with my very imperfect Spanish pronunciation. For classes in our community, the blend of Spanish and English is very desirable. Happily, the Spanish here forms the real foundation of the story rather than just being extra words that are thrown in. Lopez's art is so vibrant and warm. The sun shines when you open the book, thanks to the use of a beautiful yellow for the majority of the background. Add to it the purple clouds tinged with red, the orange ground, and the vibrant green of the plants, and you have a book where the colors are filled with heat and spice.

    A rollicking picture book that celebrates Spanish and English mixed together sweetly, just like the perfect arroz con leche.

    Hola, everybuggy! I loved reading all the Spanish words in this month's Spider, so I was excited to check out this bilingual (that means "two languages") picture book.

    The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred is based on the nursery rhyme "The House That Jack Built," but instead of building a house, the farm maiden makes a delicious rice pudding. You'll meet all the animals who helped her make the pudding, including a friendly goat who churned the cream to make the mantequilla, butter, that went into the cazuela that the farm maiden stirred. Phew! I'm out of breath. The story is written mostly in English, but the Spanish words are easy to understand thanks to clear, colorful illustrations and a glossary at the back of the book. Plus, there's a recipe for arroz con leche at the end! Yummy!

    Many really smart experts say that the younger you are, the easier it is to learn a new language. Since I am the youngest buggy in the bunch, that should make me a natural. Pretty soon, Miro won't be the only bilingual buggy on the block - adios for now, amigos!

      Twenty by Jenny - May 13, 2011
    ¡Buen provecho! ¡Enjoy your meal! That is the underlying message of The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred by Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Rafael López.

    Children love a good story with a cumulative text. They love the repetition, and the idea that this is all building up to an exciting surprise. Samantha Vamos takes "The House that Jack Built" formula and adds a brilliant twist: she uses Spanish words in place of key characters and ingredients; each contributes to a delicious meal. Her story of just enough cooks in the kitchen gives children delectable morsels such as mantequilla (butter) and azúcar (sugar), and introduces the pato (duck) who visits the mercado (market) on the back of a burro (donkey).

    When I had a chance to interview Samantha Vamos recently about Cazuela, she said that the phrase "the cazuela that the farm maiden stirred" came to her when she was short of ingredients one cold Chicago morning and fantasized that she lived on a farm where everything she needed would be handy. The phrase reminded her of "The House that Jack Built," and she was on her way from there. But she also wanted to create a bilingual text, and the repetition of this framework allowed her to introduce Spanish words to children and invite them to practice the new vocabulary through the repeated phrases. She also liked the idea of featuring a meal in which everyone played a part and enjoyed the fruits of their joint efforts (unlike the animals in The Little Red Hen, who won't help and therefore don't get to eat the results).

    The stunning artwork by Rafael López not only helps give visual clues to the Spanish words, but the artist also makes it seem perfectly normal that a cow would coach a goat, who's stirring the cream into butter in the kitchen. He includes lots of details to be discovered upon return visits to the book, such as the sun's moods changing from scene to scene, or the burro's first appearance. A glossary that helps with pronunciation appears at the end, as well as a recipe for. well, I won't give it away. But it allows children (with a little help) to prepare a classic Mexican dish just the way the farm maiden, farmer and animals do in the book. And Samantha Vamos also prepared an activity guide with word cards featuring Lopez's divine illustrations.

    Can't you just see a group of friends putting this on as readers' theater, and popping up with their word card each time the narrative reaches their part? Vamos said that when she visits schools, the kids like to say the repeated part of the text as quickly as possible, like a tongue twister. And that's the best part of what books give us: new words to adopt as favorites, exotic words that we can exchange with others-like a great meal prepared and shared together. ¡Buen provecho!

      Sonder Books - May 30, 2011
    What an exuberant book! And a beautiful and joyous way to easily learn some Spanish words. Fun to read out loud, too.

    The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred riffs off the idea of "The House That Jack Built" with a cumulative story of making rice pudding, arroz con leche. This one, however, adds the innovative idea of introducing the items and animals in English, but then once you know what they are, using the Spanish words in later recitations.

    For example, a couple steps in:

    This is the goat that churned the cream to make the MANTEQUILLA that went into the CAZUELA that the farm maiden stirred.

    This is the cow that made the fresh milk while teaching the CABRA that churned the CREMA to make the MANTEQUILLA that went into the CAZUELA that the farm maiden stirred.

    As you can hear, the Spanish words inserted are fun to say, and the chant takes on a musical feel. This book makes you want to read it aloud, and I found myself doing that even as I just read the book to myself to review it. How much more fun it would be to read to a roomful of children or a child on my lap.

    But the plot does get more interesting than just the simple cumulative story. After all the ingredients are in the CAZUELA,

    the CABRA gave out spoons, the GALLINA sang a tune, the PATO beat a TAMBOR, the BURRO plucked a banjo, the VACA shook a MARACA, and the CAMPESINO and the farm maiden danced . . . and no one watched the CAZUELA that the farm maiden stirred.

    Don't worry! They do get their delicious dish, and the recipe is provided at the back of the book (as well as a glossary and pronunciation guide).

    What makes this book absolutely perfect and completely irresistible is the pictures. The best words I can use to describe them are exuberant and joyous. The colors are bright. And the people and animals are happy and completely given over to celebration.

      REFORMA Newsletter - July 13, 2011
    Nothing is better than a delicious bowl of arroz con leche unless, of course, a host of farm animals have a hand in the preparation! Young children will delight in this cumulative tale that follows a farm maiden, her cazuela, and a barnyard full of animals that help her cook up a mouth-watering batch of rice pudding. English words are introduced in the narrative and then their Spanish equivalent is used in subsequent repeated lines of the text. By the time the arroz con leche is cooling, storytime audiences will have learned more than 20 Spanish words. While the text alone will entice bilingual readers, Lopez's dazzling illustrations, exuding a cheerful exuberance, are sure to draw even the most reluctant of readers. Highly recommended.
    Reading The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred to children is a delicious way to teach Spanish vocabulary, Spanish culture, and order of events in a story.

    A Cazuela is a large terra-cotta pot used for cooking soups, stews, and casseroles. It is also the term used for the meals you cook inside of it. The Farm Maiden (campesina), the farmer (campesino) and all of the farm animals take part in preparing the food in the Cazuela. Each character and ingredient is first introduced in English and then repeated in Spanish. The cazuela in this story is making a delicious, traditional Spanish dessert, Arroz Con Leche (rice with milk). There is even an Arroz Con Leche recipe at the end of the story!

    Filled with colorful adjectives and easy prose, Vamos tells a lovely story that children of any culture can enjoy. There is a glossary at the end of the book which can help non-Spanish speakers with the pronunciation of words. The illustrations by Rafael Lopez are warm, vivid and engaging.

    Teacher-Librarians- be sure to use the Discussion and Activity Guide provided on Samantha Vamos' website when you teach this story!

    What an excellent cultural resource for any library collection!

      Curled Up with a Good Kid's Book - February 1, 2011
    A lively, cumulative story based on the nursery rhyme "The House that Jack Built," The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred is a bilingual story of a young woman who is preparing a pot of arroz con leche, or rice pudding.

    The story begins with the pot, and a goat churning the cream for the butter. It continues with the maiden milking the cow, a duck going to town to buy the sugar, a donkey plucking a lime from the tree, a hen laying the eggs, and the farmer who plants the rice. All their efforts conclude in a group celebration of a meal together.

    Writing in verse, Vamos defines or provides strong picture or word clues to the meaning of each Spanish noun used in the story. The lively illustrations combine warm, vibrant paint with collage artwork. The story itself is whimsical, told as much or more through the illustrations as the text, with numerous indoor/outdoor scenes depicting interactions of the animals and people through an open window.

    Teachers will enjoy using this story as an introduction to Spanish, as a discussion starter about communities or working together, or as a comparison to other traditional cumulative tales. The book concludes with a recipe for rice pudding and a glossary of the Spanish words used in the story.

      Bay Views - July 1, 2011
    A traditional Mexican dish and a traditional nursery rhyme melt into a bubbly, delicious read-aloud. In the style of “This Is the House That Jack Built,” author Samantha Vamos (Before You Were Here, Mi Amor, Viking, 2009) tells the story of a farm maiden who makes a pot of arroz con leche. One by one, animals join in the action—a goat churns butter, a hen grates lime, a duck buys sugar—and in all the excitement, they almost let the pot boil over. Illustrator Rafael López (Book Fiesta, Rayo, 2009) creates a warm tableau with his rich acrylic-on-grained wood style; the characters appear vivacious, happy, and energetic. Spanish words for each of the ingredients are introduced seamlessly; each item is named once in English and every time thereafter in Spanish. A recipe is included at the end. An expert collaboration.
      School Library Journal - August 6, 2011
    I am lucky to work in a children's room with a significantly sized bilingual section. The books you'll find there cover a wide range of languages. Chinese, Arabic, Urdu, you name it. Of them the largest section by far is the Spanish language section. Of course, what we don't really include in this section are books that integrate Spanish words into English text, though the stories are predominantly in English. There really isn't a name for this kind of book, which is a real pity since they serve a definite use. Now you can go about integrating Spanish and English any old way you prefer, but Samantha Vamos has you beat. According to the back bookflap "Samantha R. Vamos was cooking one day when the idea for this book popped into her head." The idea goes beyond a mere food related plot and ends up being one of the most creative ways of working Spanish elements into a work of English I've seen in years. Top off the fact that the art is enough to give your jaw a downward plunge, and I'd say you were dealing with one of the cleverer picture books of the year.

    Are you familiar with the cumulative tale format? Well Ms. Vamos takes the idea and twists it a little. A variety of different farm animals aid a farmer and a farm maiden as they work together to make some rice pudding. A donkey picks limes, a duck buys sugar, a hen grates, and by the end everyone has done their part. Of course, in the midst of some dancing the pudding almost gets out of hand, but our heroes are able to save it in time. The end of the book includes a Glossary of Spanish Words and a recipe for the pudding.

    I'll say right here that the way in which Vamos has seamlessly integrated Spanish words into her text is extraordinary. Until now the standard method of doing this was just to throw the words into random sentences and cross your fingers. Best case scenario, you end up with something like Gary Soto's Chato's Kitchen. Worst case scenario and the words become jarring and needless. The trick Vamos uses here is to take the cumulative format and make it work for her. Normally a cumulative story doesn't shake up the words. It's the old House That Jack Built idea. This did this, that did that, it did it, etc. But Vamos has a different idea going on here. She starts out with an English word on the first reading, then switches that word to its Spanish equivalent when it's repeated. So the first sentence in the book reads "This is the pot that the farm maiden stirred". Fair enough. Turn the page and suddenly you read, "This the butter that went into the Cazuela that the farm maiden stirred." You see what she's done there? The pot is now the capitalized "Cazuela". On the next page the butter then becomes the "Mantequilla" that went into the "Cazuela". It took me a couple pages to figure out what was going on since I've never encountered a book that worked in this way before. Once I got a grasp on it, though, I was delighted. What a novel method of teaching kids! Best of all, if the reader doesn't understand what's going on, there's a helpful Glossary of Spanish Words at the back of the book to clarify everything for them. And I would take issue with anyone who says that these words don't flow. I'm sure that if you pick up the book for the first time without first reading it through you might stumble, but as a whole these lines work nicely with one another.

    I am ashamed to say that prior to this book I'd never paid adequate attention to the illustrations of Rafael Lopez. This in spite of the fact that he's won the Pura Belpre Award for Illustration (as well as an Honor) in the past. The book makes a couple strategic choices with his art that set it apart from the pack. Open the first page and even before you get to the title page there is a gorgeous image of the farm maiden selecting a pot for her cooking. There's not a word in sight, a rarity. This is followed closely with a two-page title page spread of her leaping through the air, the pages fairly glowing in this yellow/orange riot of color. After that, Lopez scales everything back. There's just a pure white page standing there with the image of the pot on the table as the only thing in sight. This white background lasts an additional two pages, making me wonder what Lopez is up to. If I read him right, as the reader figures out what the book is doing, Lopez starts his images off slowly. He's not going to overwhelm you with busyness when the text is so simple. It's only when you catch on that the colors all leap onto the pages once again. Lopez is working with acrylics painted on grained wood to get these effects. The result is art that explodes in a riot of energy and color. I dare say that this is one of the loveliest picture books I've had the pleasure to read all year. I did wonder why the artist chose not to show the animals eating the food they'd taken so much time to prepare, but it's a minor question.

    Unlike a fellow delicious food-related picture book this year (Hot Hot Roti for Dada-ji) this book has a recipe for rice pudding a.k.a. arroz con leche that I would like to try. It's definitely intended for adults, what with its whisking and stovetop cooking. Oddly the recipe gives no indication of how many people you might be able to serve with it, but that's okay. Even if it serves just one it might be worth it. It looks tasty.

    2011 is turning into a strong year for cumulative storytelling. Between The Book That Zack Wrote and this title, we're seeing a range of different authors taking a seemingly rote format and giving it a delightful twist. The pairing of Lopez with Vamos also appears to be inspired. This is a book that combines use with beauty. Fun with substance. Think of it as a kind of anti-Little Red Hen. Instead of animals passing the buck, everyone gets involved in the making of the arroz con leche, and everyone gets a taste. You'll want to too after reading this book. A winning combination of clever writing and striking art, this is one of a kind.

    On shelves now.

      CLCD - September 6, 2011
    This cumulative tale in the style of the House that Jack Built begins with the pot, the cazuela, which a girl on a farm is stirring. Butter goes into the pot next; a goat churns the cream to make the butter. As each new ingredient is mentioned in English, the one before is named in Spanish. The cow that made the milk is next, followed by the duck who goes to the market to buy the sugar. A donkey picks a lime and carries the pato, duck, to the mercado, market. A hen lays the necessary eggs; a farmer plants the rice. When it is all mixed, there is a celebration. Everyone says gracias for the arroz con leche stirred by the campesina. The double page comic illustrations are highly stylized representations of the characters and objects painted on wood in warm toned acrylics with accents of blue and purple. Even the sun has a human face and a spiked hairdo. Lively action and patterns pervade the pictures. The delightful scene across the jacket of the animals running after the smiling maid trailing the smell from the pot invites the reader in. There is a glossary of the Spanish words and a recipe for arroz con leche as well. 2011, Charlesbridge, $17.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewers: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz (Children's Literature).
      Family Magazine - September 6, 2011
    A bilingual adaptation of the familiar “House That Jack Built,” author Vamos “cooked” up this yummy version in her kitchen. Using ingredients for rice pudding (Arroz con Leche), this scrumptious communal concoction is a favorite for many, whether or not it’s part of a family’s history. In this cumulative tale, the repetition is highlighted in Spanish as a sweet repetition of the English translation, announcing the ingredient as it’s added to the pot (cazuela).

    Rose and golden acrylics characterize the double page spreads in this vivid picture book, emphasizing the sunlit radiance of a Central American daytime. Each animal makes an important contribution, and is given prominence as they prepare ingredients, and add to the music while the pudding is cooking. This is in distinctive contrast to the animals in another familiar folktale –The Little Red Hen – where the main character invites several others to participate, and each time is rejected. Award winning artist López once again furnishes an experience of fiesta, harmonizing text and illustration, in a tale well suited to community celebration. Back matter includes recipe and glossary of Spanish words.

      The Happy Nappy Bookseller - October 1, 2011
    This story was as beautiful as I thought it would be. With some help from the farm animals the farm maiden makes Arroz con Leche. This is not a traditional bilingual story, with two languages, lado a lado.

    This is the pot, that the farm maiden stirred,

    This is the butter that went into the cazuela that the farm maiden stirred

    This is the goat that churned the cream to make the mantequilla that went into the cazuela that the farm maiden stirred.

    Rather then have the two languages side by side, Vamos will use a word once in English and replace it with it's Spanish counterpart in the next stanza. It's a very smart way to learn a few new Spanish words. This is a tribute to the nursery The House That Jack Built and it keeps the same quick pace rhythm.

    I love the movement of text. The stories beautiful flow and Lopez gorgeous illustrations make this a wonderful read aloud. Lopez is not afraid of color and knows how to use it. The illustrations pop off the pages. Vamos and Lopez come together to create a wonderful story that screams "read me aloud and share me with others" There's a recipe for rice pudding in the back and a glossary of Spanish terms.

      Kutztown Fall Book Review - November 10, 2011
    The story is read a lot like Henny Penny. It tell show a Campesina (farm maiden) makes Arroz Con Leche (rice pudding). The story builds and the first time the phrase is use the English words are used, the rest of the time that phrase is said it's in Spanish. This is a great story to teach Spanish vocabulary. There is a glossary in the back of the book and also the recipie for the rice pudding is included in the back of the book.
      Language Arts - March 1, 2013
    "This is the cow/ that made the fresh milk/ while teaching the cabra/ that churned the crema/ to make the mantequilla/ that went into the cazuela that the farm maiden stirred." The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred is an enchanting bilingual story that follows the tradition of the classic nursery rhyme, The House That Jack Built. This cumulative tale begins when the farm maiden commences cooking by stirring a pot. Everyone helps through different tasks, such as going to the market, plucking limes off the tree, and planting the rice. Excitement leads to celebration, the characters sing and dance, and the arroz con leche is almost ruined. All is well when the cabra, vaca, pato, burro, gallina, campesina, and farm maiden stir the cazuela one more time. This irresistible book contains exuberant illustrations, delightful prose, and a short glossary of Spanish terms.