Samantha R. Vamos, author
Samantha R. Vamos is the author of The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred, a Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book; Alphabet Boats; Alphabet Trains; and Alphabet Trucks. Samantha lives in northern California.
Sebastià Serra, illustrator
Sebastià Serra has illustrated more than seventy children's books in many countries, including Inky's Great Escape: The Incredible (and Mostly True) Story of an Octopus Escape; A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas; and A Pirate's Night Before Christmas (Sterling). He lives in Barcelona, Spain.
- Coming soon!
School Library Journal, starred review
It takes the hard work and the imagination of many to throw a perfect surprise party. The farm maiden (campesina), a young boy, a farmer, and their group of animal friends prepare for a birthday celebration by gathering all the supplies to make a piñata for their special guest. Each character helps in its creation: The horse (caballo) hauls the water, the goose (ganso) mixes the paste, and the cat (gato) tears the paper that will become the colorful party centerpiece. The boy (niño) hangs the paper flags, while the farmer (campesino) carves traditional Mexican folk-art sculptures (alebrijes). After a long day of decorating the plaza, everyone falls asleep, forgetting to stuff the piñata with treats. But they awaken to fill it just in time as the birthday girl comes home to be surprised by all of her friends. This bilingual book written in cumulative verse poetry introduces new characters as the story unfolds, and the Spanish word for each animal replaces the English word from the previous page. The result is a colorful, festive surprise (sorpresa). Readers will enjoy singing "The Piñata Song" and will be inspired to make their own piñatas using the included recipe and instructions. A glossary of Spanish words and cultural terminology is also included. Reminiscent of a traditional folk rhyme, this book accompanies The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred, also by Lopez. VERDICT An essential addition to any picture book collection.
Foreword Magazine, starred review
Follow along as the whole farm pitches in to create a piñata in time for the party in this delightful and engaging cumulative tale celebrating the spirit of Mexican folk art and traditions. Sing along in English or learn new Spanish words and phrases; the narrative is rhythmic, accompanied by festive illustrations featuring bright cascarones, handcarved alebrijes, papel picado fluttering in the breeze—and piñatas, of course, with detailed directions included to help make one at home.
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Page count: 32