Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred


Book Jacket

When a farm girl starts cooking, all the animals what to help.  The cow contributes milk, the hen offers eggs, and even the duck makes a special trip to the market.  While the pot is bubbling merrily on the stove, everyone dances and sings--but who is watching the cazuela?

This spicy tribute to the classic nursery rhyme "The House That Jack Built" is a bilingual celebration of community and food.


This is a great introduction to Mexican culture.  The bright colors make the pictures burst off the page.  The joy of dancing and singing makes me want to join in.  But mostly, this is a vocabulary book.  That sounds dull.  But I promise this is the most innovative way to teach another language that I've ever seen!

Each step of the process of making dinner is presented first in English.  "This is the pot that the farm maiden stirred."  On the next page, the second step is presented in English, followed by the first step again, this time in Spanish.  "This is the butter that went into the cazuela that the farm maiden stirred."

I admit, I had to flip back a page several times to remind myself what the Spanish words meant.  But by the end of the repititious song, I had mastered several new Spanish terms!  All while enjoying a sing-songy text and a funny story.  Pretty genius if you ask me.

Four out of five patos.

Release Date:  February 2011
Reading Level: Grade PreK+
Where In Dunlap Public Library's Collection: MONARCH


  1. Your review made me smile. I'm including a link of a very short video created for the ALA's YouTube channel, showing the reaction of Rafael López, illustrator of "The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred" upon winning a 2012 Pura Belpré Honor. I hope you enjoy it.
    All best,
    Samantha Vamos

    1. His reaction is adorable! I wish I could draw my emotions so evocatively.

      Congratulations on writing such a creative, wonderful book, Samantha! You're very talented!

  2. This book sounds awesome! Really, really want to get it for my little Lincster. Thanks for the tip! And... SO COOL that the author commented on your post!!!!