Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred

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 matequilla; 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. (Picture book. 4-7)

Kirkus Reviews

I'm excited to report the release of The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred written by the inspiring Samantha Vamos. It's a great feeling to see our book hit the shelves as the process of bringing a book to print is a long journey. I wanted to share some of the sketches for this lively and colorful tale as everything starts with pencil on paper.

Click here to read more about the birth of The Cazuela.
Thanks to amazing author Samantha Vamos for putting together the short video to celebrate our new book.


sam said...

Dear Rafael - How exciting to find this post on my book launch party day! In terms of chronology, I explained to guests that I wrote the story in 2002. Charlesbridge acquired the manuscript in 2007 and from there, it was four more years before publication so a total of nine years. I would love to know how long it took you to illustrate/create the paintings for our book. They are absolutely magical. The kids loved the coloring sheets. They were a huge hit. Thank you so much, Rafael. People raved about your work. I'm just thrilled. It's really lovely to have this opportunity to share our book with people. All best, Samantha

Laurina said...

I'm getting ready to write a review of The Cazuela ... and enjoyed reading about some background on your blog. I love your illustrations, the COLOR! A remarkable collaboration.