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Grandma Lale's Magical Adobe Oven 

Region: North America, U.S., New Mexico

Author: Nasario Garcia

Original Language: Bilingual: Spanish-English 

Translator: Nasario Garcia

Illustrator: Dolores Aragón

Genre: Contemporary fiction

Descriptors: adobe; family; horno; mud oven; traditions  

Age: 6-10 years old


Grandma Lale’s Magical Adobe Oven by Nasario Garcia is the third book in a series that follows the life of now nine-year-old Junie Lopez. Junie has moved away from the Rio Puerco Valley, where the first two books took place, and now lives in the city of Albuquerque. He struggles to relate to the city kids as he’s lived a ranchero life for so long. However, during a class speech he talks about his grandmother’s magical horno, or adobe oven. He explains to the class that adobes come from dirt, wheat straw, and water mixed together. They are shaped into squares using an adobera and sundried. Later they are cut and shaped into a dome with a hole at the opening and at the top for smoke to escape. During this time, those who made adobe ovens were called adoberos. Junie talks about all of the delicious foods his grandmother prepares in her oven like tamales, bizcochitos, and sopa. The children are entranced with his story and approach his with many questions. Junie finds pride in where he is from and in his family for teaching him about these incredible traditions. The story is written in English and Spanish and accompanied with many beautiful illustrations. Young children will enjoy this story read aloud to them or for an independent read as the words on each page are very short. Finally, it is important to note that the book can only be found in print.

More About This Book

Reviewed: print book by Rio Grande Books (2019). ISBN 9781943681846. 61 p. 

Reviewed by: Raquel Martinez 

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