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Grandpa's Magic Tortilla

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

Author: Demetria Martinez, Rosalee Montoya-Read

Original Language: Bilingual: Spanish-English

Translator: Rosalee Montoya-Read

Illustrator: Lisa May Casaus

Genre: Magic Realism

Descriptors: family; farming; magic; tortillas

Age: 5-10 years old

Programming Ideas: Grandpa's Magic Tortilla Recipe


Grandpa’s Magic Tortilla by Demetria Martinez and Rosalee Montoya-Read is a picture book that celebrates family and creativity. Grandpa Luis is a pro at making the tastiest homemade tortillas in all of Chimayo, New Mexico. However, distracted by his grandchildren, Luis burns a tortilla by leaving it on the stove too long. Grandma Elvira saves the tortilla for later because she secretly likes them toasty and crunchy. Their grandson Benny looks at the tortilla and is convinced the burnt spot looks like a bear. But his brother Daniel is convinced he sees a dolphin. As the children examine the tortilla, they realize that the burnt spot is morphing into different animals right before their eyes! The neighborhood children gather to see the magic tortilla—but can grandpa’s delicious tortilla survive dozens of little hands and little mouths?  Martinez and Monyota-Read’s story includes beautiful water-color illustrations with a warm palette to represent the Southwest. The language is both in English and Spanish, but can certainly be a little wordy. Younger children might require a proficient reader to relay this story to them. Grandpa’s Tortilla allows children from around the world to see into a small farming town in New Mexico.

More About This Book

Reviewed: print book by University of New Mexico Press (2010). ISBN 9780826348623. 30 p.

Reviewed by: Raquel Martinez 

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