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The Day It Snowed Tortillas

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

Author: Joe Hayes

Original Language: Bilingual: Spanish-English

Translators: Joe Hayes

Illustrator: Antonio Castro Jr.

Genre: Folktales

Descriptors: gold; humor; spouses; tortillas; wit  

Age: 9-12 years old

Programming Ideas: Storytelling with Joe Hayes


The Day it Snowed Tortillas by Joe Hayes is a humorous story about a slow-witted man and his very clever wife. The woodcutter began and ended his day like any other, except on this day he stumbled across three bags of gold. He brought them home and showed his wife the spoils of his day. His wife told her husband not to tell a soul about the gold because surely there were bandits looking for it by now. However, she knew that her slow-witted husband could not keep a secret, so when he fell asleep that night she stayed up and cooked hundreds of tortillas! She tossed them outside and, in the morning, when her husband woke, she told him it must have snowed tortillas. When he didn’t believe her, she sent him to school so that he could learn more about the world. As time passed, the robbers who had taken the gold in the first placed showed up at the couple’s door demanding their gold back. The husband confesses to taking the gold, and remembers it perfectly because it was the same day it snowed tortillas. What are the bandits to think of this man who thinks it snows tortillas? Hayes’s story is one of ten stories featured in an anthology called The Day It Snowed Tortillas. There are a few pictures in this book, but mostly the words are arranged in paragraph form. One side of the page has the English translation and the other page has the Spanish translation. Children of all ages will enjoy this book and maybe even let out a cackle or two.

More About This Book

Reviewed: print book by Cinco Puntos Press (2003). ISBN 1417624094. 133 p. 

Reviewed by: Raquel Martinez 

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