The Piñata That the Farm Maiden Hung

Samantha R. Vamos, illus. by Sebastià Serra. Charlesbridge, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58089-796-9
Like Vamos’s The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred, this companion borrows the cumulative style and cadence of “The House That Jack Built” to introduce a Mexican tradition and Spanish vocabulary. Readers are swept into the anticipatory fervor as humans and animals eagerly pitch in to make a piñata. The latter have the most amusing roles: a goose contentedly mixes flour and water to make a paste, which holds together paper that is feverishly shredded by a cat perched on a rooftop and then bound by rope that a sheep placidly braids. The plot’s accelerating momentum comes to a jarring halt when the characters nap before the piñata is decorated and filled, but the pace picks up again when they awaken to finish the job. The lilting narrative and vivid, mixed-media art by Serra (Inky’s Great Escape) together facilitate the translation as words introduced in English appear in Spanish on the following page, with buoyant, folksy pictures providing the context. The energetic verse and whimsical art create an entertaining offering and show a loving celebration. Ages 4–8. (Jan.) Correction: A previous version of this review conflated the farm maiden with another character.
Reviewed on: 11/12/2018
Release date: 01/08/2019
Genre: Children's
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