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The Colorful World of Latino Folktales

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The Day it Snowed Tortillas

Hayes, Joe.  2003.  The day it snowed tortillas.  El Paso: Cinco Puntos Press.

Summary:  This story is about a woman who was married to a poor woodcutter who could not read or write.  He found bags of gold, went to school, and the wife made him think it snowed tortillas in order to fool some robbers.
Type:  Realistic - because this story could have happened 
Characters:  The main characters are a man and a woman.  These characters are very flat and one-dimensional.  The woman is clever and witty, while the man is very dense, but hard-working.
Setting:  The author never reveals when and where this story takes place.  Because it is a "realistic" story, it could happen anywhere and in any time period.  The illustrations show mountains in the background and their house made out of adobe. 
Plot:  This story has a very simple plot about a man who tells everyone everything, whether he should or shouldn't, and a woman who is very clever and thinks of everything.  After he finds 3 bags of gold, she thinks quickly about how to make him look crazy to the robbers.  In the end, the robbers are convinced he is crazy and the man and woman get to keep the gold.  Even though the story is silly and unbelievable that a man could be that dense and the robbers to leave believing that he is crazy, it is still considered "realistic" because there are no fairy god-mothers or magic or beasts.
Theme: Evil does not pay off and hardworking individuals deserve the reward.

Rating: 3 out of 5
This story is short and simple and would probably be well liked by younger audiences.  It is not really believable, but the spirit of goodness is there. 

Additional Feature:

Here are some quotes from my students:
"The pictures were cool of the tortillas flying on the ground, but I didn't think it had anything exciting."
"I didn't think it was good because it was boring."
"It was not interesting at all."
"I liked it because it was funny."
"I liked how she tricked her husband."
"It was boring and the old man was dumb."

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