The Rowdy, Rowdy Ranch / Alla En El Rancho Grande
Publication Date: May 2004
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On El Rancho Grande, the grandchildren are not so interested in how Grandpa bought the ranch, but in what can be done on the ranch. The children play hide and seek in cornfields, under "the canopy of green leaves, golden threads and giant ears of corn." They feed the family horses, ride the rambunctious pigs, and take frolicking dips in the duck pond. But through all of the outdoor escapades, their family stories are circling in the air, like the "sunflower wind" blooming around them. While drinking ice-cold lemonade in the sunshine, they hear about how Grandpa's song of sorrow won him El Rancho. They hear about chickens that have abandoned their coops to live in Abuela's chicken tree, and they even discover a story about a boy who cried chocolate tears. In those days of running and jumping, the narrator, Tito, did not realize that he was hearing the stories that would wrap him up "like an enchanted sarape to keep [him] warm for the rest of [his] life." In this lively bilingual picture book, readers aged 3 to 7 can experience the wonder of a bright summer day and learn that family stories can be as magical as a "blanket of stars." From Ethriam Cash Brammer, the author of My Tata's Guitar / La guitarra de mi tata (Pinata Books, 2003), comes a beautiful story about the value of family stories.