Carlos and the Squash Plant/Carlos y la planta
Carlos and the Squash Plant is the story of a young Hispanic
boy named Carlos, and the struggle he was having with taking a bath.
After working in the rich soil in the squash fields in New Mexico, Carlos
never wanted to take a bath, no matter how dirty he was! His mama kept
warning him that if he didn't wash his ears, a squash plant was going
to grow out of them. One day Carlos saw the beginning of a stem with
leaves growing out of his ear, but he still refused to take a bath or
wash his ears! The plant got bigger and longer, and even began to bloom
with yellow blossoms! Carlos began hiding the squash plant from his
mother underneath bigger and bigger hats as the plant kept growing.
One day, Carlos's hat blew off in the fields and Carlos ran into the
house to jump into the bath before his mother saw him. As he scrubbed
his ear, the squash plant disappeared. Carlos finished his bath just
in time for dinner...where his mother served him calabacitas,
his favorite dish made with squash!
I love this story because I can remember being in elementary school
and my mother having to force me to take a bath! Every night it was
a struggle, just like it was for Carlos in this story. A good lesson
can be learned from this story as well... lying only gets you into more
trouble because lies just grow until they are so big they are impossible
to hide any longer. Elementary students from every race, gender, or
ethnicity will be able to relate to this silly story of what happens
when you refuse to wash your ears! Written in English and Spanish, it
is a valuable tool to use in classrooms where students speak or are
learning one or both languages. The illustrations are vivid and colorful
and are a true depiction of the Southwestern landscape found in New
Mexico. Included in the back of the book is a recipe for calabacitas,
a traditional Mexican dish made from corn, yellow or zucchini squash,
cheese, onions, and green chiles.