Don’t Say A Word, Mama / No digas nada, mamá

By: Joe Hayes
Illustrator: Esau Andrade Valencia
Can a pair of sisters be too generous with each other? Only if their mother doesn’t say a word.


Teacher's guide

Can a pair of sisters be too generous with each other? Only if their mother doesn't say a word.

Author Joe Hayes and artist Esau Andrade team up to deliver a knockout picture book about siblings. Two sisters secretly try to outdo each other with generosity. Each new gift from one sister to the other—a secret to everybody but their mother—will have readers crying out, "Don't say a word, Mama!" Until, of course, she does.

¿Pueden un par de hermanas ser demasiado generosas entre ellas?

El autor Joe Hayes y el artista Esau Andrade se unen para entregar un libro ilustrado sobre hermanos. Dos hermanas intentan superarse en secreto con generosidad. Cada nuevo regalo de una hermana a otra—un secreto para todos menos para su madre: los lectores gritarán: "¡No digas una palabra, mamá!" Hasta que, por supuesto, ella lo hace.

Watch Joe Hayes tell Don't Say A Word, Mama in this free, online video, part of the Joe Hayes Storytelling Collection.

Awards and Accomodations

Tejas Star Reading List Selection, 2014-15
Kirkus Best Children's Books 2013
2014 Honor Book, Patterson Prize for Books for Young People

7 reviews for Don’t Say A Word, Mama / No digas nada, mamá

  1. Kirkus Reviews
    A sweet family tale that never turns saccharine…Esau Andrade Valencia contributes highly saturated paintings that combine a folk aesthetic with magical realism…This book overflows with affection—and you can never have too much of that.

  2. The New York Times
    Hayes balances humor with sentiment, and abundance with a concern for privation in a way that imbues the notion of harvest with a sense of real value…Perfect for readers of either language, or for language learners. —Sarah Harrison Smith

  3. Shelf Awareness
    A funny, affectionate tale of two sisters who let their mother in on their secret gift-giving missio … This bilingual tale of sisterly generosity by master storyteller Joe Hayes (Ghost Fever) brims with humor and love, while Esau Andrade Valencia’s Mexican folk art matches the siblings’ affection and playfulness … Author and artist celebrate family and abundance in a story that will be a favorite read-aloud at harvest time or anytime. —Jennifer M. Brown

  4. Book Dragon
    [Valencia’s] brush presents tomatoes so tantalizing, corn so sweet, and chiles so peppery, as to make the taste buds salivate from memories of a perfect Sinaloan posole! Join Hayes and Valencia for this delicious fare that’s both nourishing for the grumbling belly … and the hungry soul.

  5. School Library Journal
    Children will enjoy the back and forth and will laugh at Mamá’s predicament … Culturally relevant in its depiction of Latina characters, the book makes an excellent read-aloud to a broad audience. Hayes’s many fans will enjoy this story as will those looking for tales about families and goodwill among siblings. —Maricela Leon-Barrera

  6. Midwest Book Review
    A lushly illuminated bilingual original tale with a precious moral for all times, the value of sisters sharing of carefully harvested garden bounty and love … a beautiful tale of sharing plenty that is exactly what the notion of thanksgiving is about.

  7. Edible Baja Arizona
    Visual beauty, humor, storyline, and a moral come together in this excellent book for kids. —Molly Kincaid

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