Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The First Tortilla: A Bilingual Story” as Want to Read:
The First Tortilla: A Bilingual Story
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The First Tortilla: A Bilingual Story

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  78 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
A small Mexican village is near starvation. There is no rain, and the bean and squash plants are dying. Jade, a young village girl, is told by a blue hummingbird to take a gift to the Mountain Spirit. Then it will send the needed rain. Burning lava threatens her, but Jade reaches the top of the volcano.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by University of New Mexico Press
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The First Tortilla, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The First Tortilla

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Tayelyn Calori
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading this book. It gave an insight into what Mexican culture is really like. I loved how a child was the main character and how she was able to become a town hero just by creating a tortilla.
Aylin Mendoza
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: class-books
It's an adorable story and it's a great way of getting exposed to different cultures.
Jose Cuevas
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A heart-warming myth of how humans and nature can mutually benefit one another, through the form of a spirit.
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I love how the author incorporated some Spanish words into the book as well. It had great illustrations and was able to relate my beliefs and values throughout the story.
Vamos a Leer
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This story, with stunning illustrations and an endearing female protagonist, depicts the harvest season amongst a small, Aztec tribe. Readers will revel in the old legend, while learning of the need to respect nature and its resources. Best suited for ages 9-13, Anaya’s work tells the fictional tale of how a young girl’s courage saves her village from a terrible drought, and introduces corn to the peoples of Mesoamerica. Ultimately, the discovery of corn also leads to the creation of “the first ...more
Oct 13, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2008
Okay, so I am deeply committed to Anaya's magnum opus, Bless Me, Ultima, and am even teaching it to my classes of ninth grade students here on the US-Mexico border. Anaya is an original, insightful, lyrical, masterful writer. I picked up The First Tortilla because I was drawn to its illustrations and because I thought it might prove an interesting discussion piece in my classroom as my students delve into Ultima.

Tortilla is about a young Mexican girl who pleases the amorphous "Mountain God" and
Jim Sibigtroth
Apr 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-aloud-1st
This is a bilingual story where English and Spanish are placed adjacent to each other. It also contains a glossary where several Spanish words are explained. This is useful when beginning readers are learning about the parts of a book. The story shows how corn can be ground into flour with a stone matate. It shows corn kernels in yellow, blue, white, and red so I bring some ears of real Indian corn to show the students that wild corn isn't just yellow like they are used to. The young girl in the ...more
Juanita Serna
Oct 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is a great book for a a read aloud. The first tortilla is about a young girl who has to go up a mountain to talk to the Mountain Spirit and ask for rain. Her small Mexican village is near starvation and without the rain, they will all have to move. After many obstacles she reaches the top of the volcanoes and gifts the Mountain Spirit a gift. The Mountain Spirit leads the way to a cave where corn is grown. She takes some corn back with her and plants it. She then grinds the rest, mixes ...more
Traci Bold
May 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
'THE FIRST TORTILLA' is a bilingual story which I really enjoyed reading and learning some of the Spanish words.

This is the story of a brave girl who wants to save her village and goes to visit the Mountain Spirit to give it thanks and offer a gift so her village shall get rain. The Mountain Spirit is pleased with her so he gives her a wonderful gift in return.

#mustread book

Written by Rudolfo Anaya, illustrated by Amy Córdova and translated by Enrique R. Lamadrid.

Published by University of New
Cassandra Neal
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is the story of Jade who travels to the top of a volcano to present corn kernals to the Mountain spirit who is angry at the lack of honor given to him by the people of the village. Jade is instructed by a hummingbird to present this gift to end the drought that the Mountain spirit has plagued her village with. When the rain returns and the corn blooms, Jade uses the crop mixed with water to create the first tortilla. This book closely mirrors books such as The Legend of The Bluebonnet ...more
Jessica Valdez
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was great! I definitely believe that it can be used for students from the lowest grades to the highest. The vocabulary was simple and refined, but the concept behind the story is what is so versatile. With the older grades we can utilize this book when teaching about cultivation. When using it for the lower grades, we can teach about family and perseverance. This was an all around good book and was a great read.
Sheila Rocha
Jun 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Lovely and magical! An Anaya addition to a children's library. He reclaims an ancient story and vivifies the imagery of indigenous Mexico through word and the rich layers of color and form by artist/illustrator Amy Cordova. Cordova manifests the visual elements of the story through the eyes of a child.
Barbara Lovejoy
Apr 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
What a DELIGHTFUL book! I had read 2 or 3 times the book Bless Me, Ultima--in English and Spanish--written for adults by this author and had so thoroughly enjoyed it that I looked forward to reading this book written for children. I bought this book to put in our Esperanza school library with money donated by one of our founding Esperanza board members.
Oct 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: culture, heorines
I read this book to my first grade class for a folktales thematic unit and I absolutely loved it and so did the kids. I pulled in a multi-cultural aspect since most of my students are hispanic and I love the fact that it has a heroine in it. Great book about family and culture.
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bilingual
This was great. This book is equally full of Spanish and English, translated well and has nice pictures. I'm not sure that this story is true folklore or not, but it certainly can be entertaining. Too long for a read aloud or bed time. imo.
Jasper Davis
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
I thought this book was good because the picture's are awesome.
Aug 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Fun to read the spanish trying to understand the story.
Nov 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved the picture`s. But it was`nt my type.
Wanda Soto
Sep 27, 2013 marked it as to-read
This book its so interesting for my little sister (:
Jul 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Lots of writing. Great images. Good story for 4/5+

Particularly those with more Spanish instruction. The language is challenging and compelling
Espen Lyshek
Nov 13, 2012 rated it liked it
great pics for a great story a girl goes to a mounten to stop a drout.
Amanda Vigil
rated it it was amazing
Dec 19, 2017
rated it really liked it
Oct 02, 2012
rated it liked it
Feb 12, 2017
Amanda Posa
rated it really liked it
Aug 30, 2017
rated it liked it
Jun 30, 2010
rated it it was ok
Nov 13, 2012
Maurynne  Maxwell
rated it really liked it
Feb 27, 2010
rated it really liked it
Aug 11, 2012
rated it liked it
Nov 27, 2012
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Rudolfo Anaya lives and breathes the landscape of the Southwest. It is a powerful force, full of magic and myth, integral to his writings. Anaya, however, is a native Hispanic fascinated by cultural crossings unique to the Southwest, a combination of oldSpain and New Spain, of Mexico with Mesoamerica and the anglicizing forces of the twentieth century. Rudolfo Anaya is widely acclaimed as the foun ...more
More about Rudolfo Anaya...