Better Move Your Feet-a: Senorita Gordita by Helen Ketteman
ARANA WIGGLED HER LEGS AS SHE SET THE GORDITA ON A PAPER TOWEL TO DRAIN.
"YOU'RE ONE TASTY-LOOKING GORDITA. I'M IN FOR A TREAT."
"OH, NO, ARANA! I'M ONE FAST GORDITA! YOU CAN'T CATCH ME!" AND WITH A FLIP AND A SKIP AND A ZIP-ZOOM-ZIP, THE GORDITA RACED OUT THE DOOR.
"SENORITA GORDITA! COME BACK!" CALLED ARANA, CHASING AFTER HER.
If that "can't catch me" sounds familiar, you're right. Helen Ketteman, that master of the fairy tale parody, has a tasty treat of a runaway edible set in the American Southwest. Senorita Gordita is meant to be done up with a piquant filling of refried beans and salsa, but this gordita is a saucy and spicy senorita who isn't ready to be anybody's dinner.
So off goes that tubby tortilla, Senorita Gordita, across the desert sands. Unfortunately, she's still warm and delicioso, and along the way she heats up the tastebuds of Lagarto the Lizard and Crotolo the Rattlesnake.
"S-S-SAY, YOU S-S-SMELL S-S-SCRUMPTIOUS!" SAYS CROTOLO, SLITHERING AFTER HER.
"BUENOS DIAS, CROTOLO, BUT NO THANKS! I AIRSTREAMED ARANA AND GASSED PAST LAGARTO. SO KEEP YOUR FANGS TO YOURSELF."
Senorita Gordita keeps running, and soon she finds herself far ahead of her pursuers, who now include Javelina the Pig, Escorpion the Scorpion, and Senor Coyote, all chasing hungrily after her and raising a cloud of dust.
And then she comes to a tall saguaro cactus, the home of Buho the Owl, who invites Gordita to hop up high on the cactus with her, where she'll be safe.
"I HUNT AND EAT AT NIGHT. AS YOU CAN SEE, IT'S DAYTIME," BUHO SAYS REASSURINGLY.
Only Senorita Gordita is going to bite at that sly proposition, but everyone else will guess instantly who is going to be the one doing the biting, in Helen Ketteman's fractured tale based on the gingerbread man motif, Senorita Gordita (Albert Whitman, 2012). With comic characters and bright desert hues, Will Terry's illustrations make good use of exaggerated perspective, and kids will quickly fall into Ketteman's catchy refrain as Gordita outruns the would-be desert animal diners until she meets up with a character who is both hungry and sly as a fox. Appended is a glossary of Spanish names and words for the reader, and a recipe for gorditos for the hungry.
For more of Ketteman's tasty spoofs, try her The Three Little Gators and Bubba, The Cowboy Prince.