Pancho's Pinata

Pancho's Pinata

by Timothy Rhodes, Stefan Czernecki

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This somewhat forced picture book about the world's first pinata was inspired by a Diego Rivera mural. Years ago, at Christmastime in the village of San Miguel, young Pancho had rescued a talking falling star lodged atop the cactus in the town square. This deed has brought Pancho happiness for many years and one Christmas he decides to share his joy--and some gifts--with the town's children. Thus, the pinata, a decorated clay pot filled with toys and sweets, was born. The staid quality of Czernecki and Rhodes's ( The Sleeping Bread ) lengthy text gives the plot an improbable rather than a wondrous or magical tone. The anthropomorphic star mars the authentic flavor of a few of Czernecki's full-bodied gouache paintings. His folk-tooled borders--and palette of warm browns, pale pinks and rich reds--call to mind Mexican pottery designs. (Cactuses, hot chilis and bright panchos add yet more spice.) Young readers may be interested in the genesis of the popular object, but as a piece of folklore, this story falls flat. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
Deftly applying fancy to facts, this lively fable is a heartwarming explanation of Mexican Christmas customs. Stylized folk art sparkles on every page providing further details of the village of San Miguel, its inhabitants and traditions such as the posada, or Christmas Eve procession. As Pancho grows from boy to grandfather, he learns to listen and to give back to others the gifts bestowed upon him.
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
A young boy plays the angel in the traditional Mexican Christmas processional. He sings so sweetly that a star comes down from the sky to listen, but is trapped on the spines of a cactus. Pancho frees the star, and is showered with good luck in exchange. As an old man, he shares this good fortune by creating the first pinata to shower the village children with gifts. The illustrations are partly based upon a mural by Mexican artist Diego Rivera, and use the bright colors and designs characteristic of traditional Mexican art. 1994 (original.
Leone McDermott
What a perfect treat for a child a pinata is--it's gaudy, full of sweets, and smashable. This warm, fanciful tale tells how the first pinata came to be invented in the village of San Miguel. One Christmas Eve, a star flies down to listen to the village merriment, only to get stuck on a giant cactus. No one notices the star's predicament, except for little Pancho. He frees the star and is rewarded with a sprinkling of golden stardust. Years later, when he is an old man, he decides to share the feeling of being showered with wonderful gifts. With paper and paint, he turns an old clay pot into a star, fills it with toys and candy, and hangs it in the village square to the delight of the children. The simple, charming text is illustrated with pictures in the style of traditional Mexican folk art. The flattened perspective, deep colors, and bright borders give the illustrations a naive warmth. Although the Christmas setting makes this a holiday book, the story is appealing enough to be of interest any time of the year.

Product Details

Hyperion Books for Children
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
8.35(w) x 10.81(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

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