Pedro: The Angel of Olvera Street

Pedro: The Angel of Olvera Street

by Leo Politi
     
 

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This Caldecott Honor book from beloved children's book author Leo Politi, originally published in 1946, is set on Olvera Street, the site of Los Angeles' original Latino settlement, which is still preserved very much as it once was—a busy and colorful me'lange of small artisan shops, restaurants, and strolling musicians.

Pedro tells of the community's

Overview

This Caldecott Honor book from beloved children's book author Leo Politi, originally published in 1946, is set on Olvera Street, the site of Los Angeles' original Latino settlement, which is still preserved very much as it once was—a busy and colorful me'lange of small artisan shops, restaurants, and strolling musicians.

Pedro tells of the community's Christmas tradition of the "posada," a procession that reenacts Mary and Joseph's pilgrimage to Bethlehem, and of the "piñata," a papier-mâché vessel filled with toys that children break open at the Posada's end. Pedro hopes to find a music box among the toys that will spill out of the piñata. But first, he is asked to don the red wings of an angel and lead the procession. Because he not only is costumed like an angel but also sings like one, he is asked to lead the chorus in the traditional Posada song. Music and lyrics for the song are included, and with them children may create their own Posada pageant.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Elizabeth Young
This re-issue of a 1946 Caldecott Honor Book is a delight for the soul and the eyes. Keeping with the charm and simple elegance of the original work, we are introduced to Pedro, who sings Mexican songs like an angel to accompany his grandfather's violin on Olvera Street, in the heart of Los Angeles. So much has changed, during grandfather's lifetime, but Olvera Street is still a beautiful oasis in the bog city. Even in the midst of the hustle and bustle, Olvera Street was still home to the many artisans working at their crafts of making sandals, candles, glass and even a blacksmith, among others. Pedro also had many friends on that simple street. The best time to be on Olvera Street is Christmas time. The street is decorated and this year Pedro was to lead the parade, known as "La Posada," even being given red wings for the part of an angel. Come learn the tradition of La Posada amid the gentleness of this story. Sing the humble songs included in the book to feel part of the procession. The colorful, simple decorations add to the character of this story that will be welcomed in any library, and included in cultural studies at grade school levels. It is a lovely work just for pleasure reading, but will also enhance a classroom unit of culture and holiday customs. Hurrah for the J. Paul Getty Museum for having the vision to re-issue this work. Reviewer: Elizabeth Young

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892369904
Publisher:
Getty Publications
Publication date:
09/01/2009
Edition description:
1
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
1,203,922
Product dimensions:
6.80(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Leo Politi wrote and illustrated dozens of children's books, many of which are set in the Latino communities of Southern California. He won the Caldecott Medal for his book Song of the Swallows, first published in 1948.

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