What Can You Do With a Paleta? / ¿Qué puedes hacer con una paleta? (English and Spanish Edition)

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–A paleta is a traditional Mexican frozen treat on a stick sold by busy, wagon-pushing vendors. Children can paint their tongues purple and green with one, give themselves big, blue mustaches, cool off on a hot day, and more. The story takes readers on a tour of a vibrant Latino neighborhood where sweet accordion music plays, velvet roses bloom, delicious smells of buttery tortillas and juicy fruit float from windows, and children gather to buy paletas on a hot day. The lyrical prose is equally beautiful in both languages. Morales uses broad, curvy brushstrokes of contrasting bright and fruity colors to capture the look of Mexican folk art. The characters’ faces are round with slightly slanted eyes and rendered in golden shades of burnt sienna. Along with the author’s What Can You Do with a Rebozo? (Tricycle, 2007), this joyful celebration of barrio life is a must-have for children’s collections.–Rebecca Hickman, Sherman Library at NSU, Fort Lauderdale, FL
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“In any Latino barrio, the highlight of a summer afternoon filled with the sweet and savory smells of flowers and crispy tacos is the arrival of the paleta vendor with his deliciously cool fruit popsicles. Made in a variety of flavors and colors, the paleta can be the inspiration for fun and creativity with old and new friends. Purple tongues, blue mustaches, a palette of swirly, drippy art–all are second to the real enjoyment of a paleta: “to…/ lick it and slurp it / and sip it and munch it / and gobble it all down.” Tafolla’s English text sprinkles easily recognizable Spanish words throughout, creating a parallel to the Anglo neighborhood ice-cream truck in a very Latin setting. Morales’s ethnically detailed acrylic paintings in earthen tones against primary colors help to identify the key Spanish words and augment the circular story pattern, in which the introductory verses repeat in the final pages. A simultaneous dual-language edition presents a parallel Spanish translation that accompanies the English text.” –Kirkus Reviews, March 15, 2009

From the Publisher

* Second book in series that introduces children to Mexican-American culture.
* Great addition to El día de los niños/El día de los libros collections.
* English-Spanish bilingual hardcover edition also available.

About the Author

MAGALY MORALES is known for the bright colors and infectious sense of play in her illustrations. She was born in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.

CARMEN TAFOLLA is a poet whose stories for children and adults have appeared in more than two hundred poetry anthologies. She lives in a hundred-year-old house in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, children, mother, and many pets.

Specification: What Can You Do With a Paleta? / ¿Qué puedes hacer con una paleta? (English and Spanish Edition)


Tricycle Press; Bilingual edition March 3 2009


English Spanish


32 pages





Reading age

3 – 7 years

Lexile measure


Grade level

Preschool – 2

Item Weight

15.8 ounces


9.25 x 0.39 x 10.88 inches

Weight 15.8 lbs

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