Review of What Can You Do with a Palenta? by Carmen Tafolla. Illustrated by Magaly Morales
2010 Charlotte Zolotow award winner
The stories in some books seem to come out of nowhere. Sure, probably most of us grew up with some kind of ice cream wagon visiting our street.It was a big treat then, and maybe that's why even if you've never heard of a palenta, you'll get this story. A palenta is a icy fruit treat on a stick that is popular in Latino neighborhoods (and any place you can get them.) We know that when you get a palenta you should lick it and slurp it and eat it, but what else can you do with it? That's where the magic of the story comes alive. As it turns out, you can do lot's of creative things with a palenta. Paint with it, cool off, or make people happy. Once you get the question, you can come up with your own ways of doing creative things with a palenta. The story takes the reader on a magical and creative ride through a Latino neighborhood, meeting people, having fun, and all the time enjoying a gooey, cold, and flavorful treat.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: In 2012, author Carmen Tafolla was named the first Poet Laureate of San Antonio. Besides being a children's book author, she is a well known and published poet. In addition to the Zolotow award, she has also been recognized with the Art of Peace Award, recognition by the National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies for giving “voice to the peoples and cultures of this land,” and by the Library of Congress (in 2010) with the Americas award.
For more about Alan Elliott visit www.alanelliott.com.