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Papa's Pastries Hardcover – August 29, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

K-Gr 2–On a cold morning, Miguel wakes up to the sound of raindrops dripping from the hole in the roof of his house. Outside, he overhears his father's worried prayer in which he asks God for a new roof, firewood he needs for his pastry business, and clothes for his family. Without these things, they will not survive. Together, Miguel and his father fill a large sack with already made pastries, and they journey to three nearby villages where they hope to sell them. When they enter each village, Papa sings and the villagers sing, dance, and clap along with him, for he is well known for his beautiful voice. But times are hard, and no one has money for his wares. When he notices villagers who need help, he ends up giving all his pastries away. When he returns home, Mama is clearly exasperated. The next morning brings a heartwarming solution to the family's woes as neighbors from the three villages come to visit and use their various talents to repay Papa's kindness. That night, Miguel prays, “Thank you for your loving kindness. And thank you, Lord, for my Papa. Amen.” Soft, sweet illustrations accompany this gentle story. The use of Spanish words and the pictures of the people, landscape, village scenes, and clothing suggest that the setting is Mexico or perhaps, a South American country.–Mary N. Oluonye, Shaker Heights Public Library, OHα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Good deeds and faith play a major role in this parable about trusting in providence. Young Miguel and his family live in a small house with a leaky roof. Winter is coming, firewood is scarce, and the children’s clothes are worn thin. Papa is sure, though, that when he brings his last batch of pastries to market, the money he makes will be more than sufficient. Alas, Miguel, accompanying his father, grows more and more anxious when, in village after village, no one buys the treats, citing their own hardships. What is worse, kindhearted Papa keeps giving away pastries to people with hard-luck stories. “Kindness is far more valuable than money,” Papa says. Reward comes the next day when the pastries’ recipients respond to the family’s need in kind. Although the story is predictable, its Mexican-countryside setting sets it apart. Lamut’s idealized illustrations portray warm characters in traditional costumes, dancing, singing, and marketing. A good choice for collections where there is demand for religion-themed stories. Preschool-Grade 1. --Karen Cruze
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Zonderkidz (August 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310716020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310716020
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 0.3 x 11.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,428,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Melaina Lara VINE VOICE on September 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Oh, how I love this book.
The illustrations are beautiful, whimsical and soft.
The writing is sweetly repetitive and easy to read aloud.
And though there is a religious undertone, (prayers to the lord), it's not overdone.
With kindness being the message, it's a 5 star wonderful book to read to my kids.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Karen in Mommyland VINE VOICE on September 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I didn't have high expectations for this book after reading the description provided. Often times books that say they convey a particular message do so in a way that seems forced or trite. My five year saw the cover of the book and asked me if I would pick this book so she could hear the story. I'm happy I got her the book.

This beautifully illustrated story is about a poor family who's home and clothing are in need of repair. The father, a baker, hopes to sell his pastries to earn money to see his family through the winter months. As Miguel and his papa go from town to town hoping to sell the pastries but instead they find themselves running into people who are needier than themselves. Papa shows kindness to those in need even if it's is to his own family's detriment.

In the end, Miguel learns the value of kindness. Those who Papa showed kindness to come to repay that kindness. It's a lovely book that shows that God will provide.

It's a simple story that speaks volumes. It would be a great book to share with a Sunday school class. I teach a kindergarten CCD class and I plan to incorporate this book into my lesson plans. I'm sure the children will love the story and grasp it's simple yet powerful message. I think this book will resonate best with children between the ages of 3-6.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kimmy11 on September 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Papa's Pastries is a wonderful children's book with a great story, message, and gorgeous illustrations. Miguel Gonzalez's family is very poor and his father sells pastries to make money. They need money for a new roof, firewood, and clothing. Before heading out for the day, his father prays for a "prosperous" day. Miguel and his father travel to three nearby villages, filling the villages with song (Miguel's father is also famous for his voice), and trying to sell his wonderful pastries. Unfortunately, the people have to decline, saying "sorry but we have faced many hardships and cannot afford to buy your delicious pastries". In each town, Senor Gonzalez sees someone who is worse off than he is, and gives him/her several of his pastries. By the time they return home, his bag is empty but they have not made any money. His wife chides him, saying "Now we have nothing! You are very kind, Papa, but very foolish. Kindness won't fix our leaky roof, nor fuel our fire, nor mend our worn clothing." But Miguel's father replies "Kindness is far more valuable than money". Miguel goes to bed, worried about his family and how they will survive but when he wakes up, he finds several visitors (who had received the free pastries) who volunteer to fix the roof, chop the firewood, and mend their clothes. This book obviously has a religious undercurrent but I think it is a very important message for all of us to learn.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By dinglefest VINE VOICE on August 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was a bit biased in its favor when this book arrived because I had already heard good things about it.

And then I read it.

And then I fell in love with it.

I am not exaggerating when I call this my new favorite children's book. (Side note: I've been collecting children's books since high school. I love them. Instead of getting souvenirs to commemorate vacations, I've always gotten a kids' book. Now that I have two kids, I spend even more time reading and loving children's literature. In other words, it's a high honor for me to label any children's book as my number one. But this one is. It's just that good.)

I love the sacrificial giving. I love the compassion shown by Papa and then returned to him. I love the lessons about faith and obedience to God learned by his family (and readers). I love that the pastries look just like the pan dulce pastries I used to buy in Mexico.

It's hard to summarize a children's story without giving too much away, so I'll just copy here what it says on the inside flap of the dust cover: "Miguel's family needs a new roof, firewood, and clothing to survive the winter. Miguel hope his father, a pastry peddler, will sell enough tasty treats to buy the things they need. But all the villagers they meet have also endured great hardship, and Miguel;s father gives his pastries to those who need them most. Miguel feels heartbroken. Then something happens that teaches him that kindness is far more valuable than money."

This is a classic moralistic story done well. It's beautiful. Sincere. Simple. Amazing. Unforced. Touching.

Get it for yourself. And then get it for everyone else you know.

It's just that good.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My kids are typical American kids. We aren't rich, but we still have a whole lot more than well-off children in less fortunate countries. Though we have live on a rather modest income, my kids suffer from "too much". I am constantly purging my home and encouraging them to pass on clothes and toys to children who have none (and we do). I thought this book accomplished a couple of things fabulously.

It showed a family that is non-American. It's great for kids in pre-school years to see a lifestyle other than their own.

The story and beautiful illustrations captured and kept the interst of my very young children.

It made them ask questions which opened a conversation about the needs of others.

It showed God providing when an impoverished family gave all they had to give and seeking nothing in return.

It showed the family giving thanks for God's provision. That, in itself is an outstanding feature in a childrens book. I have seen many books teach on thankfulness, but usually from a point of "overflow". The kids are thankful for gifts, or parties or parents or trips, or something lavish. This story showed a family giving thanks for a roof over their head, clothes to wear and fire to keep warm. Those are hard concepts to teach most children growing up in America. We have welfare. We have charities, we have "helps" groups and churches and soup kitchens. It is all to easy for American children to take for granted that our needs will most likely be met, and met abundantly. I want my kids to know that there are children all over the world who don't have homes, adequate food and parents to care for them. For that reason, I love this book. My only suggestion would be that the author find a way to incorporate some scripture verses so that we could discuss these with the kids.
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