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P is for Pinata: A Mexico Alphabet (Discover the World) Hardcover – September 23, 2008


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P is for Pinata: A Mexico Alphabet (Discover the World) + Off We Go to Mexico + Look What Came from Mexico
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 - 3
  • Series: Discover the World
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press (September 23, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585361445
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585361441
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 11.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #369,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2–4—This alphabet book highlights people, places, and familiar items. Some entries rhyme: "J is for Juchitán. This spot is so hot, it's a good place to nap/In the skinniest part of the Mexico map." Others are in free verse. "L is for Lava. Ash, steam, molten fire explode over the land. A volcano is born." Children will struggle with terms such as "Ballet Folklórico," "Netzahualcóyotl," and "Usumacinta River." No pronunciation help is given. Chunks of information in very small type, written for adults to share with children, appear with each letter. Parra's vividly colored illustrations reflect Mexico's traditions and cultures. The people and places come alive as the artist portrays the diversity of the country's landscape, but the text will require a lot of adult help.—Sandra Welzenbach, Villarreal Elementary School, San Antonio, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Written by Tony Johnston, who lived for many years in Mexico, this book introduces aspects of the land, culture, and history of that country suggested by letters of the alphabet: “A is for Adobe. . . . B is for Ballet Folklórico. . . .  Cis for Cacao. . . . D is for Diego Rivera,” and so on. Each single-page or double-page entry is accompanied by a two- or four-line rhyme for younger children and, in a vertical border, paragraphs of information for older readers. The alphabetical device inevitably makes for a rather haphazard arrangement of topics, and the rhymed couplets vary in quality. Still, the paragraphs of information are clearly written, often lively, and well worth reading; Parra’s paintings illustrate them with flair and distinction. The influence of Mexican paintings and murals is apparent in their fresh combination of folk-art elements, sound composition, and imaginative touches. A colorful introduction to Mexico. Grades K-4. --Carolyn Phelan

More About the Author

John Parra is an award winning illustrator, fine artist, designer, and educator, best known for his art illustrated Latino themed children's books such as Gracias / Thanks and Waiting for the Biblioburro. For his books he has received many awards and honors including: The Golden Kite Award from The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), The Pura Belpré Honor's Award and Notable recognition from The American Library Association (ALA) / REFORMA, The International Latino Book Award: Best Interior Children's Book Illustrations from Latino Literary Now, and The Christopher's Award from The Christopher's Inc. organization. His illustration clients have included National Geographic, United Airlines, Jeep/Daimler Chrysler, PBS, Boston Children's Hospital, and New York's El Museo del Barrio, along with a number of book publishing houses. Parra's original artwork has also been showcased and displayed in numerous gallery shows and museum exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad. He has taught art at the Carnegie Art Museum in Oxnard, CA and regularly speaks at primary schools, college universities and literary conferences across the country advocating art and reading education.

To learn more visit:
http://www.johnparraart.com/
http://www.goodreads.com/johnparra
http://www.johnparraart.com/Store.htm
http://www.facebook.com/#!/john.parra.14

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In this unusual ABC book, we meet strange critters like the hairless dog, the Mexican emperor Maximilian, painters, Gods and learn about everything from food to skeletons (calacas.) They say that the hairless dog is very ugly and is "completely naked except for an occasional bit of head fuzz," but people love them every bit as much as we love our pets.

H is for Hairless Dog

The hairless is not bird, nor fish, nor frog.
It could be called the very first hot dog.

Among the many people in this book one of particular interest is Frida Kahlo, a very famous painter. When she was a child, she had polio and to make it even worse when she was eighteen she was run over by a streetcar and nearly killed. Her mother was very ingenious and set up an apparatus so she could paint in bed. Perhaps you can find out more about her and learn about her "amazing eyebrows."

I was not expecting a work of such depth in a picture book and was pleasantly surprised! The sidebar histories were very informative and would be very useful in any classroom or homeschool setting. This is a mini-Mexican, Hispanic history book in disguise, not just a simple ABC primer. Learning about other cultures can be fun with books like these! Can you say maravilloso?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By C. Meehan on July 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book! My only criticism is that the title is P Is For Pinata and when you get to P in the text you find that P is actually for Prickly Pear.

I would have thought this should be mentioned somewhere in the professional reviews, but I didn't see it.

Certainly not a reason to discard, but something that should have come up in editing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Katie O'Neil on January 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book made learning about a different culture fun, colorful and engaging. I recommend it highly.
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