Pancho's Pinata

Stefan Czernecki, Author, Timothy Rhodes, With Hyperion Books $14.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-56282-277-4
This somewhat forced picture book about the world's first pinata was inspired by a Diego Rivera mural. Years ago, at Christmastime in the village of San Miguel, young Pancho had rescued a talking falling star lodged atop the cactus in the town square. This deed has brought Pancho happiness for many years and one Christmas he decides to share his joy--and some gifts--with the town's children. Thus, the pinata, a decorated clay pot filled with toys and sweets, was born. The staid quality of Czernecki and Rhodes's ( The Sleeping Bread ) lengthy text gives the plot an improbable rather than a wondrous or magical tone. The anthropomorphic star mars the authentic flavor of a few of Czernecki's full-bodied gouache paintings. His folk-tooled borders--and palette of warm browns, pale pinks and rich reds--call to mind Mexican pottery designs. (Cactuses, hot chilis and bright panchos add yet more spice.) Young readers may be interested in the genesis of the popular object, but as a piece of folklore, this story falls flat. Ages 5-9. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/1992
Release date: 09/01/1992
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 978-0-7868-1007-9
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-1-56282-278-1
Prebound-Sewn - 40 pages - 978-0-606-06655-6
Hardcover - 40 pages - 978-0-920534-98-4
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