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What Can You Do with a Paleta?
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What Can You Do with a Paleta?

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  245 Ratings  ·  107 Reviews
Where the paleta wagon rings its tinkly belland carries a treasure of icy paletasin every color of the sarape . . .

As she strolls through her barrio, a young girl introduces readers to the frozen, fruit-flavored treat that thrills Mexican and Mexican-American children. Create a masterpiece, make tough choices (strawberry or coconut?), or cool off on a warm summer's day--th
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by Tricycle Press (first published April 2009)
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Nov 28, 2012 Brit rated it liked it
What Can You Do with a Paleta? is a very cute, cultural picture book. The illustrations are mostly in orange, red, and pink tints and uses a lot of swirls and curves. The characters are centered around kids, but also mentions adults along the story. There is cultural vocabulary used, but besides that the vocabulary is simple. I think the book is cute, but I do not feel that there was anything that stood out about it to win an award. The story line was focused around paleta's, but did not seem to ...more
L13F_Jana Wilkening
After hearing about this book in class on Saturday, and briefly skimming through a classmate’s copy, I had to check the book out for myself. The story follows a young girl who is proud of her barrio (“THAT’S my barrio!”) and especially loves when the paleta cart comes to her block. She then describes with beautiful imagery all of the wonderful things you can do with a paleta, such as “paint your tongue purple and green and scare your brother.” The language (written in both English and Spanish) ...more
Lisa Carter
Mar 16, 2015 Lisa Carter rated it really liked it
What Can You Do with a Paleta? is a cute story about a Hispanic girl who is proud of her barrio (town or village) and anxiously awaits for the paleta (popsicle) cart to come through her barrio. She then goes into great detail to describe the different flavors you can get and all of the different things you can do with them. Like "paint your tongue purple and scare your brother." The illustrations are curved, kind of like how you would see fudge swirls in your ice cream, or even how it comes out ...more
Melanie Fernandez
Sep 20, 2013 Melanie Fernandez rated it really liked it
What can you do with a Paleta? is a book about the excitement of the people when the paleta wagon is in their barrio. This colorfully illustrated book describes what people do with their paletas (Popsicles) and the many mouth watering flavors to choose from. I like how the spanish words in the book, although few, do not repeat themselves in English. However, because of the wonderful illustrations, one is able to decipher the meaning of the words without it needing to be written for them again in ...more
Jun 27, 2012 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
Young boys and girls who love ice cream will really enjoy "What Can You Do With a Paleta?" The text introduces the Mexican ice cream treat, paleta. The text is rich in describing the various things a child can do with the paleta while eating it, from having to first choose a flavor and then watching it turn your tongue different colors to using it as a paint brush as it melts to cooling yourself off on a hot summer day. The bright colors and drawings give a wonderful child's perspective of life ...more
Jul 13, 2013 Emily rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Audience: Primary
Genre: Picture book-Cultural
Text-to-world connection: This book contains worldly connections because it takes the concept of the ice cream truck that we have in America, and relates it to the Hispanic culture. The colorful pictures would excite students and help them understand that people all over the world eat popsicles, play outside, and think of creative things to do with objects around them. These creative things might include painting their tongue with their popsicle, maki
Oct 18, 2016 Ashley rated it really liked it
I first read “What Can You Do With a Paleta?” in a kindergarten classroom where the students ended up teaching ME the Spanish vocabulary in the book. I had never seen so many students’ eyes light up during a read aloud!

"What Can You Do With a Paleta?” written by Carmen Tafolla, is a Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award winner about a young girl who takes readers on a stroll through her barrio (neighborhood) and introduces them to her favorite treat: paletas, or popsicles. Througho
Sandra Madrid
What Can You Do with a Paleta / ¿Qué Puedes Hacer con una Paleta introduces children to Mexican American culture. The story is about a girl who lives in the barrio and explains what a paleta is. She describes the different flavors that a paleta can come in, she describes who the paletero is. This allows children to see that this is similar to a traditional ice cream car in the neighborhood. It gives students a new perspectives.
The story is visually appealing because the text uses different word
Diego Garcia
Nov 12, 2016 Diego Garcia rated it really liked it
A very playful and colorful book that describes the excitement children experience when the paleta wagon goes through their neighborhood. The bell on the wagon announces its arrival and decisions must be made. What flavor to get? What to do with a paleta? The main character is a young girl that tells the reader all of the different flavors, and stories of what can be done with a paleta. The illustrations are very colorful and fit in well with the text. The story is simple, but describes a daily ...more
Lillian Barczynski
This book is about cultural similarities and differences; it teaches the reader some words in Spanish. The children talk about what you can do with a palenta (like a Popsicle) around their neighborhood. I could ask my class what they would do with a palenta and ask them what makes our two cultures similar.
Alison Smolinski
Oct 14, 2016 Alison Smolinski rated it really liked it
I didn't think I was going to enjoy this book for some reason just by looking at the cover page, but after reading this I have learned to never judge a book by its cover because I absolutely love this book. A main reason for me loving this book is because I love frozen smoothies and popsicles and bars and that's basically what this whole book is about, except it shares all the different ways you can use a Paleta with. My favorite part was when she said, "my brother once used one to get on base ...more
Abby Kenski
This is a very cute book, bringing out the characters culture. The illustrations are bright and colorful, mostly focusing on orange, pink, and red. What I thought was really cool, was that on a few of the pages, the character used cultural vocabulary. For example, fruta and sarape. Also, the fact that the stories main characters were mostly all kids, was very interesting.
Shayla Padilla
I thought when I started to read this that a “paleta” would be some type of instrument and really it’s just a different word for how we say Popsicle. The colors in the illustration are really bright and brings a lot of “flavor” to the story.
Elizabeth Roe
Oct 24, 2012 Elizabeth Roe rated it really liked it
Grade/interest level: Primary (K-2)
Reading level: Lexile, 450L
Genre: Picture Book, Realistic Fiction, Multicultural (in English and Spanish)

Main Characters: Two young girls (possibly sisters)
Setting: The girls' neighborhood (barrio)
POV: First person, from the girl's point of view (the older girl)

This book is written in both English and Spanish. After the English excerpt, the same excerpt is written in Spanish immediately following. The book features two young Latina girls, who appear to be siste
Lauren Rhodes
May 06, 2015 Lauren Rhodes rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Todos, alguien
Literature Requirement Award Winner – Charlotte Zolotow
Carmen Tafolla has created a lovely illustrated book to introduce people to life in this lovely barrio or neighborhood of a little girl. In this barrio the little girl proudly announces you can hear sassy sweet music being played and the smell of crispy tacos and buttery tortillas and juicy fruta that hangs in the air and delights the senses floating in and out every window. The Paleta wagon arrives and the man rings it's bell and everyone
Sarah Collins
Oct 04, 2013 Sarah Collins rated it it was amazing
Book Title: What Can You Do With a Paleta? by Carmen Tafolla

Description: Carmen Tafolla uses repetition to describe many creative things to do with a paleta (a popsicle). A few include making new friends and giving yourself a big, blue mustache,


1) Repetition: Authors can make a story more memorable by repeating a line many times.


CCSS.RL.2.4 Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or son
Stephanie George
Apr 20, 2015 Stephanie George rated it it was amazing
Shelves: multi-cultural
Its summertime and there are so many tasty things to eat and delectable smells in the air. The best thing to eat in the summer is a Hispanic treat called a paleta! Paletas are fruity and delicious popsicle-like snacks that melt into a flavorful burst in your mouth on hot summer days. They can be bought at a paleta stand during the hottest and longest days of the year. There are so many flavors to choose from so the only problem you will have is choosing only one to eat at a time. Paletas are not ...more
Audience: Preschool – 1st grade because of the simple words and bright pictures.

Appeal: It would most closely relate to preschool through 1st graders because of the hilarious account of all the silly things you could do with a paleta, a frozen Mexican treat. It also has the Spanish translation underneath the English so you could have the children try and detect what the Spanish words mean. It has brightly colored pictures and is a simple read aloud.

Application: There is a strategy called, K.I.D
Kim Brennan
Jun 16, 2015 Kim Brennan rated it liked it
1.)Reflection on ONE: Text to text, text to self, or text to world connection for each book
When the story talks about having a “paleta” man come down the street, it reminded me of the ding ding man who comes down our street and did the whole time I was growing up. Most of the times that I would get ice cream (or a popsicle like in the book) it was hot out, so I really related to her mama who liked to have a paleta to cool off on a hot day.

2.)Rationale and evidence proving why each book is cultu
Nov 28, 2012 Rubi rated it it was amazing
I thought I was going to enjoy this picture book, but i didnt like the way it was written at all. The illustrations were fantastic, and i loved the whole idea and the fact that it talked about paletas because this sweet treat is something i grew up with and still eat till this day. The book takes us into a small town, and shows small children doing all types of things with the Mexican ice cream pops. Just like the children in every household, they find ways to play and do different things with ...more
Diana V.
Jul 17, 2012 Diana V. rated it it was amazing
Main Character: A young girl
Point of View: First Person
Setting: El Barrio
Lexile Level: not found Primary Grade Level
Award: America's Award

Plot: "What Can You Do with a Paleta" portrays the fun of summertime in a barrio. A young girl gives a tour of her barrio while describing ways that you can enjoy a paleta. As a whole, "What Can You Do with a Paleta" vividly portrays Mexican heritage.

Main Idea:
Celebrating Heritage

Recommended: I would recommend "What Can You Do with a Paleta" this
Amanda Healy
Nov 08, 2012 Amanda Healy rated it liked it
I really think this is a nice fun, uneducational book for children in kindergarten through 2nd grade. The text and concept of this picture book is very simplfied. I think it would be a great book to read at the end of the school year, because it talks about a paleta, which is a popsicle in the spanish culture. A teacher could use this book, as a start of an assignment for the students to write about their favorite treat of summertime, and what it taste likes and use descriptive words to describe ...more
Diana Luna
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! In this well illustrated picture book, Margaret Irvine tells readers different things someone can do with a “paleta” (ice cream bar in Spanish). This story is not formatted in a traditional way, rather on each page, is an illustration and one idea the reader can do with a paleta. The book is based on Hispanic culture so there are a lot of references to the Hispanic culture. I found this book to be very interesting a relatable. Being Hispanic ...more
Carol A.
Jun 11, 2013 Carol A. rated it really liked it
Shelves: primary-books
Audience: Primary
Genre: Reality Fiction

Tomas Rivera Award

Text-To-Self Connection

What Can You Do with a Paleta? is a story about children playing with, sharing, and eating paletas, which would turn their lips and tongue the color of the paleta they were eating. Paleta is the Spanish word for popsicle. Paletas come in many, many different flavors, including coconut, guava, and jamaica. Children in the barrio, or neighborhood, were excited to hear the paleta man come with his paleta cart, ringing
Aide Acuna
Jul 17, 2012 Aide Acuna rated it it was amazing
The main character in this story is a young Mexican girl living in her "barrio". She tells the story of how one can use a paleta for many different things. I personally could relate top this book because ever since I was a young girl our treat was always a paleta. When we lived in Chicago and heard the man ring his little bell, like in the story, we would get so excited! I loved the vibrant colors used in the book as it portrayed the Mexican culture in a very positive light. The young girl ...more
Nov 25, 2012 Jennie rated it liked it
What Can You Do with a Paleta? is a charming story about a little girl who waits for the paleta wagon. The little girl describes her neighborhood or barrio as a place filled with bright colored flowers, sassy music, and the smells of tacos and fruta. The author does a great job bringing the senses to life in this story. The little girl loves her neighborhood and the things she loves the most is the paleta man. Readers can connect to this story no matter what their cultural background happens to ...more
Tonya Peck
Mar 15, 2013 Tonya Peck rated it really liked it
Audience: This book is great for primary grade readers K-3rd grade.

Appeal: This colorful book will appeal to all primary readers k-3rd grade. The bright colors, simple reading, and universal topic of summer treats are appealing to everyone.

Application: This would be a great book for a 2-3rd grade writing lesson using descriptive words. I would do a read aloud with the students, then explain what the assignment is about. Writing a small story of what they see in their neighborhood using descript
Nov 27, 2012 Starrmorado rated it it was amazing
In our text book we read about picture storybooks and how they can affect us. One of those visual elements happens to be background. This particular book is not only a great way to incorporate diversity into your classroom, but is also one that people of all ages and cultures can connect with. I can say this from personal experience. While reading this book I was taken back to my childhood days, when we would sit and wait for the man on the bike selling ice cream. As an adult I am able to relate ...more
Tammi Peterman
1. Text to self-as a child we would go to Omaha to the visit the shops on 24th street which his an area with mostly Mexican stores and restaurants. Often times there was a paleta cart on the corner and my mom would let me get a Paleta if I was good. Strawberry was my favorite because it tasted like real fruit only frozen. The book just really put into perspective how simple pleasures are cross cultural.

2.The houses and housewares shown throughout the book resemble a neighborhood in Mexico and ar
Hillery Puente
Apr 26, 2013 Hillery Puente rated it really liked it
I thought this book was culturally fun and informative! It is a great book to use in your early childhood classrooms as a lesson to introduce a new culture. Paleta's are popular in the Latino culture that many children may not know about. The author does a great job narrating the story by making is easy enough for young children to follow along. The illustrator did an amazing job supporting the text with the use of colors. The colors actually portray the culture and help enhance the beauty of ...more
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