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Pedro the Angel of Olvera Street
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Pedro the Angel of Olvera Street

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  103 ratings  ·  32 reviews
"Pedro, the Angel of Olvera Street" was originally published in 1946, early in Leo Politi's fifty-year career in children's books. Politi's art and words recreate the Los Posadas Christmas tradition of Los Angeles, a tradition that continues today.
32 pages
Published (first published 1947)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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I really enjoy the artwork of Leo Politi. It is beautiful.

This story is about an old area in LA that used to be the center of the city according to the book - Olvera Street. I wonder if it is still there? It was still there in the 40s. This is about a small village basically in the middle of the city where the old traditions of the Latino community still took place. Pedro loved to sing and at Christmas time he bore little red wings and sang like an angel leading the community.

I didn't know
Tricia Douglas
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite children's authors and illustrators. I had this one on my shelf in my classroom and tried to bring it out often. Historical, sweet story, and wonderful illustrations.
Maria Rowe
1947 Caldecott Honor Book

What a charming book! When I first picked this up, I didnt think this was the right book because it doesnt look like it was created in 1946. The art seems more modern, the story is short and to the point (for a childrens book from the 1940s) and its a small sized book.

I wasnt expecting this to be a Christmas story, and I wasnt really sure what to expect at all. This is the story of La Posada on Olvera Street in Los Angeles. Pedro leads the procession dressed as an
This book immediately reminded me of "Nine Days to Christmas: A Story of Mexico" by Marie Hall Ets, which is on the same topic, although this book was done earlier thirteen years earlier. Both books' core story is about La Posada, the journey that Mary and Joseph make in Bethlehem, when they are trying to find a place to stay, so Mary can have the baby Jesus. The title comes from the title character Pedro, who sings so sweetly that he is called "the Angle of Olvera Street," which is where he ...more
Jul 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas, caldecott
Favorite Illustration: The page where the kids are all playing with the pinata. All of the expressions on the kids' faces are so precious!
Pedro lives in Los Angeles, and loves to visit the shops on historic Olvera Street. This Christmas, Pedro gets to sing during La Posada, the parade about the Holy Family searching for shelter. Pedro is also excited for the fun activities that come at this Christmas season.
I really enjoyed reading this fun little story about Pedro and learning more about the
Kristine Hansen
Oct 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
The story of La Posada on Olvera Street is told simply and with fun illustrations that make me interested in this very real and historical place. While the book was written a long time ago, the tradition continues in much the same way. The image of the city around this very old street is fascinating and made me want to look it up for myself. I'm intrigued and wish I could go there, especially at Christmas.

This is a neat little book that introduces a slightly different culture in a way that is
This is an enjoyable story set primarily during Advent in an earlier Los Angeles. The affection for the city before it grew up and the Christmas traditions is evident. The simple paintings are good companions to the narrative. This is a helpful recounting of the Christmas tradition of La Posada among Mexican immigrants. Readers might enjoy listening to Terry Taylor's "Papa Danced on Olvera Street."
Katie Fitzgerald
I didnt realize this would be a Christmas book, but it actually tells about the Mexican tradition of La Posada, which is a Christmas procession through the streets. Pedro, who has a beautiful singing voice, is asked to lead the procession as an angel, and the reader follows him through the celebration, experiencing the procession and the breaking of the pinata right by his side. The story could have used more of a plot, but it does make a nice lesson on a celebration American kids might not know ...more
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Pedro and his grandpa stroll though Olvera Street and all of the Mexican heritage and tradition that fill it. Pedro's grandpa tells him of the past traditions as they celebrate the Christmas season. Pedro sings wonderful songs and they light candles while he and others sing of Christ's birth. They walk through craft shops and are thankful for their families and their culture. This is a wonderful book about the Mexican culture and their celebrations of Jesus' birth and life. I would absolutely ...more
Matthew Greene
Jan 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Although the book was from the 1940s and some of the depictions of hispanic people were stereotypical, I can say that I enjoyed Pedro the angel of Olivera street. The drawings and Spanish words used (in my opinion) give small insights on the the Latin culture and in fairness it was from a different time period. I wouldnt go as far as to have it in my class room to teach culture or diversity but I would read it again.
Jan 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nerdcott-2012
Very interesting book, especially when read at the same time as "The Christmas Anna Angel". They both describe very similar Christmas traditions, even though from different cultures. They are also similar in style, which makes sense, as they were written within 2 years of each other. A simple book, but I really enjoyed the illustration of the artisans on Olvera Street, as well as the breaking of the piñata. Charming story.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: edrd-314-006
This book is good to learn Mexican culture. Their foods, language, plays, and songs are all included in the story. Cute illustration helped me understanding and imagining about it. Kids from Mexican culture would enjoy this book empathizing, and kids from the other cultures would also enjoy this book learning different culture.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was first published in the '40s and has wonderful old-fashioned illustrations. It is about a little boy, Pedro, whose voice is so beautiful that he is chosen for the part of the angel in the Christmas Eve posada.
Jul 08, 2012 rated it liked it
The story of a Posada procession in Los Angeles. Illustrations reflect the rise and fall of the story as the most colorful pictures are those in the middle of the story, while the images at the end are darkly colored. My favorite illustration was that of the artisans on Olvera Street.
Nov 20, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a story about a Mexican American boy, Pedro, and his family's celebration of Las Posadas which is a Christmas celebration. It has beautiful illustrations and is informative about Mexican culture.
Seema Rao
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
The Getty republished this 1949 Caldecott honor book that celebrates the holidays on Olvera street in Los Angeles. This book is charming and surprising. While I suspect Olvera street is quite different today, the story holds up.
Robert Davis
**** Caldecott Honor (1947) ****

Nice little story about the Olvera Street area of Los Angeles, seen through the eyes of little Pedro. As was common with stories of this era, there are the ubiquitous religious (christianity) overtones.
Lizette Valles
I used this book as an introduction for our Olvera Street field trip.
Dec 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The pictures are so beautiful. I really enjoyed the story and colors of this book are very vivid.
Jun 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Well written children's book with good intro to the Mexican Christmas tradition of La Posada.
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Informative - about Mexican Christmas traditions, taking place in this case, in LA.
Caldecott Honor
Sarah May
Feb 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
I'm starting to really like Leo Politi.
Dec 29, 2011 rated it liked it
Love the double page color illustration of Pedro singing and leading the procession down the street.
Alyson (Kid Lit Frenzy)
Caldecott Honor 1947 - you can see Politi's love for Olvera Street and Los Angeles of his day.
Cassandra Gelvin
Feb 22, 2020 rated it liked it
Don't angels make people freak out?

This review was originally published at

This author writes a lot of relatively religious books. This is the story of a little boy named Pedro who lives on Olvera Street in Los Angeles. The book discusses the Mexican culture in Los Angeles and different things that they do, and then talks about how they celebrate Christmas. There's a pinata, and something called a posada, which is a procession of people who pass through
Apr 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Realistic fiction
3rd-5th grade
I liked how this book has diversity in it through the traditions of Olvera street, which is in Los Angeles. It describes the traditions the little town still has even though the surrounding area is modern. Its a cute book that I think students with Mexican roots can relate to with the celebrations that happen in the book.
Dec 30, 2011 rated it liked it
1947 Caldecott Honor

Favorite illustration: At the end of the book when Pedro is clutching his new music box while fast asleep

Kid-appeal: I think that with background and setting guidance this book would still be appreciated today. I'd need to do more research to evaluate whether there is any stereotyping of Hispanic culture. Did people during this time really wear sombreros all the time??
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this sweet little look at a Las Posadas celebration on Olvera Street in LA that still goes on today. This is a great read for Christmas.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: ehon, us-west-coast
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is pedro and jesus was similar and why? 1 1 May 03, 2013 07:52PM  

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Leo Politi was born in California and spent most of his childhood in Italy. He was an artist and children's book author. He was especially drawn toward Mexican themes.

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