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What Can You Do with a Paleta?

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  430 ratings  ·  147 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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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: bilingual
This bright and colorful tale talks about the common experience of enjoying a paleta or “popsicle” on a hot day. The characters in the story are shown in modern day settings wearing modern day clothing which makes the story feel current or "up to date". The depictions of a Hispanic village can be seen which offers many similarities to our own communities. Each page offers a rainbow of colors that catch your eye with every turn of the page. While the book is written in both Spanish and English, t ...more
Nov 28, 2012 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) i ...more
Lisa Carter
Mar 16, 2015 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
Sep 10, 2013 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 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 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
Yareli Arellano
Sep 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
What Can You Do with a Paleta by Carmen Tafolla and illustrated by Magaly Morales. This book won the Thomas River Book Award. This book about a child telling her story about where she lives and the different actions or activities that you can do with a paleta. I would recommend this story because it has great description and also can help students learn about different cultures. This book can help with teaching students about diversity.
May 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great story about the magic of an ice cold paleta. I loved the vibrant pictures and the way that the author connected the paleta to a feeling of connectedness amongst neighbors.
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun read aloud with great vocabulary in English and Spanish (e.g., lick, slurp, munch, sip, gobble). The illustrations are vibrant and engaging.
Oct 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Paleta is basically a fruity popsicle. They are popular in Spanish neighborhoods where vendors go to sell them. The book has random Spanish words scattered throughout the book, which is a nice and easy way to introduce that there are other languages in the world to children. The book is about what flavor the kids will choose today, or will we create a masterpiece with the paleta, or will we just cool off today. The book talks about the different things you can enjoy with paleta. A nice read espe ...more
Yesenia Cazarez
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
What can you do with a paleta is a cute Hispanic story about a little girl who is proud of her barrio, especially when the ice cream cart comes around her neighborhood. She uses many great imagery to describe all the things you can do with a paleta.
Elizabeth Roe
Oct 24, 2012 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
McKenna Cannon
This book is very cute for a cultural picture book. The colors they use are really eye catching and easy on the eyes. It is a very up lifting book to read. The author incorporated Spanish words throughout and the way they did it was clever. This is good to show and read with an English language Learner.

Lauren Rhodes
Apr 03, 2015 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 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 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
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Toddlers-K
Shelves: diversity
This award winning book is as much a delight to read as it is to look at the illustrations. Winner of the 2010 Charlotte Zolotow Award for Best Picture Book Text and the Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award, "What Can You Do with a Paleta?", is the story of a young girl getting a paleta (popsicle) from the vendor in her barrio. The text is in English and Spanish and shows all the things a child could do with a paleta, besides just eating it. She learns to make tough decisions such ...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.
Kim Brennan
Jun 16, 2015 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
Tessa Wells
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved the bright colors in the illustration that represented the Spanish culture. The story was very cute. I liked how they chose to use a popsicle because what kids does not love them? At the same time children reading will still learn a little bit about Spanish culture with things like some Spanish words, and traditions.
Diana V.
Jul 17, 2012 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 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
Nov 28, 2012 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 t ...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 mys ...more
Aide Acuna
Jul 17, 2012 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 trave ...more
Carol A.
Jun 09, 2013 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
Nov 25, 2012 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
Nov 27, 2012 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
Tonya Peck
Mar 15, 2013 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
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