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Poems to SolveJuan Bobo and the PigThe Ancestor TreePaco and the WitchThose Calculating CrowsBilly and EmmaElizabeti's DollWho's In the HallMama ElizabetiA Safe Place Called HomeElizabeti's SchoolIt Rainded All Day That NightYou're Not My Real MotherAfrican American Read-AloudSky DancerscookbookGuess AgainphphDreaming-Up
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Paco and the Witch
by Felix Pitre, illustrated by Christy Hale
(Lodestar Books, 1995)
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At Paco's house, everyone is busy preparing for una fiesta. So when his mother realizes that she has one last thing to fetch from the store, Paco volunteers to make the long trip through the woods to the village below. The woods are beautiful, but Paco is wary, for su abuela, his grandmother, has warned him of the evil witch who lives there. Paco knows he shouldn't stop, but he is so tired! Surely if he sat down for just one moment...

Here is another lively folk tale from Puerto Rico, seasoned with Spanish words and retold in Mr. Pitre's own unique style. Once again the story is visualized with Christy Hale's brilliant illustrations that capture the heart and soul of the story.
awards • reviews
• Bank Street College 1996 Children's Book of the Year
• California Language Arts Adoption

Pitre and Hale, who retold a Puerto Rican tale in Juan Bobo and the Pig, here present another such story sprinkled with Spanish expressions. While hurrying to the bodega on an errand, Paco mistakenly accepts a cool drink from "una viejita, a little old woman." The woman is in fact "una bruja, a witch," and, like Rumplestiltskin's captive, Paco can break the evil spell only by guessing the witch's name. Luckily, a little crab provides the information-her tough-to-say moniker is Casi Lampu'a Lentemue. Pitre effortlessly integrates Spanish and English words, and if readers stumble, a glossary at the beginning defines 45 Spanish terms and supplies pronunciation guides as well. Hale exchanges her Juan Bobo linocut technique for painting, but her distinctive, sultry palette of purples, greens and golden browns is immediately recognizable. Bold compositions suggest the drama of the story, while caricaturish perspectives take some of the fear out of its menacing moments. Ages 4-8.
Publishers Weekly
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partycrab and Pacowitch