This Caldecott Honor book from beloved children's book author Leo Politi, originally published in 1946, is set on Olvera Street, the site of Los Angeles's original Latino settlement, which is still very much as it once was—a busy and colorful mélange of small artisan shops, restaurants, and strolling musicians.
Pedrotells of the community's Christmas tradition of the "posada," a procession that reenacts Mary and Joseph's pilgrimage to Bethlehem, and of the "piñata," a papier-mâché vessel filled with toys that children break open at the posada's end. Pedro hopes to find a music box among the toys that will spill out of the piñata. But first, he is asked to don the red wings of an angel and lead the procession. Because he not only is costumed like an angel but also sings like one, he is also asked to lead the chorus in the traditional posada song. Music and lyrics for the song are included so that children may create their own posada pageant.
Leo Politi wrote and illustrated dozens of children's books, many of which are set in the Latino communities of Southern California. He won the Caldecott Medal for his bookSong of the Swallows, first published in 1948.