(J. Paul Getty Museum, Sept. 9, 2009)
Originally published in 1948 and the recipient of a Caldecott Honor, Juanita captures the atmosphere of Olvera Street, the historic Latino community in downtown Los Angeles. Juanita's parents own a small shop, or puesto, which they have named after her, and one very much like those that line Olvera Street to this day. They sell brightly colored baskets, dresses, and fine lacework-all handmade. For her fourth birthday, Juanita is dressed in a beautiful rose-colored gown and is given a white dove. On the day before Easter, Juanita takes her dove to the Old Mission Church for the annual Blessing of the Animals, along with Señora Carmela, who brings her burro, and Carlos, the leader of the procession, who brings his cow decked out in gardenias! Through his charming illustrations and text, Leo Politi captures the age-old traditions of birthdays and Easter in Los Angeles' Latino community. Music and lyrics for a Mexican birthday song and a lullaby are also included, making this a delightful introduction for young children to one of the many cultures that makes up Los Angeles and the nation.