The Gift of the Poinsettia / El regalo de la flor de Nochebuena
A beautifully illustrated picture book that depicts a poor Mexican boy’ search for a special gift for the Baby Jesus.
by Pat Mora
Illustrated by Daniel Lechón
Publication Date: 1995
Imprint: Piñata Books
A beautifully illustrated picture book that depicts a poor Mexican boy’ search for a special gift for the Baby Jesus, The Gift of the Poinsettia / El regalo de la flor de Nochebuena focuses on the Mexican tradition of las posadas in which villagers reenact Mary and Joseph’s search for shelter for nine nights.
Traveling from house to house, night after night, Carlos worries each day about the gift he cannot afford to give the Baby Jesus on Christmas Eve. Following each evening of the posada, Carlos excitedly tells his aunt of the sounds, tastes, and songs of Christmas that he witnesses, but his joy is shadowed by his concerns. Following the advice of his beloved Tía Nina, Carlos decides upon a magical gift that stems from the love in his heart and blossoms through the strength of his love.
Written by acclaimed children’s book author Pat Mora, with Charles Ramírez Berg, and with illustrations by Daniel Lechón, this book is sure to warm children’s hearts while demonstrating the importance of love over material things. In addition to depicting the traditional Mexican custom of las posadas, the book also illustrates other Mexican traditions such as papel picado, cascarones, and piñatas.The book also includes the text and musical annotation for the traditional songs of las posadas. The Gift of the Poinsettia will delight both English and Spanish-speaking children.
“This isn’t even open to debate: You must have this book, especially when you start your thinking about Christmas presents … it provides a joy and a lesson that will blossom throughout the year.”—El Paso Herald-Post
“Mora and Berg’s story, and its illustrations, take you into the heart of a Latin American Christmas … The story is narrated through the posada, the nine-day pilgrimage with Mary and Joseph seeking shelter. … he bilingual texts and music could prove useful for church groups, classes, and families observing the tradition … A treasure for anyone who likes books bundled under the Christmas tree.”—Catholic Library World
“This book belongs among your favorite library stories.”—Southwest Children’s Review
“An ideal addition to any school library.”—Christian Library Journal
PAT MORA is a renowned writer of poetry, stories for children and nonfiction. Among her many works are the poetry collections Chants (1984), Borders (1986) and Communion (1994). Mora is also the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of over 30 books for children and young adults, including The Bakery Lady/La señora de la panadería (2001), My Own True Name (2000), The Gift of the Poinsettia/El regalo de la flor de nochebuena (1995), Tomás and the Library Lady, Pablo’s Tree, A Birthday Basket for Tía, The Desert Is My Mother/El desierto es mi madre (1994), Delicious Hullabaloo/Pachanga deliciosa (1998) and Confetti. In 1999, she was the Garrey Carruthers Chair Visiting Distinguished Professor in Honors at the University of New Mexico. An El Paso native and the mother of three grown children, she divides her time between the Southwest and the Cincinnati area where her husband teaches anthropology.
DANIEL LECHÓN is a prize-winning artist whose works have been collected and exhibited in museums and galleries in the United States and Mexico. Lechón currently resides in Houston, Texas where he continues to produce fine works for exhibit and sale. He has illustrated two books for Piñata Books: The Desert Is My Mother/ El desierto es mi madre (Piñata Books, 1994) and The Gift of the Poinsettia/ El regalo de la flor de Nochebuena (Piñata Books, 1995).
ATOS Interest Level: Lower Grades
Category: Picture Book
ATOS English: 3.5
ATOS Spanish: 3.3
Accelerated Reader Quiz #: 18344