Ever since I read Strega Nona in first grade, I have been an ardent fan of Tomie dePaola. And pasta. So when I came across Paola's Legend of the Poinsettia a few years ago, I put it in my e-shopping cart so fast that I almost sprained my mouse-clicking finger. No surprises here, the book is a charming, visually stunning rendering of a classic folk tale. The story is set in a small Mexican town where a poor young girl named Lucida despairs over what to give to the baby Jesus at the Christmas Eve pageant. On her way to the church, she learns a lesson about the true meaning of La Navidad.
Every year this story reminds me how grateful I am for family, for Christ's birth, and for Christmas miracles.
(Besides, there is something about the native New Mexican in me that relishes rolling my R's and speaking with that Latin American sing-song cadence as I read the story to my kids. They all look at me funny, but I can't help it. It just comes out that way. The same thing happens when I order carne asada burritos at restaurants.)
Add The Legend of the Poinsettia to your Christmas collection. Es muy bueno!