A Pinata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas

Overview

An award-winning author and a rising star artist have put a festive Latino twist on "The Twelve Days of Christmas," populating it with pi?atas in place of partridges, plus burritos bailando (dancing donkeys), lunitas cantando (singing moons), and much more, all displayed in the most vivid colors imaginable. In this version a little girl receives gifts from a secret amiga, whose identity is a sweet surprise at the book's conclusion. There are things to find and count in Spanish on every page, with pronunciations ...

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Hardcover (Library Binding - Bilingual)
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Overview

An award-winning author and a rising star artist have put a festive Latino twist on "The Twelve Days of Christmas," populating it with piñatas in place of partridges, plus burritos bailando (dancing donkeys), lunitas cantando (singing moons), and much more, all displayed in the most vivid colors imaginable. In this version a little girl receives gifts from a secret amiga, whose identity is a sweet surprise at the book's conclusion. There are things to find and count in Spanish on every page, with pronunciations provided right in the pictures and a glossary and music following the story. This joyous fiesta will warm even the coldest of hearts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In trading a partridge for a pinnate and intertwining English and Spanish, Mora has created not only a fun adaptation of a classic Christmas carol but also an introduction to many elements of holiday celebrations for families across the U.S. and Latin America."—Booklist

"A luminous holiday pick, especially for new big brothers and sisters."—Publishers Weekly

"[A] zippy spin on ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas.’"—The Horn Book

Publishers Weekly
Spanish phrases pepper the traditional carol as a joyful child experiences the holiday. On the third day of Christmas, the girl's “amiga” gives her “tres tamalitos,” which sit steaming in an earthen pot, and on the sixth day, she receives “seis trompos girando” (spinning tops). Morales's acrylic illustrations glow with warm, festive colors, evoking lantern light. Phonetic pronunciations for the gifts and numbers are incorporated into the spreads, which lead up to a special final gift—a new sibling. A luminous holiday pick, especially for new big brothers and sisters. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
In the cultural melting pot or tossed salad (whichever you prefer) of the United States, something wonderful happens. Traditions are shared and often combined among friends and families. Mora cleverly combines the traditional tune of The Twelve Days of Christmas with food and gifts inspired by Latin American cultures. The words are a combination of English and Spanish. No need to be concerned: the pronunciation is woven into the illustration. A happy little girl sings of the gifts that her "amiga" gives to her. There is a second storyline playing out in the acrylic illustrations. Mother and father are preparing for the birth of a new baby, who, it turns out is not only the new sibling but also the amiga. There is a strong feeling of joy throughout this book. The doce angelitos celebrando (12 angels rejoicing) around the new baby bring to mind the Christmas story as well as the happiness of a family in welcoming a new child. Warm reds and yellows surround the loving family on the final two-page spread. Be sure to note the twelve angels on the baby's blanket. Author's and illustrator's notes add background information. There is a glossary and pronunciation guide. The song, with notes, is at the end of the book. There is so much to go back to, pore over and enjoy. Here is a new holiday tradition for us to enjoy year after year. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2–In this Latino twist on the traditional folk song, the narrator’s secret amiga’s gifts include “a piñata in a pine tree” and “cuatro luminarias.” The identity of the girl’s amiga is a sweet surprise and is sure to bring a smile to readers. The spreads are pleasing to the eye, with acrylic paintings rendered in vivid oranges, pinks, greens, and sky blue. A description of Christmas foods and other holiday traditions from different Latin American countries are included in the author’s note, which also gives information on the history of the 12 days (beginning Christmas Day and ending January 5, Twelfth Night, the night before Epiphany, or Feast of the Three Kings). The last page includes the score.–Diane Olivo-Posner, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
"On the first day of Christmas my amiga gave to me," sings a little girl. Her rhymes, mainly in Spanish, increase in syllables and words with the number of objects she is receiving, from the titular pi-ata to doce angelitos celebrando. Mora blends Latino holiday traditions of her native Southwest with some from Mexico. The gifts are ethnic dishes like pastelitos, ornaments like paper lanterns-luminarias-and spinning tops-trompos-and Mexican folk-art-styled figures. Morales's acrylic paintings complement the song, showing, in the background, family members engaged in activities that are revealed on the last page along with the identity of the amiga-a new little sister. The inclusion of numerals and the pronunciation of the Spanish words, along with a concluding glossary and pronunciation guide, facilitates reading and makes it absolutely entertaining. (Picture book. 6-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780618841981
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 9/14/2009
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: Bilingual
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 657,016
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.10 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Pat Mora, a poet of Mexican-American heritage, is the recipient of a 1994 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship in poetry. Her published work includes poetry and nonfiction for adults as well as children. She is the author of several bilingual picture books, including two on the Clarion list. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For more information visit www.patmora.com.


Magaly Morales's first book for Clarion was A Piñata in a Pine Tree by Pat Mora (Fall 2009). She also is the illustrator of What Can You Do with a Paleta?, and is sister to the acclaimed artist Yuyi Morales. She lives in Mexico.

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