Gr 3-5-An introduction to four Hispanic holidays celebrated in the U.S.-El Da de los Muertos (Day of the Dead); the processions of Las Posadas, which reenact Mary and Joseph's search for a place to stay in Bethlehem; the New Year's Day dance of Los Matachines; and La Fiesta de los Reyes Magos, which revolves around the story of the Three Wise Kings. Rather than focusing on one locale, Ancona gives children the opportunity to view the distinctive flavors of different Hispanic communities, from San Francisco to a small town in New Mexico to New York City. The text shares the excitement and meaning of the celebrations, and focuses on how young people participate in them. Colorful, eye-catching photographs capture the mood and reinforce the narrative. Beatriz Zapater's Fiesta! (S.&S., 1993) is a fictional account of a boy's first Fiesta de Santiago. June Behrens's Fiesta! (Childrens, 1978) describes the Cinco de Mayo celebration. George Ancona's Pablo Remembers (Lothrop, 1993) is devoted to El Da de los Muertos. Purchase Fiesta U.S.A. for its refreshing perspective.-Maria Redburn, Collier County Public Library, Immokalee, FL
Costumed as living skeletons, members of the San Francisco Mexican community parade in a culturally mixed celebration of El Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. In Albuquerque the processions of Las Posadas reenact the Holy Family's search for lodging in Bethlehem. On New Year's Day in a tiny New Mexico village, the dance of Los Matachines, which was brought to the New World by Spanish conquistadors, is performed. Twelve days after Christmas, La Fiesta de los Reyes Magos, Three Kings' Day, is celebrated in the New York barrio. With crisp and colorful photographs, Ancona has assembled a photographic mural of four fiestas that are celebrated by Hispanic immigrant groups in the U.S. Unfortunately, the text lacks substantive detail and serves merely as narration for the photos. Without notes or documentation of any kind, the coverage is disappointingly superficial. Purchase only for visual flavor.