Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas. Written by Pat Mora and Illus. by Magaly Morales. New York: Clarion, 2009. 32 pages. $16.00 (Hardcover). ISBN 978-0-618-84198-1. Grades PreK-3. Spanish and English.

From una piñata to ocho pajaritos serenando to doce angelitos celebrando, a young girl receives a series of presents from her amiga each of the doce days between Christmas and Día de los Reyes. Astute readers will also discover another story in the background illustrations that depicts the girl’s parents and abuela preparing for the arrival of her new baby sister. Whether they are exploring the luminescent illustrations or singing along with the re-imagined Christmas carol, children of all ages will delight in this lyrical and visual celebracíon. Librarians will particularly appreciate the in-text pronunciations for the various Spanish words and phrases. Back matter includes a glossary, author’s and illustrator’s notes, and the musical score for the song A Piñata in a Pine Tree. Highly Recommended.

Reviewed by Dr. Jamie C. Naidoo, Assistant Professor, School of Library & Information Studies, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.