Wednesday, September 12, 2012
REFORMA Review: The Best Gift of All
By Julia Alvarez, illustrated by Ruddy Núñez, Translated by Rhina Espaillat
Santillana USA, 2009. 32 pages. $14.99 (Hardcover). ISBN 978-1-60396-325-1
Alvarez skillfully weaves a memorable tale of the little known legend of La Vieja Belén, an elderly woman who brings gifts to poor children in the Dominican Republic after the visits of Santa Claus at Christmas and the tres reyes on Epiphany. A lengthy author’s note expounds on the tradition of La Vieja Belén comparing it to the Italian legend La Befana. While the rhythmic English text is engaging, it is the Spanish text that truly sparkles in a beautifully cadenced style. This is a unique addition to holiday collections, particularly for those libraries serving children from the Dominican Republic.
Naidoo, J. C. (2009). El mejor regalo del mundo: La leyenda de la Vieja Belén/The Best Gift of All: The Legend of La Vieja Belén. Written by Julia Alvarez. Illus. by Ruddy Núñez. Trans. by Rhina Espaillat. REFORMA Newsletter, 27 (1/2), 23.