'Twas nochebuena

Roseanne Thong

Book - 2014

Explores Latin American traditions for celebrating Christmas Eve in a text that combines English and Spanish words and follows the rhythm of Clement Moore's "The Night Before Christmas".

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room j394.2663/Thong Checked In
Stories in rhyme
Picture books
New York : Viking, Published by Penguin Group 2014.
Main Author
Roseanne Thong (-)
Other Authors
Sara Palacios (illustrator)
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 x 28 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

In Latin America, nochebuena, or Christmas Eve, marks the high point of the holiday celebrations. In this warm ode, every member of a young girl's family, including the cat and the dog, are involved in traditional preparations: making tamales, hanging up adornos, walking through town to midnight mass, and feasting on turkey and mole before opening presents and falling asleep exhausted. This lively and colorful version of 'Twas the Night before Christmas is a linguistic and visual treat. The lyrical blend of English and Spanish and vibrant action-packed illustrations make this ideal for read-alouds and choral readings in classrooms. Palacios' mixed-media illustrations are crisp and modern with culturally specific details that wonderfully anchor the story in Latino traditions.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2014 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Latin American holiday traditions and a host of Spanish words spark this zippy recast of Clement C. Moore's Christmas poem. A girl invites readers into her family's preparations for a boisterous Christmas Eve, a feast with all the favorite trimmings, and religious observations, too: "We clink our glass marbles and play lotería,/ while singing and laughing-qué maravilla!/ When out in the jardín I hear such a clatter,/ I spring from my silla to shout, `What's the matter!' " Descriptions of the montones of tamales, turkey with mole sauce, and freshly fried "buñuelos with cinnamon sugar" have a mouth-watering effect, and Palacios's mixed-media paintings of cheerful children, adults, and pets hum with an exuberance and anticipation that many readers will find familiar. A glossary is included. Ages 3-5. Author's agent: Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Kendra Marcus, BookStop Literary Agency. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-To the rhythm of "The Night Before Christmas," a laughing Latino family prepares for the Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) celebration, from making tamales to hanging colorful adornos (decorations) on the walls. "When our guests all arrive, we stroll down to the park,/and join the posadas that start when it's dark./With homemade faroles that glow in the night/we'll sing canciones by soft candlelight." Palacios brings the warmth and happiness of the family alive in vibrant spreads. This lively picture book offers a wonderful way to celebrate and learn about Latino Christmas traditions.-Diane Olivo-Posner, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review

Peppered with Spanish words, this reimagining of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" relates the Christmas Eve celebrations of a young girl's Latino family: making tamales, decorating their home with tree and crche, caroling, swinging at a piata, attending midnight Mass, and more. Thong's humorous verse follows Clement Moore's strong rhythm without faltering -- despite the metrical challenges of working in two languages at once. Palacios's warm, earth-toned illustrations of a happy multigenerational family invite readers into the festivities, whether these tradiciones are familiar or new to them. A glossary and author's note are appended. katie bircher (c) Copyright 2014. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

A Latina child celebrates the Christmas season with her extended family in this warm, cheery story that incorporates Spanish vocabulary into the text. Using the familiar structure of "The Night Before Christmas," the unnamed little girl describes the preparations her family undertakes each December. The girl lives in a comfortable home with her parents, grandmother and three younger siblings, with extended family nearby. Some of the activities are common to Christmas celebrations across cultures, such as hanging decorations and putting up a tree. Others are Latino traditions, such as Las Posadas, in which celebrants parade from house to house, and breaking a piata made from a jar. On Christmas Eve, the family enjoys games, special foods and a trip to midnight Mass, along with a fireworks display and a late dinner. Opening presents is the concluding event. Spanish words or phrases are included in each sentence and are generally clear from context. A complete glossary of Spanish words is appended, though there is no pronunciation guide. Vibrant illustrations create a cozy atmosphere with a palette of warm shades and a retro, 1960s vibe established through clothing styles and fabric patterns. This pleasant family story conveys strong family bonds and traditions while offering non-Spanish speakers a way to learn some basic vocabulary. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.