'Twas Nochebuena

by Roseanne Greenfield Thong (Author) Sara Palacios (Illustrator)

'Twas Nochebuena
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

It's Christmas Eve, and you're invited to a Nochebuena celebration! Follow a family as they prepare to host a night filled with laughter, love, and Latino tradition. Make tasty tamales and hang colorful adornos (decorations) on the walls. Gather to sing festive canciones (songs) while sipping champurrado (hot chocolate). After the midnight feast has been served and the last gifts have been unwrapped, it's time to cheer, "Feliz Navidad and to all a good night!"

Find books about:

Kirkus Reviews

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 2014 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission

Publishers Weekly

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 loteria, / while singing and laughing—que maravilla!/ When out in the jardin 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 "bunuelos 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 2014 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

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

Copyright 2014 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

PRAISE FOR 'TWAS NOCHEBUENA

"A linguistic and visual treat. The lyrical blend of English and Spanish and vibrant action-packed illustrations make this ideal for read-alouds." —Booklist

"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." —Horn Book

"This pleasant family story conveys strong family bonds and traditions while offering non-Spanish speakers a way to learn some basic vocabulary." —Kirkus Reviews

"This lively picture book offers a wonderful way to celebrate and learn about Latino Christmas traditions." —School Library Journal

Roseanne Greenfield Thong
Roseanne Greenfield Thong is the author of many multicultural-themed children's books. She was born in Southern California but has lived in Guatemala, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. While in Guatemala and Mexico, she studied Spanish and ate many tamales. Roseanne now lives in Orange County where she teaches English composition.

Sara Palacios illustrated the Pura Belpré honor book Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match. She divides her time between San Francisco and Mexico City.

Classification
Fiction
ISBN-13
9780670016341
Lexile Measure
830L
Guided Reading Level
0
Publication date
October 20, 2014
Series
-
Americas Award for Children & Young Adult Literature
Commended 2015 - 2015

Subscribe to our delicious e-newsletter!