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FEDERICO AND THE MAGI’S GIFT by Beatriz Vidal Kirkus Star


A Latin American Christmas Story

by Beatriz Vidal & illustrated by Beatriz Vidal

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2004
ISBN: 0-375-82518-5
Publisher: Knopf

In the first story that she has both written and illustrated, Vidal makes use of holiday traditions and legends from her childhood in Argentina. Her captivating story focuses on a family with three children who are waiting for the Wise Men to bring their gifts on the Feast of the Three Kings on January 6. The youngest child, Federico, goes out into the garden by himself at night to wait for the Magi, and there he sees all the constellations and then the toy-laden Wise Men flying through the sky on their camels. The engaging text includes a few Spanish words that are easy to understand in context. Vidal’s intricately detailed watercolor and gouache paintings are delightfully refreshing, with a slightly flattened perspective and flowers and fruit trees on almost every page. The most memorable illustrations are the panoramic spreads of the garden, the constellations, and the Wise Men flying through the starry sky or standing outside the children’s bedroom window to tuck the toys into their shoes left out on the windowsill. (author’s note, glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)