A DOLL FOR NAVIDADES by Esmeralda Santiago


Age Range: 4 - 8
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This touching story of a little girl’s unfulfilled dream is based on an event in the author’s own childhood in Puerto Rico. The main character, seven-year-old Esmeralda, has no doll of her own and longs for a blonde, blue-eyed baby doll just like one owned by her cousin. Esmeralda and her large family celebrate all the traditions and special customs of the season, and the children each look forward to receiving one special gift to be left by the Three Magi. Esmeralda and her younger sister Delsa each ask for a doll, but only Delsa receives the longed-for baby doll, while Esmeralda receives a board game that doesn’t interest her. Her heartbreak at this disappointment and her subsequent jealous reaction is palpably captured in both text and illustrations, conveying the intensity of a child’s unguarded emotions. The first-person text unfolds smoothly and lyrically, with a few Spanish words for key phrases, family members and holiday names interwoven within context. Esmeralda’s world comes to life in the acrylic paintings by Sánchez, who captures the little girl’s facial expressions with heart-tugging immediacy. (author’s note, illustrator’s note, glossary) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-439-55398-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2005


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