HOME FOR NAVIDAD by Harriet Ziefert


by , illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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Cohen’s reds, greens, and blues practically glow, and the sharp black outlines that he lays on them, particularly to highlight the human characters, recall both children’s drawings and the winning nonchalance of Ludwig Bemelmans. Add Ziefert’s tender, deliberately paced tale of a young Mexican girl’s longing for her mother, now three years in the US earning money as a housecleaner, and the result is a beautiful new addition to the shelf of multicultural Christmas stories. While Rosa’s daily life—picking corn with Tio Pancho, washing clothes in the river with Abuela—is harsher than that of most American children, Ziefert’s mood is nostalgic and upbeat, less disturbing to youngsters than Francisco Jimenez’s more intense and moving The Christmas Gift / El regalo de Navidad (2000). The accepted sadness of the family separation, the excitement of receiving a letter from her mother, even the math lesson requiring Rosa’s class to calculate how many weeks a man will need to save for a plane ticket—again suggesting broken families—combine to make Rosa’s longing very real. Children will strongly identify with her dream, at the end of the long day, of her mother wrapping her in her arms on Christmas day. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 29th, 2003
ISBN: 0-618-34976-6
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Walter Lorraine/Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2003


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