A GIFT OF GRACIAS by Julia Alvarez

A GIFT OF GRACIAS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 5 - 8

KIRKUS REVIEW

Alvarez creates a lovely tale based on legends from her childhood in the Dominican Republic. Our Lady of Altagracia, like Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico, is a New World version of the Virgin Mary, revered by both the Indians and the Spanish settlers. María’s parents have not been successful growing olives, and are in danger of losing their farm. However, when her father and the Indian Quisqueya return from town with Valencia oranges from Spain, María has a vision of “a beautiful lady with golden skin and a crown of stars,” in an orange grove. Following Our Lady’s instructions, the family plants the orange seeds, saying gracias with each one. In a matter of months, trees that would normally take years to grow bear fruit. In a second miracle, Quisqueya has a vision of Our Lady amidst the stars. The falling stars that he catches on his blanket are transformed into a shining, light-giving portrait of Our Lady. Vidal’s detailed, lovingly rendered pictures glow like the oranges and the stars she so beautifully depicts. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 11th, 2005
ISBN: 0-375-82425-1
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2005




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