Adults wishing to share childhood memories with a new generation will appreciate the opportunities this title offers, but...

READ REVIEW

RUDOLFO ANAYA'S THE FAROLITOS OF CHRISTMAS

WITH "SEASON OF RENEWAL" AND "A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN NEW MEXICO, 1944"

Packaged as a Christmas trilogy, this edition of Anaya’s nostalgic narrative includes new illustrations and two personal essays, giving readers a historical perspective on some of the multicultural traditions of New Mexico.

In the title, opening story, Anaya presents the story of young Luz, who celebrates Christmas with her mother and ailing abuelo while her soldier father is away at war. In “Season of Renewal,” the solemnity of the mile-long walk to the church for midnight Mass segues to the excitement of children collecting fruit, nuts, and candy from neighbors on Christmas Day. From the Jémez Pueblo’s Matachines dances in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe to the winter solstice ritual of setting up the tree of life, the author’s recollections of year-end festivities in New Mexico are celebrations of life. “A Child’s Christmas in New Mexico, 1944” is threaded with religious symbolism. Mother’s flour tortillas’ transformation into the family’s eucharist and how the annual rebirth of Christ foreshadows the fertility of spring are memories that have sustained Anaya across the years. “Long after I am a grown man, I will come to the knowledge that not every shepherd arrives at the manger,” he reflects. Córdova’s illustrations are earth-toned and evocative of the retablos found throughout the region. Throughout, the tone is nostalgic, even sentimental, more reflective of an adult looking back than a child’s in-the-moment experience.

Adults wishing to share childhood memories with a new generation will appreciate the opportunities this title offers, but children may find this edition somewhat daunting .(Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-89013-609-6

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Museum of New Mexico

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2015

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A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area.

RED AND LULU

A pair of cardinals is separated and then reunited when their tree home is moved to New York City to serve as the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

The male cardinal, Red, and his female partner, Lulu, enjoy their home in a huge evergreen tree located in the front yard of a small house in a pleasant neighborhood. When the tree is cut down and hauled away on a truck, Lulu is still inside the tree. Red follows the truck into the city but loses sight of it and gets lost. The birds are reunited when Red finds the tree transformed with colored lights and serving as the Christmas tree in a complex of city buildings. When the tree is removed after Christmas, the birds find a new home in a nearby park. Each following Christmas, the pair visit the new tree erected in the same location. Attractive illustrations effectively handle some difficult challenges of dimension and perspective and create a glowing, magical atmosphere for the snowy Christmas trees. The original owners of the tree are a multiracial family with two children; the father is African-American and the mother is white. The family is in the background in the early pages, reappearing again skating on the rink at Rockefeller Center with their tree in the background.

A touching, beautifully illustrated story of greatest interest to those in the New York City area. (author’s note) (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 19, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-7636-7733-6

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 21, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Sure to be poopular with party planners, particularly those with strong stomachs and a hands-on approach.

THE GREAT BIG POOP PARTY

The you-know-what hits the fan after a lad’s parents rashly allow him to pick a theme for his birthday party.

Julian insists, and so after the party store poops out, everyone sets to cranking out homemade poop-up invitations, “poopsicles” and “lollypoops,” costumes, and games like “Pin-the-Poop-on-the-Toilet.” But will anyone drop in? Do they ever—in such massive streams that even the local news team catches wind of the event. Better yet, dancing the “Doo-Doo Doo-op” to tunes from the Dookie-Poo band and whacking the poop piñata, everyone has a blast. The party assumes such legendary status that news of it spreads around the world, prompting Julian and his family to create a graphic instruction manual together. Galán goes to town with swirling scenes in saturated hues with lots of brown, featuring hyped-up figures with wide eyes and huge grins. Julian’s family appears to be an interracial one, with an Asian-presenting dad and White-presenting mom whose attitudes modulate from disgust to delight over the course of the story. Readers inspired to organize poop parties of their own will find models for suitable decorations in the pictures. A caveat: The recipe for poop slime that Berger applies to the tail end uses glue and baby oil, among other ingredients, but is not labeled as inedible. (This book was reviewed digitally with 8.5-by-22-inch double-page spreads viewed at 65% of actual size.)

Sure to be poopular with party planners, particularly those with strong stomachs and a hands-on approach. (Picture book. 5-8)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-23787-3

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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