Taylor (The Cay, 1969, plus numerous other adventures) fashions a heartwarmer about a Mexican-American's efforts to get her people included in their California town's Christmas festivities. The annual parade has floats entered by wealthy ranchers who spend thousands on professional designers. Stung by her gringo friends' thoughtless comments, Maria Gonzaga (11) announces that her family is entering, then manages to meet the registration deadline with money from the family pot. Hooked by the same pride that inspired Maria, her parents agree; a subject within their means at first eludes them, but--with the family ox and ass (actually a hinny) and their old cart, they contrive a Nativity scene that is movingly authentic under night light, pulled (when the hinny balks and has to ride on the float) by other members of the Latino community. Predictable but pleasant.