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THE LEGEND OF THE POINSETTIA by Tomie dePaola

THE LEGEND OF THE POINSETTIA

By Tomie dePaola (Adaptor) , Tomie dePaola (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Oct. 6th, 1994
ISBN: 0-399-21692-8
Publisher: Putnam

Lucida and her mother are recruited by Padre Alvarez to weave a new blanket for the figure of Baby Jesus carried in their village's Christmas procession. They take to their task with great energy, but Lucida's mother falls ill and is not able to finish the blanket in time. When Lucida tries to weave it herself, she only manages to produce a hopeless set of tangles. Ashamed that she will have no gift to give the Baby Jesus, Lucida hides during the procession; but an old lady points out to her that any gift to the child would be accepted with love. Lucida grabs a hunk of weeds and prays for the best. Sure enough, as she places them beside the figure, the weeds burst into Christmas bloom, and so the great red spectacle of the poinsettia came to be. DePaola (Christopher, p. 140, etc.) has always had a way with the retelling of folktales--getting them straight without getting them sentimental--and he shines again here with this Mexican story, as do the bold swaths of color that illuminate his painting. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8)