A Pinata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas
A Pinata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas

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Annotation: In this adaptation of the folk song "The Twelve Days of Christmas," friends exchange such gifts as a pinata and "cuatro luminarias." Includes pronunciation and glossary of Spanish words, and a description of holiday foods and traditions.
Catalog Number: #37509
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2009
Edition Date: 2009
Illustrator: Morales, Magaly,
Pages: 28 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-618-84198-9 Perma-Bound: 0-605-25718-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-618-84198-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-25718-4
Dewey: 782
LCCN: 2008032463
Dimensions: 29 cm.
Language: Spanish
Bilingual: Yes
ALA Booklist
In trading a partridge for a piñata and intertwining English and Spanish, Mora has created not only a fun adaptation of a classic Christmas carol but also an introduction to many elements of holiday celebrations for families across the U.S. and Latin America. Among the 12 presents that a little girl's amiga brings to her are toys, musical instruments, and special holiday foods such as pastelitos and tamalitos. The final gift is 12 angels heralding (doce angelitos celebrando) the arrival of a new baby sister, preparations for which have been unfolding in the background all along. The illustrator is the sister of Belpré Award winning illustrator Yuyi Morales, and these acrylic paintings share a similar colorful and vibrant style as they integrate words, numbers, Spanish pronunciations, joy, and excitement throughout each full-page spread. A glossary, useful author's and illustrator's notes, and musical notation are also included. The syllabic rhythm doesn't always perfectly match the familiar tune, but that won't make reading or singing this any less merry.
Horn Book
In this zippy spin on "The Twelve Days of Christmas," a cherub-like girl dances across the pages as she accumulates gifts from her amiga. Morales's candy-colored acrylic paintings play with space and proportion and exude the girl's contagious holiday joy. The double-page spreads contain pronunciation guides for both gifts and numbers. Informative author's and illustrator's notes and music are appended. Glos.
Kirkus Reviews
"On the first day of Christmas my amiga gave to me," sings a little girl. Her rhymes, mainly in Spanish, increase in syllables and words with the number of objects she is receiving, from the titular pinata to doce angelitos celebrando . Mora blends Latino holiday traditions of her native Southwest with some from Mexico. The gifts are ethnic dishes like pastelitos , ornaments like paper lanterns— luminarias —and spinning tops— trompos —and Mexican folk-artstyled figures. Morales's acrylic paintings complement the song, showing, in the background, family members engaged in activities that are revealed on the last page along with the identity of the amiga —a new little sister. The inclusion of numerals and the pronunciation of the Spanish words, along with a concluding glossary and pronunciation guide, facilitates reading and makes it absolutely entertaining. (Picture book. 6-9)
Publishers Weekly

Spanish phrases pepper the traditional carol as a joyful child experiences the holiday. On the third day of Christmas, the girl's “amiga” gives her “tres tamalitos,” which sit steaming in an earthen pot, and on the sixth day, she receives “seis trompos girando” (spinning tops). Morales's acrylic illustrations glow with warm, festive colors, evoking lantern light. Phonetic pronunciations for the gifts and numbers are incorporated into the spreads, which lead up to a special final gift—a new sibling. A luminous holiday pick, especially for new big brothers and sisters. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)

School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2 In this Latino twist on the traditional folk song, the narrators secret amiga s gifts include a piñata in a pine tree and cuatro luminarias . The identity of the girls amiga is a sweet surprise and is sure to bring a smile to readers. The spreads are pleasing to the eye, with acrylic paintings rendered in vivid oranges, pinks, greens, and sky blue. A description of Christmas foods and other holiday traditions from different Latin American countries are included in the authors note, which also gives information on the history of the 12 days (beginning Christmas Day and ending January 5, Twelfth Night, the night before Epiphany, or Feast of the Three Kings). The last page includes the score. Diane Olivo-Posner, Los Angeles Public Library
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (11/1/09)
Horn Book (4/1/10)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (10/1/09)
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: P-2

An award-winning author and a rising star artist have put a festive Latino twist on The Twelve Days of Christmas, populating it with pi atas in place of partridges, plus burritos bailando (dancing donkeys), lunitas cantando (singing moons), and much more, all displayed in the most vivid colors imaginable. In this version a little girl receives gifts from a secret amiga, whose identity is a sweet surprise at the book's conclusion. There are things to find and count in Spanish on every page, with pronunciations provided right in the pictures and a glossary and music following the story. This joyous fiesta will warm even the coldest of hearts.

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