It's Christmas Eve, which means we've reached the end of our 12 Days of Christmas Picture Books series with Day 12. Thank you for reading along with us thus far - we've had some wonderful selections this year that we have truly enjoyed sharing with all of you, dear readers.
Today's selection is one that we really love, and that reminds us of how much more wonderful the holiday can be when we embrace the flavor of many cultures. Christmas is a global holiday, after all, and it is recognized in different ways in different places. Our celebrations can be made even more festive when we incorporate some elements from around the world, strengthening our connections as people and reinforcing global citizenship to our children.
Our book for today is Pat Mora's A Piñata in a Pine Tree. This bilingual title represents a blending of traditions into a selection that is vibrant and unique. Mora has taken the familiar carol "Twelve Days of Christmas" and updated it by adding Latino/a elements that the author remembers from her own holiday celebrations. Instead of all those birds, for instance, the adorable little girl singing the song receives luminarias, guitarritas, and on the final day, doce angelitos celebrando. Each day's gifts are depicted on its own spread, and a glossary at the end of the book defines the terms for non-Spanish speakers.
Sprout loves the colors of this one, and the charming illustrations by Magaly Morales that nearly spring off the page. (Magaly is the sister of Yuyi Morales, another of our favorite illustrators.) The pictures are energetic and joyful, a can't-miss addition to any Christmas bookshelf. If you're looking for a way to update the Twelve Days for modern kids, this is a terrific selection - Mora's lyrics fit perfectly with the melody and there's a great twist at the end. You might just find your kiddos singing along with entirely new words next year.
To all our readers -- thank you for following along with our series. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
A Piñata in a Pine Tree by Pat Mora, published by Clarion Books
Sample: "On the fourth day of Christmas, my amiga gave to me cuatro luminarias, tre tamalitos, dos pastelitos, and a piñata in a pine tree."