José Feliciano’s Feliz Navidad
written and illustrated by David Diaz
song lyrics by José Feliciano
All Ages, 28 pages
I was excited when I discovered this book at the library, since “Feliz Navidad” is one of my favorite Christmas Songs. (Go ahead and click the video to listen while you read.) In the book, José Feliciano’s Feliz Navidad the reader almost sings along as the lyrics are slowly written on the pages. José Feliciano was born in Puerto Rico and moved to New York at a young age. He wrote “Feliz Navidad” when he was homesick during the Christmas season. Feliciano was born blind, but that didn’t stop this songwriter who won six Grammy Awards with more than sixty-five albums. The book describes a parranda that is a Christmas tradition in Puerto Rico. A parranda is basically a caroling parade when neighbors and friends surprise each other from house to house with small instruments. The festive parade lasts hours and moves through the neighborhood with singing, dancing, and food. At the end, there is a huge feast and cookout often with a roasted pig that brings everyone together. The book was very colorful and festive, which is appropriate for such an upbeat Christmas song.
written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz
Ages 5 & up, 32 pages
Nobody believes a small boy when he continually states that it’s going to snow. The day begins grey and dirty, but soon there is the glimpse of one snowflake. A man with a tall hat and a woman with an umbrella state that it’s nothing and will soon melt. The radio and television mention no sign of snow. However, snow doesn’t watch television or listen to the radio. Snow is snow. Soon more snowflakes fall and turn the dreary grey skies into a white blanket that covers the town. Snow contains few words, but the illustrations make the story as the town becomes whiter. I saw this book as an optimistic young boy who believes in the magic of snow and a pessimistic town who only believe what they are told. Snowflakes keep coming and coming and coming, circling and swirling, spinning and twirling, dancing, playing, there, and there, floating, floating through the air; falling, falling everywhere. This book was awarded a Caldecott Honor in 1999.
by Aaron Shepard, illustrated by Wendy Edelson
Ages 8 & up, 32 pages
Van Amsterdam is an honest baker in the Dutch colonial town that later becomes Albany, New York, who gives exactly what his customers pay for. Van Amsterdam was always busy, because people trusted him and his treats were so good. He was especially busy before December 6 to celebrate Saint Nicholas Day. The gingerbread cookies painted red and white with a bishop cap are famous throughout town. An old woman enters the store and demands another cookie, but Van Amsterdam isn’t tricked since a dozen is twelve. However, after meeting the old woman everything goes wrong in his bakery and no customers enter his bakery. Van Amsterdam has a dream that Saint Nicholas himself gave him one of his own cookies but realizes that it was the old woman. He awakes and realizes that he can give his customers more. Van Amsterdam is determined to get his customers back as he bakes many Saint Nicholas cookies. The old woman enters and she’s pleased when the baker hands her thirteen cookies instead of a twelve.
By Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Lisa Brown
Ages 6 & up, 24 pages
Lemony Snicket is most often recognized for his A Series of Unfortunate Events book series. This is a humorous story about a latke or a potato pancake eaten during the celebration of Hanukkah. The latke began screaming when it was heated in a pan full of oil. So what’s a toasted latke to now do? Well of course it then jumps out of the hot pan and out the window. It ran down the street past flashing Christmas lights who angrily shout that they are the ones to make cheer. The flashing lights believe he’s just hash browns, but the latke screams that it’s completely different. It then comes across a candy cane who’s upset that the screaming is spoiling the peppermint scent. The latke responds that its smell symbolizes the feeling of Hanukkah. The candy cane states that someone should write a Christmas carol about it. Of course, the latke screams that it’s not part of Christmas and it’s a completely different thing. The latke continues to scream until it stumbles into a forest. Finally, a family finds the latke and takes it home to eat for their Hanukkah dinner with applesauce and sour cream. The last pages explain that it’s sometimes difficult to be understood and makes you want to scream, but everything should be welcomed somewhere. The latke was welcome in a home where people understood it and fit perfectly during the Hanukkah celebration.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
― Dr. Seuss (How the Grinch Stole Christmas!)
I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award from Cedric de Alicoque who has a wonderful photography blog. I’m very delighted and honored for the award! Liebster is a German word that means beloved or love, so it’s a blog that you love.
Here are the ‘rules’ to accept the award:
- Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
- Link back to the blogger who awarded you.
- Give your top 5 picks for the award
- Inform your top 5 by leaving a comment on their blog.
- Post the award on your blog.
This Kid Reviews Books Awesome blog about a kid himself who reviews books! It’s a great site for parents & kids trying to find the perfect book to read from a kid’s perspective.
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Friday Morning Bookclub As the name states, this is mainly a book review blog with quotes, book trivia, author info, and more.
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