La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story by Antonio Sacre
Illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Genre: Children’s Picture Book
Pages: 32 Jacketed Hardcover
8 1/2 x 10 1/2
Date Published: November 2010
Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers
Nina is visiting her grandmother in Miami for Christmas. Usually she spends it in snowy New England with her mother and her family, but this year is different. She isn’t certain what to make of a hot and humid holiday, until she learns the traditions of her father’s side of the family from her Cuban grandmother. She helps prepare for the evening and takes part in all their traditions—the intricate cooking for the feast, the dancing, the music, and the gathering of relatives and neighbors. It all comes together for a Noche Buena that Nina will never forget.
Antonio Sacre and Angela Dominguez have created a wonderful story that everyone who celebrates Christmas will enjoy. The book includes a glossary of Spanish words.
Typically when I think of Christmas I think of cool if not out right cold weather and dreaming of snow that sometimes comes and sometimes does not. Although I was introduced to many different cultures and environments for Christmas through 17 Christmases. Now through the words of Antonio Sacre we’re introduced to another cultural Christmas. Every family has their traditions and the Cuban-American culture is valuable to Nina’s father’s family and this is her Christmas with them. Through a melting-pot of experiences this book is a great introduction with a Spanish Christmas Eve holiday Buena Noche.
Using sparse beginner’s Spanish vocabulary, this is a great book for young readers interested in other cultures and learning Spanish. It also opens up communication on a varied realm of topics like blended families, ethnicity connection, festive diversity and more.
*Thanks to Abrams Books for providing a copy for review.*
About the authors:
Antonio Sacre is a Cuban-American writer, storyteller, and performance artist. He lives in Los Angeles. Visit him online at www.antoniosacre.com.
Angela Dominguez was born in Mexico City and lives in northern California. She illustrated Ava Tree and the Wishes Three and Carmen Learns English. Visit her online at www.andillustrations.com.