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The Christmas Gift / El regalo de Navidad (Spanish Edition) (Spanish) Hardcover – September 27, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ages 5-9. Like La Mariposa (1999), this picture book in both English and Spanish tells one story from Jimenez's award-winning autobiographical collection, The Circuit: Sto ries from the Life of a Migrant Child (1997). The boy Panchito dreams of getting a red ball for Christmas; but there's no work and no money for presents, and the family must move again. When a man and his pregnant wife try to sell their meager possessions to get food and shelter, Panchito hears his father say, "We're broke, too." The surprise on the last page reveals Papa's true gifts of kindness and love. The child's focus is on his own disappointing gift, and, like him, the young picture-book audience may miss the subtlety of the Christmas metaphor about the couple finding no room at the inn. However, Cotts' stylized acrylic paintings, rich in color, express the tenderness of the narrative and the facts of the poverty. The story's power is in the simple words that directly tell of having to leave home. As the family drives away in search of work, Panchito waves to his friends on the school playground, "but they [do] not see him." Hazel Rochman
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Review

“The family’s odyssey is heartrending, but it is the truth, and it’s skillfully told by someone who’s been there.” --Rudolfo Anaya, author of BLESS ME, ULTIMA

"Told both in English and in Spanish, this bittersweet tale is base on an incident from Jiménez’s childhood in a family of migrant farm workers." —Publishers Weekly, starred review 9/25/00 Publishers Weekly, Starred

"A touching holiday offering, with an emphasis on family love and sharing." —School Library Journal School Library Journal
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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 720L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 27, 2000)
  • Language: Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 0395928699
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395928691
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #747,681 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A true story from the author's childhood, this is a beautiful and moving tale told simply in both English and Spanish. My wife and I were both dabbing our eyes with handkerchiefs by the time we finished reading. The illustrations are very well done and enhance the message of the book. Highly recommended as an antidote to the typical materialist emphasis of Christmas.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By CM on January 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I actually found this book in a barber shop. The illustrations got the attention of my 2 year old. What a find! Every parent regardless of the age of their children should read this book at bed time. It had the attention of my four children, ages 2 to 10. I actually felt like I was reading my parents, and grandparents Christmas story. I was lucky enough to not have to live my life through rough times like this. I was able to have the education that my parents and grandparents worked so hard for, but only could dream of. This story helped me remember and appreciate all they had to endure. What a story it brought me back to my roots. Only warning I have for future readers... have tissues close at hand!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Scott AL Beck on January 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is yet another powerful children's book by Francisco Jiménez. His books, based upon his own experiences as a child of migrant farmworkers, are consistently both beautiful and instructive, heart-rending and joyous. For the vast majority of Americans who don't think about the lives of the people pick and process the food we eat, this book is a gentle, but strong reminder of the continued existance of poverty in our nation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By tami farmer on April 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Once again Mr. Jimenez has presented us with the stark reality of many American children. Beautifully written and illustrated this story will touch the hearts of all who read it. The illustrations are bright, bold and in keeping with the cultural background of migratory workers. An added plus, it is presented in English and Spanish. A wonderful addition to any private collection of children's books.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The Christmas Gift" is a beautifully illustrated children's book, but all who read it will be touched by the simple message of the true meaning of Christmas. Francisco Jimenez writes this story from his own experiences with his migrant family. The beautiful full page full color plates illustrate the culture of the migrant family. This book is a wonderful addition to anyone's multi cultural library and should be in every elementary school library. The book is written in both English and Spanish. That in itself, will arouse the interest of most English speaking and Spanish speaking children but all readers are in for another real treat because they will learn and appreciate the culture of this migrant family and the things that make Christmas most meaningful -- loving others, unselfishness and appreciating the simple things in life.
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