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Merry Navidad!: Christmas Carols in Spanish and English/Villancicos en espanol e ingles Hardcover – September 25, 2007

4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Alma Flor Ada is an internationally published children's book author. She is the recipient of several prestigious honors, including the Pura Belpré Award, the Christopher Award, the José Martí World Award, and the Museum of Tolerance Award. She lives in Lucas Valley, California.

Alma Flor Ada es una autora de libros para niños reconocida y publicada internacionalmente. Ha recibido varios premios prestigiosos en Estados Unidos, entre ellos, el Pura Belpré y el José Martí. Alma Flor vive en San Francisco, California.

Viví Escrivá's celebrated watercolors have graced the pages of many of Alma Flor Ada's books, including ¡Pío Peep! Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes. She lives in Spain.

Viví Escrivá es la aclamada ilustradora de libros para niños, como My School/Mi Escuela, The Empty Piñata y ¡Pío Peep! Sus acuarelas han sido elogiadas por School Library Journal por su "brillo" y "belleza". Ella vive en España.

F. Isabel Campoy is a poet, playwright, songwriter, and storyteller. She has written numerous children's books, both in English and Spanish, on the art and culture of the Hispanic world. She lives in California.

F. Isabel Campoy es una poeta, drama-turga, compositora de canciones y narradora de cuentos. Ha escrito una gran variedad de libros para niños en inglés y en español. Isabel vive en San Francisco, California.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 5
  • Hardcover: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Rayo; Bilingual edition (September 25, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060584343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060584344
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,624,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maria Larson on January 16, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I gave this book four stars because the title and description may lead people to expect a collection of carol words with music. Otherwise, I feel that it is a perfect introduction to Christmas as it is celebrated in Spanish-speaking countries (Spain and Latin America). Unlike other books on the subject which restrict their coverage to Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean, Merry Navidad has villancicos from Peru, Chile and Argentina, as well as countries to the north. The illustrations are adorable. I specially like the drawings in the margins, which really add to the content.

For people who expect a carol collection like the American carol books they are used to, a collection of villancicos can be a problem. I grew up in Chile myself, and villancicos were a major part of my family's Christmas celebration. They were sung by three generations of my family on Christmas Eve, accompanied by guitar, drums, and other musical instruments. Even though we knew dozens of villancicos, we didn't learn a single one from a musical score. They were either learned directly from someone else or from a recording. I believe this is normal throughout Latin America and the result is that, unlike American carols, villancicos have not yet become standardized. Even when the same words are used, they will sound quite different from one part of the hispanic world to another, because they are sung to different tunes and have different refrains. May be this is why the authors decided not to restrict themselves to one tune per song, and left it up to the readers to supply the music.
I am sure there is a need for a book of villancicos with piano accompaniment and maybe choral settings. I just hope it won't mark the end of the villancico as an oral tradition, in all its variety.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tricia Ares on December 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The focus of this book is not musical interpretation but acknowledging and synthesizing the complexity of the eclectic nationalities that fall under the generalized North American term "Hispanic." An introduction and nine brief holiday descriptions create a rich cultural context for nineteen poetic verses.

Merry Navidad makes a thoughtful gift for families steeped in the merging Spanish/English speaking world, promoting cultural awareness and understanding in a linguistically inclusive format. Whether your child speaks Spanish, English, or learning both simultaneously, this book validates the importance of linguistic heritage and honors the emotional tie that we have both to language and holiday traditions.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Pierce on November 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Would you expect this book to contain singable songs? I did. It has the lyrics to villancicos in Spanish and carols in English. There are no melodies included except for those to six of the songs, perplexingly tacked at the end.

Why six? Why any, if this isn't really a song book? Well, is it a song book? More tellingly, what is the purpose of this book?

Sixty pages of background material suggest that Merry Navidad/Carols in Spanish and English/Villancicos en español y ingles-- titled like a song book and illustrated with children in mind-- is in truth something else: a resource for adults.

This purchase reminds me of the time I tried to buy marching "cymbals" online. The parcel arrived containing a single metallic disc. In the first message in my sequence of startling emails with the seller, I inquired about the missing cymbal. What could I want with two, he replied, incredulous. After explaining, I pointed out that his online description referred to "cymbals." Why did he use the plural form of the word? Did he know about "singular" and "plural," I wondered. (I asked. He didn't.) He also hadn't happened to hear of John Phillip Sousa.

But innocence does not excuse untrustworthy representation of merchandise, though it may explain it. (He'd already spent the money I'd paid him for the one "cymbals," so I shipped him back my loner so he could sell it again-- imploring him to revise his description.)

Just as I would urge Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy to re-title this potentially useful reference work in a way that is not unintentionally misleading. They don't seem to know that they have named a children's song book yet written a cultural reference for adults!
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By ruthandrieux on January 29, 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a beautiful Christmas song book.
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