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Nine Days to Christmas: A Story of Mexico (Picture Puffins) Paperback – November 1, 1991

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 510L (What's this?)
  • Series: Picture Puffins
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (November 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140544429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140544428
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,133,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
This children's book is about a five-year-old Mexican girl and her first posada (a Christmas festival in Mexico) and her first Christmas piñata. Children have always loved the story and also have used the book to learn more about the culture and life of another country. "Nine Days to Christmas" is highly recommended. Aurora Labastida was the librarian for children's books in Mexico City and she cowrote this story with Marie Ets who was the illustrator. The book won the 1960 Caldecott Medal for best illustration in a children's book.
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Format: Library Binding
I've never seen a book quite like it. Originally published in 1959, and winner of the 1960 Caldecott medal, "Nine Days to Christmas" is the tale of Ceci and her piñata. Ceci is five years old, and at long last her mother has consented to hold a posada (Christmas party) that Ceci may attend. Ceci is delighted, and when choosing a piñata for the posada she grows horribly attached to one in the shape of a beautiful star. When the time comes to break the piñata into pieces, however, Ceci is understandably distraught. Fortunately, the very nature of piñatas rectifies the situation and Ceci finds comfort in the season.
Both visually and textually this book is an original. Ets's Ceci is definitely five years of age. Her every move and thought confirms her youth and excitement at finally getting to participate in the first of nine Christmas parties. What's nice about the story is the amount of time and attention the author pays to the day-to-day living of a wealthy Mexican family like Ceci's. She displays the world around Ceci without ever ignoring the poor or impoverished. Though Ceci is too young to make any judgments about the way the world is, she knows enough to observe a man too poor to own shoes or village women selling flowers. The book never trivializes the situation of the people, and it grants servants the same respect as their employers. I was especially taken with the section in which the servant girls mix and mingle while waiting for the garbage truck to arrive. It's nice to see someone besides the rich having lives of their own in a picture book. My only objection is the author's dedication at the front. She writes, "To all the little Mexican friends and relatives who helped us make this book".
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Format: Paperback
As a child, this book open the world to me. Nine Days to Christmas lets children learn about and explore the traditions of Christmas in Mexico while capturing the thrill and confusion of early childhood. Thirty years after reading this book, I look forward to sharing the magic of Nine Days to Christmas with my own children.
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Format: Paperback
'Nine Days to Christmas" is an informative book about the Mexican traditions that occur in the month of December. In the beginning we are introduced to 'Ceci' a five year old Mexican girl who is elated that this year she will be able to host a Posada (Christmas Party) of her own. 'Ceci' starts to shop for items needed for her party, while she waits for the actual days of the festivities she introduces us to her world around her and the many people she knows will be invited her first Posada. Representation of the Mexican Culture is introduced clearly to the readers as 'Ceci' explains what needs to be done before the last day of the celebration. 'Ceci' talks a lot about herself and fantasizes that certain objects like the Piñatas and stars above the night sky having real conversations with her. In the end `Ceci' understands the true meaning of having a posada and is amused that she succeeded this rite of passage at a young age. This wouldn't be considered Traditional Literature but more of Fantasy Literature. Overall I enjoyed reading the book and the illustrations were very realistic nothing abnormal.
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Format: Kindle Edition
It's interesting to see the difference in style and standards from the early Caldecott medal winners, like this one published in 1959, and the most recent winners. The largest difference being the rather large amount of text in Caldecott winners in earlier years. This book would be too advanced for any new reader, but it's perfect for a parent to read to a child.

The artwork is definitely up to Caldecott standards, with fully-developed backgrounds and a sparing but good use of color. Done in mostly neutral shades, more vibrant yellows, pinks, and suck are reserved to make backgrounds pop and people seem more fully-fleshed.

The most likely people to own this story will, of course, be culturally linked to Mexico, but it would be a wonderful addition to any Christmas-themed read-along.
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Format: Paperback
This book is rich with fascinating traditions from the Latino culture. First published in 1959, this Caldecott Medal picture book tells the story of a young girl in Mexico who is hosting her first Christmas party. The girl hopes to have a pinata at her party. When the day of the party finally arrives and she does in fact have a beautiful pinata which she was able to choose herself, she is devastated when she realizes it will be crushed. In the end, the pinata, which is shaped like a star, disappears into the night sky where she knows it will live forever.

This book is a bit slow at the beginning. However, it really comes together at the end with a sweet finish.

~DeeDee Fox, Author and Illustrator, The Ruby Red Slippers
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