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The Lady in the Blue Cloak: Legends from the Texas Missions Hardcover – July 1, 2006


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"I Don't Like Koala" by Sean Ferrell and Charles Santoso
This darkly funny debut picture book celebrates imagination and bravery while addressing the dilemma: what to do about that stuffed animal who won’t stop staring. See more

Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Grade Level: 1 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 730L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House (July 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823417387
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823417384
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #573,788 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4–Each of these six selections opens with a full-page illustration that captures the heart of its story. The gorgeous oil paintings are filled with light and religious imagery befitting the legends. The tales are all well told and engaging, but the endings are rather abrupt. The last chapter, The Padre's Gift, contains two selections about the mysterious padre of San Antonio and is the best of the bunch. A time line about the creation and use of the Texas missions is included, and Kimmel cites his source for the stories in an author's note. This is a lovely book that will probably prove most useful in Texas and possibly in other areas with a history of Spanish missions.–S K Joiner, Brazoria County Library System, Angleton, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In this picture book, Kimmel collects stories from the Texas missions that were built during Spain's colonial rule. In the title tale, a Spanish nun appears in realistic visions to a group of Tejas Indians; in "Rosa's Window," a Spanish artisan leaves his sweetheart behind to travel to Texas, where he will help build mission churches; and in "The Christmas Vine," a priest helps a young boy choose an offering for Jesus. The short stories flow easily, but they present a mostly uncritical picture of the Christian mission experience (bringing "these new Christians closer to God"), and the narrow viewpoint may jar readers seeking a more balanced portrayal of colonists and indigenous people. However, there are very few collections of these stories available for the age group, and the mysticism, faith, and magic--captured in reverential oil paintings bordered with angels, saints, and other religious imagery--will resonate with some children, particularly Catholics and Texans, for whom the symbolism and history may be more familiar. An introduction offers more background, and an afterword cites sources. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Char on July 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Only 32 pages long, this nicely illustrated book contains six stories based upon actual facts woven into folk tales relating to the history of four different Texas missions. These are San Francisco de los Tejas, San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo, Nuestra Senora de la Purisma Concepcion de la Acuna, and San Antonio de Valera, commonly known now as The Alamo. The stories are "legends" which contain miraculous elements, but it seems quite possible, especially if the Title story is evidence, that these wonders may be MORE and/or LESS factual, too, depending upon which legend you're reading

In any case, these are historically-based legends which provide a quick and painless way to learn bits and pieces of fact and legend about the very old Texas missions that date back to the Seventeenth Century.

In trying to decide if the events of these legends might actually have happened, I thought about the story of the mysterious staircase that was constructed in the Loretto Chapel in Sante Fe, New Mexico. Everyone agrees that there are several inexplicable "miracles" entwined in the story of the raising of those stairs. Having been aware myself of the reports in some Texas history books of a mysterious non-Indian woman wearing a blue cloak, who appeared and told early Texas Indians about the Christian God long before the arrival of friars who came to them in the late 1600s, and knowing myself that this woman was later identified as Sister Maria of Agreda, Spain, a nun who was capable of traveling about the world by means of bilocation and who wrote in her diaries all about the Texas Indians without ever having actually traveled physically to Texas, I was very interested in reading more about the legend of The Lady in the Blue Cloak.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cindy W. Bonner on June 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Written for a slightly older reader, ages 6 to 10, "The Lady in the Blue Cloak: Legends from the Texas Missions" contains six chapters and many more words than pictures. Based on truth as well as legend, this book contains a bit of violence and a couple of ghosts. A story set at the East Texas mission San Francisco de los Tejas in Nacogdoches opens the book. Other chapters center around the San Antonio missions San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo with it's Rosa's Window, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of Acuna, and the Mission of San Antonio de Valero, now called the Alamo. At the back of the book is a Texas Missions Time Line.

I liked that the author never condescends to his young audience. He strives to entertain but also engages the reader intellectually. The drawings and illustrations are visually stimulating, and in some cases, downright breathtaking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Long on May 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very please with this book! I used it in a project at school and it worked perfectly! I really enjoyed reading about the various legends of the Texas Missions!
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More About the Author

Eric A. Kimmel is a native New Yorker who lives in Oregon. He was born in Brooklyn, NY where he learned to love books and traditional stories from an early age. He could hear five different languages without leaving his block. Eric taught teachers as a professor of Education at Indiana University at South Bend and Portland State University. His favorite classes were children's literature, language arts, storytelling, and handwriting. He left the university in 1993 to become a full-time writer, a dream he had had since kindergarten.

Eric's books have won numerous awards. He and his wife Doris have traveled all over the world, sharing his books and stories with school children in China, Africa, and Turkey.