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El mejor regalo del mundo: La Leyenda De La Vieja Belen / The Best Gift of All: The Legend of La Vieja Belen (Bilingual Edition) (Spanish Edition) (Spanish) Hardcover – October 30, 2008


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Alfaguara Infantil; Bilingual edition (October 30, 2008)
  • Language: Spanish
  • ISBN-10: 1603963251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603963251
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 10 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,309,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3–This bilingual picture book is an original story about the Dominican folk character who delivers toys to poor children in the Dominican Republic the week after Three Kings Day. LaVieja Belén is an old woman who is always busy doing housework and caring for guests. One evening, three kings arrive at her doorstep on their way to find a king who was born in a stable a few days earlier. The Vieja feeds them a wonderful dinner of empanadas, fruits, and tamales. Although the story mentions that the men are looking for the king of the poor, the story is not religious and only hints at the Nativity tale, and Jesus' name is never mentioned. The gentle colored-pencil and watercolor illustrations depict an authentic Dominican country home complete with a straw shopping basket hung on the wall, a table with a popular tablecloth pattern, a big manual coffee grinder, and a wood-burning stove. The story is told in rhymes similar to that of Clement Clarke Moore' The Night Before Christmas. The poetic verses flow equally well in Spanish and in English, and the Spanish vocabulary is authentic to the region. The book concludes with an interesting essay about the origin of the folk character. A fine addition to any collection, but particularly a boon to Dominican-American communities.–Rebecca Hickman, Sherman Library at NSU, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Julia Alvarez has bridged the Americas many times. Born in New York and raised in the Dominican Republic, she is a poet, fiction writer, and essayist, author of world-renowned books in each of the genres, including How the García Girls Lost their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies, and Something to Declare. She lives on a farmstead outside Middlebury, Vermont, with her husband Bill Eichner. Visit Julia's Web site here to find out more about her writing.

Julia and Bill own an organic coffee farm called Alta Gracia in her native country of the Dominican Republic. Their specialty coffee is grown high in the mountains on what was once depleted pastureland. Not only do they grow coffee at Alta Gracia, but they also work to bring social, environmental, spiritual, and political change for the families who work on their farm. They use the traditional methods of shad-grown coffee farming in order to protect the environment, they pay their farmers a fair and living wage, and they have a school on their farm where children and adults learn to read and write. For more information about Alta Gracia, visit their website.

Belkis Ramírez, who created the woodcuts for A Cafecito Story, is one of the most celebrated artists in the Dominican Republic.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matilde Garcia on December 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful story that will captivate the attention of children. The story is based on a legend of the Dominican Republic. The illustrations make the story even more beautiful. I would recommend it especially if you want your children to learn about other cultures and customs.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hace poco comencé a leer varios libros de Julia Alvarez y me gustó su forma de expresar sus ideas en cada libro

Cuando vi este me aventuré a comprarlo y la verdad quedé encantada con la dulce historia de esta viejecita.
Es una lectura conmovedora, que nos lleva a reflexionar en el significado de la NAVIDAD
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By Mrs.LL on January 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Excellent Read-Aloud story, it reads as a poem. Both the English and Spanish versions are exceptionally written. And in true Julia Alvarez fashion, it integrates humor, life lessons and her Dominican culture.

My students were captivated by the story and the beautiful illustrations, and the little treat I gave them too.

I'll be using it at home as well, to teach my daughter about our Dominican Ms. Claus, "La Vieja Belen", lol
Maybe I'll read it to my father too, he'll get a kick out of it, since he always told me about this legend and now it's a book :)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great Book for all ages to read for enjoyment. Used successfully as a reflection and discussion with adolescents and adults. Art is superb. Learning about another culture was easy and thought provoking.
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