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The Night of Las Posadas (Picture Puffin Books) Paperback – Picture Book, September 24, 2001

4.8 out of 5 stars 156 ratings

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"Share, Big Bear, Share!" by Maureen Wright
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About the Author

Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut, in 1934 to a family of Irish and Italian background. By the time he could hold a pencil, he knew what his life's work would be. His determination to create books for children led to a BFA from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and an MFA from the California College of Arts & Crafts in Oakland, California.

It drove him through the years of teaching, designing greeting cards and stage sets, and painting church murals until 1965, when he illustrated his first children's book, Sound, by Lisa Miller for Coward-McCann. Eventually, freed of other obligations, he plunged full time into both writing and illustrating children's books.

He names Fra Angelico and Giotto, Georges Rouault, and Ben Shahn as major influences on his work, but he soon found his own unique style. His particular way with color, line, detail, and design have earned him many of the most prestigious awards in his field, among them a Caldecott Honor Award for Strega Nona, the Smithsonian Medal from the Smithsonian Institution, the Kerlan Award from the University of Minnesota for his "singular attainment in children's literature," the Catholic Library Association's Regina Medal for his "continued distinguished contribution," and the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion. He was also the 1990 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Medal for illustration.

Tomie dePaola has published almost 200 children's books in fifteen different countries. He remains one of the most popular creators of books for children, receiving more than 100,000 fan letters each year.

Tomie lives in an interesting house in New Hampshire with his four dogs. His studio is in a large renovated 200-year-old barn.

- He has been published for over 30 years.
- Over 5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide.
- His books have been published in over 15 different countries.
- He receives nearly 100,000 fan letters each year.

Tomie dePaola has received virtually every significant recognition forhis books in the children's book world, including:

- Caldecott Honor Award from American Library Association
- Newbery Honor Award from American Library Association
- Smithson Medal from Smithsonian Institution
- USA nominee in illustration for Hans Christian Andersen Medal
- Regina Medal from Catholic Library Association

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction:Las Posadas, an old Spanish custom which celebrates Mary and Joseph seeking shelter in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve, stems from the word posada, meaning "inn." It began in Spain and came to the New Wold, first to Mexico and then to the American Southwest. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, where I have imagined my story, luminarios or faralitos, as they are called in New Mexico, line the edges of the plaza in the historical district of the city. These candles placed in paper bags light the way for Mary and Joseph, the procession of candle bearers and others singing in traditional Spanish songs.Along the way, the couple representing Mary and Joseph knock on doors, five in all. Each time a "devil" appears and tries to keep them out of the "inn." Everyone gathered in the Plaza books the "devil," and the procession moves around the plaza until they reach the Palace of Governors. There the gates are thrown open to a courtyard where everyone gathers and celebrates to coming of the baby Jesus.A Note From the Author:In Spain , as in Mexico, Las Posadas is celebrated for nine days. Families walk in processions, knocking at doors, but only on Christmas Eve does a door open, everyone enters and has hot chocolate and cookies to commemorate the expected birth of the Holy Child. In San Antonio, Texas, a procession of boats, with the couple representing Mary and Joseph sitting in the first boat followed by boats filled with people singing, winds down the river that runs through the center of the city.In Santa Fe, the procession is usually made up of people from Santa Cruz, a small village north of the city. It is a great honor to be chosen to play Mary and Joseph. When they knock on the doors, a song is sung each time asking for Mary and Joseph to be let in. But the "devil" appears with an answering song to keep them out. It is very dramatic and even amusing as the crowd filling the square boo and hiss at the "devil."Finally when everyone has gathered in the courtyard, as in Spain and Mexico, hot chocolate and cookies are served.

Product details

  • Lexile measure : AD650L
  • Item Weight : 4.8 ounces
  • Grade level : Preschool - 3
  • Paperback : 32 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0698119010
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0698119017
  • Dimensions : 8.5 x 0.11 x 11 inches
  • Publisher : Puffin Books; Illustrated edition (September 24, 2001)
  • Language: : English
  • Reading level : 4 - 8 years
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 156 ratings

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
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Top reviews from other countries

Red Bus Book Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Christmas tale with Spanish traditions
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 4, 2018
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Maria and Jose seek shelter
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 15, 2016
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 22, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on August 17, 2018
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