Reading Christmas books to my children by the lights of the tree is one of my favorite things to do during this beautiful season. It is a tender moment that brings us together and build memories. We read the classic Christmas stories such as “The Polar Express”, “A Christmas Carol”, “The Nutcracker” and so many more. We also enjoy reading Latino-themed Christmas books. These books teach my children more about the Latino culture and take me back to my own childhood in Ecuador. It is wonderful!
Here I share 10 Latino-themed Christmas books that you should read:
A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas
“An award-winning author and a rising star artist have put a festive Latino twist on “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” populating it with piñatas in place of partridges, plus burritos bailando (dancing donkeys),lunitas cantando (singing moons), and much more, all displayed in the most vivid colors imaginable. In this version a little girl receives gifts from a secret amiga, whose identity is a sweet surprise at the book’s conclusion. There are things to find and count in Spanish on every page, with pronunciations provided right in the pictures and a glossary and music following the story. This joyous fiesta will warm even the coldest of hearts.”–From Publisher.
The Santero’s Miracle: A Bilingual Story
“In this bilingual story of faith, Don Jacobo has a dream that, in the end, is a reminder that miracles do happen. Jacobo is teaching his visiting grandson Andrés how to become a santero. Christmas is coming, snow is falling in the village, and the two are working on a carving of San Isidro, the patron saint of farmers.
The half-finished carving stands in the living room beside the two oxen and the angel that don Jacobo carved earlier in the month. The snow-covered mountains are beautiful, but the road to the village is impassable. Andrés’s parents will not be able to get to the house for the holiday, and Jacobo’s neighbor Leopoldo is desperately ill but cannot get to the hospital.
Then comes Jacobo’s dream; San Isidro is plowing with the two oxen and the angel is helping. “But we don’t plow ’til April,” don Jacobo muses upon awakening. “What does it mean?” The night had been bitterly cold and don Jacobo must bundle up to go to the barn to feed his cows and chickens. As he steps outside, he can hardly believe his eyes. The snow-packed road is clear. Rudolfo Anaya’s story of the power of faith, hope, and love will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.”–From Publisher
The Christmas Gift / El regalo de Navidad
“With honesty and rare grace, award-winning author Francisco Jiménez shares his most poignant Christmas memory in this remarkable book. Illustrated with paintings full of strength and warmth, written in spare bilingual text, this simple story celebrates the true spirit of Christmas, and illuminates how children do indeed draw strength from the bonds of their families.”–From Amazon
La Nochebuena South of the Border
“A sombrero-wearing Santa is making his rounds through the Mexican desert in James Rice’s latest twist of a holiday tale. The text appears side-by-side in English and Spanish.” — From the Publisher
The Night of Las Posadas
“Tomie dePaola’s glorious paintings are as luminous as the farolitos that light up on the Plaza in Santa Fe for the procession of Las Posadas, the tradition in which Mary and Joseph go from door to door seeking shelter at the inn on Christmas Eve.This year Sister Angie, who is always in charge of the clebration, has to stay home with the flu, and Lupe and Roberto, who are to play Mary and Joseph, get caught in a snowstorm. But a man and a woman no one knows arrive in time to take their place in the procession and then mysteriously disappear at the end before they can be thanked.That night we witness a Christian miracle, for when Sister Angie goes to the cathedral and kneels before the statue of Mary and Joseph, wet footprints from the snow lead up to the statue.” –From Amazon
La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story
“Inspired by his own childhood experiences, a professional storyteller offers a mouthwatering view of a Christmas Eve celebration in Miami’s Little Havana and the preparations leading up to it. Young Nina’s happy to be visiting her abuela for the holiday and meeting her father’s side of the family, but she can’t imagine Christmas without snow and her familiar cousins up north. Three days in the kitchen with the women and carrying big jars of marinade to the men outside where the pig is roasting changes her outlook—as does being sent to pick baskets full of limes, lemons, avocados, and mangoes from nearby trees; joining crowds of relatives and neighbors around tables groaning with food; hugging everyone in church at the midnight Misa del Gallo; then dancing beneath the stars until the sun rises on Christmas Day. Dominguez illustrates it all in creamy acrylics—visually downplaying the pig and also relegating wrapped gifts and decorated trees to a single glimpse in the penultimate scene. A memorable celebration, equally suited to reading alone or aloud, and rich in joyful, intimate family feeling.” –From Booklist
The Legend of the Poinsettia
“In Mexico, the poinsettia is called flor de la Nochebuenao flower of the Holy Night. At Christmastime, the flower blooms and flourishes, the quite exquisite red stars lighting up the countryside. This Mexican legend tells how the poinsettia came to be, through a little girl’s unselfish gift to the Christ Child. Beloved Newbery honor-winning author and Caldecott honor-winning illustrator Tomie dePaola has embraced the legend using his own special feeling for Christmas. His glorious paintings capture not only the brilliant colors of Mexico and its art, but also the excitement of the children preparing for Christmas and the hope of Lucida, who comes to see what makes a gift truly beautiful.” –from Amazon
Feliz Nochebuena, Feliz Navidad: Christmas Feasts of the Hispanic Caribbean
“Delicious recipes, colorful history, and family stories show how Christmas has been celebrated in the Hispanic Caribbean. This collaborative effort by Maricel Presilla and her illustrator father captures the light, feel, and smells of the Christmases they celebrated in their homeland and now recreate in the U.S.” –From Amazon
El mejor regalo del mundo: la leyenda de la Vieja Belén (Bilingual Edition)
“Renowned Latina author Julia Alvarez recreates the legend of the Dominican folk character La Vieja Belen in this delighful bilingual rhyming story, beautifully illustrated by Dominican artist Ruddy Nuñez. Alvarez’s retelling keeps the magic of the traditional account while contributing a down-to-earth, timely moral: “Of all the gifts you can give, your time is the best.”–From Publisher
Arturo and the Navidad Birds
“It’s time for Arturo and his Central American grandmother, Abue Rosa, to decorate their Christmas tree. Abue Rosa shares with him the family history of each ornament as it is hung. But what happens when Arturo plays with—and breaks—a glass bird? Young readers will find out in this touching, bilingual picture book.”