Merry Navidad!

Book review by
Patricia Tauzer, Common Sense Media
Merry Navidad! Book Poster Image
Bilingual celebration of Spanish Christmas songs.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages
Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this bilingual book of poems and songs celebrates the Christmas season and reflects the Hispanic tradition. It definitely has a religious tone.

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What's the story?

Events of the Christmas season as celebrated in the Hispanic tradition are presented chronologically. Each is explained in both Spanish (on the left-hand page) and English (on the right-hand side), and then is followed with appropriate villancicos (carols), also in both Spanish and English.

Is it any good?

MERRY NAVIDAD takes the reader on a rich journey into Hispanic Christmas celebrations that occur between December 16 and January 6. The lyrics of the carols have the simple truth of folk songs and are given added warmth by the artwork of Vivi Escriva. Kids will be drawn in by her sensitive, simple watercolors that people the pages with children, villagers, and various animals representative of Spain, Mexico, and South and Central America, as well as with the more traditional nativity scene visitors.

Highlighting the book are the villancicos and their translations, provided by Rosalma Zubizarreta. Explanations of the celebrations that lead into the villancicos are clear and thorough without being overwhelming, and they add a depth that makes this more than just a book of poems for kids.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the various Christmastime traditions celebrated in Hispanic cultures. How are these traditions the same, or different, from those you celebrate? Where did your holiday traditions originate, and which ones do you like best?

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