A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows city life in a New York neighborhood. Notes that some cultures celebrate on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas Day.
Don't give up at the first sign of trouble. When something ruins your plans, think creatively and keep cool -- there may be a solution. Things can work out if everyone pulls together. Don't be afraid to ask others for help in a crisis. Christmas is about more than shopping, spending money, and stress. When you don't have your family around, celebrating with friends can be the next best thing.
Positive Role Models
Jose's papi is cool under pressure and thinks creatively to get the family's roast cooked. Mr. Ray is kind and enthusiastic, happily offering his pizza oven and joining Jose's family for dinner. Jose is helpful, optimistic, and sensitive to others' feelings. Mami is appreciative of all the friends' help and kindness. The apartment building residents quit complaining about Christmas hassles and learn it's more fun to relax and enjoy a good meal with neighbors.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Miracle on 133rd Street, by Sonia Manzano (who plays Maria on Sesame Street), is an exuberant tale of a Christmas Eve dinner that hits a major bump -- the roast being too big for the oven -- and is saved when a diverse group of New York neighbors and shopkeepers come together. Marjorie Priceman's bright, colorful, exuberant illustrations help sweep readers along through this fun, poignant multicultural celebration.
Is It Any Good?
With a light touch and exuberant art, this urban Christmas tale shows neighbors coming together to forget their troubles and share a feast. It's told through the eys of sensitive, upbeat young Jose, who notices how every Christmas his mother gets homesick for Puerto Rico. He also notes the holiday complaints of the building's ethnically diverse residents -- the Santiagos, the Wozenskys, the DiPalmas, Mr. Franklin, and Mrs. Whitman.
The relationships among family members, neighbors, and shopkeepers are charming. And the openness and generosity that build as the story goes on is inspiring. Marjorie Priceman's vibrant art sweeps the reader along first with wisps of snow and wind, then with the swirls of the roast's aroma. A lovely holiday story with a joyful message.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.