Cover image for The night of Las Posadas
Title:
The night of Las Posadas
Author:
DePaola, Tomie, 1934-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Putnam's, [1999]

©1999
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Summary:
At the annual celebration of Las Posadas in old Santa Fe, the husband and wife slated to play Mary and Joseph are delayed by car trouble, but a mysterious couple appear who seem perfect for the part.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
AD 410 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 32733.

Reading Counts RC K-2 4.9 2 Quiz: 21879 Guided reading level: NR.
ISBN:
9780399234002
Format :
Book

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PIC. BK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Childrens Area-Holiday
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PIC. BK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC.BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC. BK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Holiday
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PIC. BK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
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PIC. BK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
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Summary

Summary

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 Jospeh, wet footprints from the snow lead up to the statue.


Author Notes

Tomie dePaola was born in Meriden, Connecticut on September 15, 1934. He received a B.F.A. from Pratt Institute in 1956, a M.F.A. from California College of Arts and Crafts in 1969, and a doctoral equivalency from Lone Mountain College in 1970.

He has written and/or illustrated more than 200 books including 26 Fairmount Avenue, Strega Nona, and Meet the Barkers. He has received numerous awards for his work including the Caldecott Honor Award, the Newbery Honor Award and the New Hampshire Governor's Arts Award of Living Treasure. His murals and paintings can be seen in many churches and monasteries throughout New England. He has designed greeting cards, magazine and record album covers, and theater sets. His work is shown in galleries and museums.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-9. An introduction describes Las Posadas, an old Spanish custom that commemorates Mary and Joseph's search for shelter in Bethlehem. In this story, set in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Sister Angie, a nun for 50 years, is thrilled that her niece Lupe and Lupe's husband, Roberto, will serve as Mary and Joseph trying to find a welcoming door in Santa Fe. On the day of Las Posadas, Sister Angie is down with the flu, and Lupe and Roberto are caught in a snowstorm. Happily, a pregnant woman and her husband, riding a mule and supposedly sent by Sister Angie, save the procession. Children soon realize it is a carving of Mary and Joseph come to life that has led the procession. Because the characters are all adults and the ending is predictable (though perhaps not as predictable for children as for grownups), this may have less appeal than some of dePaola's other works. The art, too, is staid, with many pictures featuring Sister Angie, Lupe and Roberto, a priest, and Mary and Joseph. What gives the illustrations most of their appeal are the pure winter colorings, whites, purples, deep greens, and blues. Many of the spreads are illuminated by farolitos, small lights that decorate the procession route. An author's note gives some of the same information as the introduction. --Ilene Cooper


Publisher's Weekly Review

Hispanic holiday customs take center stage in this exquisitely wrought story. Lupe and Roberto are to play Mary and Joseph in the Christmas pageant in their village outside Santa Fe, but their truck gives out in a snowstorm. A mysterious couple steps in at the last minute to take their places. DePaola's talent for crafting folktales is honed to near-perfection, and his pages glow with the soft sun-washed hues of the Southwest. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-Another beautiful offering from dePaola, this one tells the story of a modern-day Las Posadas procession in Santa Fe, NM. An introduction explains the background and history of the old Spanish custom, and a glossary translates the few words of Spanish used in the text. Sister Angie, who recently celebrated her 50th anniversary as a nun, has always coordinated the preparations for her village's celebration. This year, she is especially proud as her niece, Lupe, and Lupe's new husband will portray Maria and Jose. The festivities are jeopardized when Sister Angie comes down with the flu and the young couple's car breaks down in a snowstorm. A miracle occurs when a beautiful carving of Mary and Joseph, given to Sister Angie to commemorate her Golden Jubilee, comes to life to lead the village's procession. The artist's distinctive acrylic artwork, done in the colors of the Southwest, illuminate the story and radiate its reverence and warmth. There are very few books for children about Las Posadas; this one is suitable both for reading aloud to groups and sharing one-on-one.-L.F. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

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. Excerpted from The Night of las Posadas by Tomie dePaola All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.