Cover image for The Christmas gift = El regalo de Navidad
The Christmas gift = El regalo de Navidad
Jiménez, Francisco, 1943-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston, Mass. : Houghton Mifflin, 2000.
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
When his family has to move again a few days before Christmas in order to find work, Panchito worries that he will not get the ball he has been wanting.
General Note:
Text in English and Spanish.
Reading Level:
AD 720 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.5 0.5 42929.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.8 2 Quiz: 22931 Guided reading level: N.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Holiday

On Order



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.

Author Notes

Francisco Jiménez emigrated from Tlaquepaque, Mexico to California, where he worked for many years in the fields with his family. He received a bachelor's degree from Santa Clara University and a master's degree and a Ph.D. in Latin American literature from Columbia University. He is a professor at Santa Clara University. He has published and edited several books on Mexican and Mexican American literature, and his stories have been published in over 100 textbooks and anthologies of literature. His books include The Circuit, Breaking Through, La Mariposa, The Christmas Gift/El Regalo de Navidad, Reaching Out, and Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Ages 5^-9. Like La Mariposa (1999), this picture book in both English and Spanish tells one story from Jimenez's award-winning autobiographical collection, The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child (1997). The boy Panchito dreams of getting a red ball for Christmas; but there's no work and no money for presents, and the family must move again. When a man and his pregnant wife try to sell their meager possessions to get food and shelter, Panchito hears his father say, "We're broke, too." The surprise on the last page reveals Papa's true gifts of kindness and love. The child's focus is on his own disappointing gift, and, like him, the young picture-book audience may miss the subtlety of the Christmas metaphor about the couple finding no room at the inn. However, Cotts' stylized acrylic paintings, rich in color, express the tenderness of the narrative and the facts of the poverty. The story's power is in the simple words that directly tell of having to leave home. As the family drives away in search of work, Panchito waves to his friends on the school playground, "but they [do] not see him." --Hazel Rochman



"Most of us have a favorite Christmas story to tell. The Christmas Gift is a true story, based on an experience I had as a child many years ago. It took place in a farm labor tent camp . . ."Text Copyright 2000 by Francisco Jimenez Illustrations Copyright 2000 by Claire B. Cotts Excerpted from The Christmas Gift: El regalo de Navidad by Francisco Jiménez, Francisco Jimenez, Francisco Jiménez 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.