Cover image for Home for Navidad
Home for Navidad
Ziefert, Harriet.
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Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 2003.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 31 cm
Ten-year-old Rosa hopes that her mother, whom she has not seen for three years, will leave her job in New York and come home to Santa Catarina, Mexico, for Christmas and maybe even longer. Includes a glossary of Spanish words used.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.4 0.5 72951.
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Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Current Holiday Item Childrens Area-Holiday

On Order



Rosa is ten years old, and she lives with her grandmother, her little brother, and her uncle in a small town in Mexico. But her mother lives in the United States, trying to earn much-needed money to send home to her family. So Rosa has not seen her mother in three years. She misses her mama all the time, but most particularly in the weeks leading up to Christmas. This year, Rosa hopes her mother will finally be able to come home for Navidad and stay with her in Santa Catarina forever.

Author Notes

Harriet Ziefert is a children's author born in 1941 in New Jersey. She has written several hundred children's books, including the Little Hippo series. Ziefert and illustrator Emilie Bon have collaborated on a series of "Little Hippo" books, the first of which was published in 1988 by Viking Penguin. The books are written for children between 1 1/2 to 5 years-of-age. They are intended to help children deal with change, like the addition of a new baby to the family or moving to a new house.

Her titles include Little Hippo's New Baby, Little Hippo's New Friend, Little Hippo's New School and Grandpa, Will You Play With Me?

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS-Gr. 3. Rosa, 10, hasn't seen her mother for three years, since Mama left their Mexican village to work in New York and send money back to the family. Now Mama is working extra hours, saving for what she hopes will be a one-way ticket home, and Rosa dreams the family will be together for Navidad. The bright double-page paintings in folk-art style show the child's daily life, as she is cared for by her kind grandmother and uncle. In the early morning she picks corn. Then a beautiful double-page spread shows a red pickup truck fetching children from the bright green fields to drive them to a one-room schoolhouse. Later Rosa helps Abuela wash clothes in the river. The last pages show Rosa's dream of reunion and celebration, but it's still not certain that her dream will come true. Spanish words are part of the story, with a glossary at the end, and the combination of simple words and bold, vibrant art relays the wrenching family separation from the child's viewpoint. --Hazel Rochman Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

As in Miracle of the First Poinsettia (reviewed above), this tale stars a struggling Mexican family, but it takes a more mundane approach. The miracle here is that after three years cleaning homes in Nueva York, Rosa's mother is coming home for Navidad and, best of all, to stay. Despite the title, Christmas itself, oddly, seems to be somewhat of an afterthought; most of the attention here turns toward the difficult and disrupted life the family leads. Like Negrin, Cohen (The Fifth Name) paints in saturated fiesta-bright colors that have an instant appeal. But his off-putting mix of childlike lines and randomly occurring, more sophisticated techniques fares less well; for example, when he juxtaposes naive draftsmanship of Rosa and the rooms she enters with detailed, inked-on images of the furnishings within those rooms, the two visual styles cancel each other out. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-3-Ten-year-old Rosa lives with her grandmother, brother, and uncle in a small Mexican village. Her mother works as a cleaning woman in New York, and has not been home in three years. When Rosa receives Mama's letter promising to come for Navidad, she has a dream that it comes about. The first-person narrative, in English sprinkled with many Spanish words (there is a glossary), conveys Rosa's hope and yearning. The story ends with her dream that Mama returns for good. Cohen's childlike yet painterly pictures-somewhat reminiscent of Ludwig Bemelmans's work-are saturated with deep and vivid color and vibrate with feeling and intensity.-S. P. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.