Cover image for 'Twas nochebuena
'Twas nochebuena
Thong, Roseanne.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Viking, Published by Penguin Group, 2014.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 25 x 28 cm
Explores Latin American traditions for celebrating Christmas Eve in a text that combines English and Spanish words and follows the rhythm of Clement Moore's "The Night Before Christmas".
Reading Level:
AD 950 Lexile.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Holiday
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Current Holiday Item Holiday
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
J PIC BOOK Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



'Twas Nochebuena and all through our casa ,

every creature was kneading tamale masa ...

It's Christmas Eve, and you're invited to a Nochebuena celebration! Follow a family as they prepare to host a night filled with laughter, love, and Latino tradition. Make tasty tamales and hang colorful adornos (decorations) on the walls. Gather to sing festive canciones (songs) while sipping champurrado (hot chocolate). After the midnight feast has been served and the last gifts have been unwrapped, it's time to cheer, " Feliz Navidad and to all a good night!"

Savor the magic of Nochebuena with a holiday tale you'll want to read again and again.

Author Notes

Roseanne Greenfield Thong is the author of many multicultural-themed children's books. She was born in Southern California but has lived in Guatemala, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. While in Guatemala and Mexico, she studied Spanish and ate many tamales. Roseanne now lives in Orange County where she teaches English composition.

Sara Palacios illustrated the Pura Belpré honor book Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match . She divides her time between San Francisco and Mexico City.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

In Latin America, nochebuena, or Christmas Eve, marks the high point of the holiday celebrations. In this warm ode, every member of a young girl's family, including the cat and the dog, are involved in traditional preparations: making tamales, hanging up adornos, walking through town to midnight mass, and feasting on turkey and mole before opening presents and falling asleep exhausted. This lively and colorful version of 'Twas the Night before Christmas is a linguistic and visual treat. The lyrical blend of English and Spanish and vibrant action-packed illustrations make this ideal for read-alouds and choral readings in classrooms. Palacios' mixed-media illustrations are crisp and modern with culturally specific details that wonderfully anchor the story in Latino traditions.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Latin American holiday traditions and a host of Spanish words spark this zippy recast of Clement C. Moore's Christmas poem. A girl invites readers into her family's preparations for a boisterous Christmas Eve, a feast with all the favorite trimmings, and religious observations, too: "We clink our glass marbles and play lotería,/ while singing and laughing-qué maravilla!/ When out in the jardín I hear such a clatter,/ I spring from my silla to shout, `What's the matter!' " Descriptions of the montones of tamales, turkey with mole sauce, and freshly fried "buñuelos with cinnamon sugar" have a mouth-watering effect, and Palacios's mixed-media paintings of cheerful children, adults, and pets hum with an exuberance and anticipation that many readers will find familiar. A glossary is included. Ages 3-5. Author's agent: Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary Agency. Illustrator's agent: Kendra Marcus, BookStop Literary Agency. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-To the rhythm of "The Night Before Christmas," a laughing Latino family prepares for the Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) celebration, from making tamales to hanging colorful adornos (decorations) on the walls. "When our guests all arrive, we stroll down to the park,/and join the posadas that start when it's dark./With homemade faroles that glow in the night/we'll sing canciones by soft candlelight." Palacios brings the warmth and happiness of the family alive in vibrant spreads. This lively picture book offers a wonderful way to celebrate and learn about Latino Christmas traditions.-Diane Olivo-Posner, Los Angeles Public Library (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.