Sunday, December 6, 2020

~ MMGM NINE DAYS TO CHRISTMAS ~

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~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY MULTI-CULTURAL
CHRISTMAS PICTURE BOOK ~
--  'NINE DAYS TO CHRISTMAS:
A STORY OF MEXICO'  --
AUTHORS MARIE HALL ETS &
AURORA LABASTIDA
ILLUSTRATOR MARIE HALL ETS

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ABOUT THE BOOK:
 
--From Goodreads: 

Published over 30 years ago, Nine Days to Christmas remains fresh and relevant. Ceci's first Christmas posada party and pinata have made her Mexican town come alive for generations of readers. "The youngest child will be completely transported by this lovely story".--The Atlantic. Three-color illustrations.

 
--From Amazon:

Generations of readers have treasured this 1960 Caldecott Medal winner and its tale of a little Mexican girl's excitement at the approach of Christmas. Ceci eagerly awaits Las Posadas, the traditional nine-day series of yuletide celebrations. This year she'll lead the candlelight procession that reenacts Mary and Joseph's trek to Bethlehem. Meanwhile, Mother takes her to the old marketplace to choose her very first piñata. Ceci is dazzled by the colorful array of options, and after making her choice has second thoughts about the fate of her piñata once the posada takes place.
 
                                                  
Graced by evocative illustrations, this international holiday classic is now available in a lovely hardcover edition. "The youngest child will be completely transported by this story," noted The Atlantic, and readers of all ages will be charmed by the child's-eye view of Mexican culture.
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR, MARIE HALL ETS, FROM BOOKOLOGY MAGAZINE:

Marie Hall Ets was born on December 16th, 1895, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her happiest memories were of summers in the North Woods of Wisconsin, which figure largely in many of her books. She attended Lawrence College, the New York School of Civics and Philanthropy, the University of Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Royal Academy of London, and Columbia University. She decided to use her talents to write and illustrate children’s books after a long illness.

Ets was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1956. Five of Ets’ books were chosen as Caldecott Honor Books: In the Forest, Play With Me, Just Me, Mr. Penny’s Horse Race, Mr. T.W. Anthony Woo. Her Nine Days to Christmas won the Caldecott Medal in 1960.

Gilberto and the Wind was inspired by a young boy she met in La Jolla, California. After asking his mother if he could model for her illustrations, Ets spent many hours with the family, coming to know them quite well.

Ets died in 1988.
 
WORD SEARCH TO USE WITH THIS BOOK:
   
MY THOUGHTS:

One of my favorite pieces of core literature when I taught first grade was 'Gilberto and the Wind' by this talented author/illustrator. My students absolutely adored little Gilberto because he was a youngster to whom they could relate, and a lot of Gilberto's adventures with the 'wind' made the students laugh.
 
When I saw the featured book for this post come up in our local library system's online catalog in the 'New Arrivals' for Christmas books for children, I just had to read it. I'm so glad I did! 

This is a beautiful, colorful picture book written about a little girl in rural Mexico. The book was published in 1960, so it is also a historical view of what life was like in a small Mexican village at that time.

The authors do a fine job of explaining the significance of the 'Las Posadas' celebration during the Christmas holiday season. Then they take readers on a delightful journey through the eyes of five-year-old Ceci as she prepares for a special occasion in her young life. Preparations for the big event are discussed in great detail, and Ceci's excitement permeates each page of the narrative.
 
As a former Kindergarten teacher, I enjoyed reading about the Kindergarten Ceci attended and seeing their activities. Although the story focuses on this young girl, I think readers of all ages will delight in hearing this book as a read-aloud at home, in the library, in the classroom, or at their youth group or church group.
 
As you probably noticed above, this book won the Caldecott Award in 1960. I am always amazed when a talented author is also an award-winning artist. Marie Ets Hall fits into this category.
 
Highly-recommended for readers of all ages who enjoy beautiful illustrations, strong dialogue and characters, and who want to learn something new about another culture through reading fiction.
 
I borrowed this book from the local public library system.
 
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**** Before I sign off, I want to invite those of you who are US residents to enter to win one of two hardcover copies of my first book, A Holiday Miracle in Apple Blossom, courtesy of the publisher, Cedar Fort Inc. 
 
The book is a contemporary Christian romance novella set during the holidays in a small town. The link to my original blog post about the giveaway is:
The Rafflecopter entry form may be found at the end of that post.

Thank you, and good luck!
 
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Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog.

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7 comments:

  1. This sounds like a great Christmas story. I wish I had known about it when my daughter was little.

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  2. Great choice for this holiday season. I remember seeing this one many years ago but never had the chance to read it myself. Thanks for featuring on our 3 year MMGM celebration today.

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  3. This sounds like a really sweet story. I will check it out. Thanks for telling me about it.

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  4. Oh, I would have adored this Christmas story as a child. I began making pinatas when I was about 11. I didn't have access to fancy ones. I made them with with paper mache, strips of newspaper and a big balloon. I continued to make them with kids I later babysat for. I let the mom's buy the candy, but I helped the kids with the actual making of the pinata. Even made one with my daughter a few times.

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  5. This sounds like a delightful story! Thanks for the wonderful review of it!

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  6. This sounds lovely. I did some "Christmas Around the World" unit studies with my sons when they were in early elementary, and something like this would've been perfect. I think we read one by Tomi de Paola about Posada, if I remember correctly.
    Congrats on your first book!

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  7. I will have to look this one up. Thanks for featuring it!

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