Monday, December 5, 2011

Merry Navidad!

Merry Navidad! Villancicos en español e inglés/Christmas Carols in Spanish and English is written by Ada and Campoy, and is illustrated by Vivi Escrivá (I truly love her work).This collection of villancicos and the history surrounding them captures the warmth and spirit of the holiday traditions of Latin America and Spain. The book includes both the Spanish versions - chosen by the authors - and their English adaptations written by Rosalma Zubizarreta. I especially like that her translations are not literal and choppy, but instead capture the essence of each song with rhythm and grace.

Here is a bit of the history shared by the authors in their introduction to the book:

"Villancicos accompanied the Spanish settlers up the mountains, through the deserts, and into the jungles of the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central and South America. In the course of these travels, some changes were introduced. Eventually new villancicos were created, reflecting the people, rhythms, and cultures of the various regions of Latin America.

We have selected here some of the best-known villancicos from the Spanish-speaking world. In addition, we have included others that celebrate regional traditions, such as Las Posadas, a central feature of Christmas in Mexico, and the Puerto Rican aguinaldos. The book is organized chronologically, celebrating events taking place between December 16 and January 6.

Villancicos offer a unique glimpse of the value of family in Hispanic cultures. Their lyrics draw many parallels between the home life of a Latino family and the Holy Family in Bethlehem."

They have also included musical arrangements for your reference. This book is simply beautiful and should be in every single Latino family's home library collection.

Celebra la Navidad is part of the authors' Cuentos para celebrar collection. In this particular story, Carlitos writes a letter to the Three Kings asking for lots of presents. Later, he decides to write a new letter and gives up some of the things in his wish list in exchange for a bigger gift for his older brother, who is teaching him how to ride a bike and lets him use his own big kid’s bike. At the end, everyone wins. :)

But what I liked best about this book is that it has a section  in the back dedicated to Christmas and Three Kings Day. It has so many great pictures that represent multicultural families and cultures all over the world celebrating these holidays. This book is a wonderful tool for teachers.


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