The Night of Las Posadas
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Tomie dePaola's glorious paintings are as luminous as the farolitos that light up on the Plaza in Santa Fe for the procession of Las Posadas, the tradition in which Mary and Joseph go from door to door seeking shelter at the inn on Christmas Eve.
Tomie dePaola’s glorious paintings are as luminous as the farolitos that light up on the Plaza in Santa Fe for the procession of Las Posadas, the tradition in which Mary and Joseph go from door to door seeking shelter at the inn on Christmas Eve.
This year Sister Angie, who is always in charge of the clebration, has to stay home with the flu, and Lupe and Roberto, who are to play Mary and Joseph, get caught in a snowstorm.
But a man and a woman no one knows arrive in time to take their place in the procession and then mysteriously disappear at the end before they can be thanked.
That night we witness a Christian miracle, for when Sister Angie goes to the cathedral and kneels before the statue of Mary and Jospeh, wet footprints from the snow lead up to the statue.
Learning Through Literature also recommends these other folk tales, fables, and legends from Tomie dePaola – Now One Foot, Now the Other, Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato, and The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush
About the Author
Tomie dePaola is one of the most popular children’s book authors and illustrators of our time and the winner of the 2011 Children’s Literature Legacy Award for “significant and lasting contribution to children’s literature,” among other lifetime achievement awards. A Newbery Honor winner, he has written and illustrated a number of books, including Caldecott Honor book Strega Nona and its companions, as well as Oliver Button Is a Sissy; The Legend of Old Befana; The Clown of God; Michael Bird-Boy; Andy, That’s My Name; and the New York Times bestseller Quiet. A native of Connecticut, Mr. dePaola studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, and now lives in New London, New Hampshire. Visit him online at Tomie.com and TomiesBlog.Blogspot.com
“This book is one of our family’s favorite children’s Christmas books. If you’re not already familiar with the author, Tomie dePaola, then you need to check him out. This book, like others of his we’ve read, is based to some degree in cultural ritual. The Night of Las Posadas takes place in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It tells the story of the local villagers who put on a reenactment of Las Posadas each year in the old Santa Fe Plaza. For those who don’t know, Las Posadas is the story of Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem and not finding any room at an inn to stay at and eventually having Jesus in a stable. It’s a great book that highlights New Mexican culture.”
“We have a still-growing collection of Christmas books begun when my children were infants, and each night from Thanksgiving through Christmas I would read a book or two. Now, often as not, they read to me, and over the past nine years The Night of Las Posadas is one the our “most favorites.” Beautiful, vibrant illustrations work with a compelling, spiritual plot to carry a reader through to satisfying, magical, and unexpected ending. As an adult, I like how the author accesses the original story of Mary and Joseph with a modern plot, all while exploring a cross-cultural Christmas tradition with which I was not familiar. I highly recommend this book–and I highly recommend reading with your children as they grow.”