Josefina’s Surprise – American Girls Collection (A Christmas Story)By
Written By Valerie Tripp. Illustrated by Jean-Paul Tibbles
It’s going to be a difficult Christmas for Josefina and her three sisters who live on a rancho (ranch) in rural New Mexico. Her mother passed away before the last Christmas and although her lovely Tia (Aunt) Dolores is there for them, all the girls wonder if the celebration will ever be happy again. And then there’s Niña – the doll that was supposed to be gifted to Josefina last year by her mom. No one knows where she is so it seems that one more happy memory will be gone for Josefina this year.
Despite all that, the family becomes busy with Christmas preparations and the book shares the beautiful Las Posadas tradition (see explanation below) as well as details of wonderful traditional foods and crafts (like “colcha” embroidery) that are part of this season’s activities. Will Josefina be able to play Mary in Las Posadas? Will Niña ever come back? Will Christmas be happy again? Check out this beautiful book to see how so many little Christmas miracles can help bring the happiness and wonder back to the season for Josefina.
Las Posadas – Originally a Spanish custom, this tradition of reenacting Joseph and Mary’s search for an inn (posada) before the birth of Jesus is celebrated in Mexico and also in the US Southwest, with slight variations.
Suggested Reading Level – Ages 8 and Up
Josefina hopes her family will have a happy Christmas, although she knows they will miss Mamá. When she and her sisters discover that the Christmas altar cloth Mamá embroidered has been damaged, they are heartbroken. But T'a Dolores finds a way to help the sisters' hearts begin to mend. As the villagers gather to celebrate the Christmas tradition called Las Posadas, Josefina finds that memories can bring comfort and courage. Christmas Eve is filled with surprises that make Josefina's heart sing.