A beautifully illustrated picture book that depicts a poor Mexican boy's search for a special gift for the Baby Jesus, focusing on the Mexican tradition of las posadas in which villagers reenact Mary and Joseph's search for shelter for nine nights.
Traveling from house to house, night after night, Carlos worries each day about the gift he cannot afford to give the Baby Jesus on Christmas Eve. Following each evening of the posada, Carlos excitedly tells his aunt of the sounds, tastes, and songs of Christmas that he witnesses, but his joy is shadowed by his concerns. Following the advice of his beloved Tía Nina, Carlos decides upon a magical gift that stems from the love in his heart and blossoms through the strength of his love.
In addition to depicting the traditional Mexican custom of las posadas, the book also illustrates other Mexican traditions such as papel picado, cascarones, and piñatas. The book also includes the text and musical annotation for the traditional songs of las posadas.
"This isn’t even open to debate: You must have this book, especially when you start your thinking about Christmas presents … it provides a joy and a lesson that will blossom throughout the year."—Charles Edgren, El Paso Herald-Post
"Mora and Berg’s story, and its illustrations, take you into the heart of a Latin American Christmas … The story is narrated through the posada, the nine-day pilgrimage with Mary and Joseph seeking shelter. … the bilingual texts and music could prove useful for church groups, classes, and families observing the tradition … A treasure for anyone who likes books bundled under the Christmas tree."—Catholic Library World
"This book belongs among your favorite library stories."—Southwest Children’s Review
"An ideal addition to any school library."—Christian Library Journal