Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Rudolfo Anaya's The Farolitos of Christmas: With "Season of Renewal" and "A Child's Christmas in New Mexico, 1944"

By Rudolfo Anaya
Illustrated by Amy Córdova

  • Age Range: 9 - 13 years
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press (September 15, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0890136092
  • ISBN-13: 978-0890136096

This keepsake volume of Rudolfo Anaya's Christmas writings opens with the classic New Mexico Christmas story The Farolitos of Christmas, Anaya's heartwarming story of a beloved holiday tradition, of a promise, and of homecoming on Christmas Eve. This Christmas story by one of New Mexico's best-known authors (Bless Me, Ultima) has delighted children and adults since it was first published in 1987. "Season of Renewal," Anaya's narrative of Christmastime in his native state, first appeared thirty years ago in the Los Angeles Times and recounts timeless Hispanic and Native traditions that continue in New Mexico to this day including the reenactments of revered nativity stories, Los Pastores and Las Posadas. Finally, in "A Child's Christmas in New Mexico, 1944," Anaya presents us with a storied poem, in stunning verse, never before published. It is Christmas morning, he is a seven-year-old boy, and is running through the icy dawn to his neighbor's door to seek "mis Crismes," special treats. That night he and his family walk to midnight Mass where the church choir memorably sings "Las Mañanitas," a birthday song, to baby Jesus. But there is a bittersweet aspect to looking back on childhood's magic from an older man's vantage; the world has changed, the ways of elders are nearly lost, innocence has transitioned to experience. Rudolfo Anaya's Christmas collection is like a snow globe--shake it, then watch as the scene emerges through the orb revealing tradition, family, community, love. This gift from a master storyteller and New Mexico treasure is sure to be loved by children of all ages for decades to come.

Rudolfo Anaya is the widely acclaimed author of more than thirty books including novels, children's books, short stories, and essays that explore Hispanic life and culture in New Mexico and the Southwest. He is best known for Bless Me, Ultima, for which he won the Premio Quinto Sol Chicano literature award in 1971. This classic book was adapted into a feature film in 2013. In 1993 Alburquerque won the PEN Center USA award for fiction. In 2001 Anaya received the National Medal of Arts in Washington, DC. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico and is professor emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico where he taught for thirty years. Anaya's children's books include Roadrunner's Dance, Serafina's Stories, The Santero's Miracle, The First Tortilla, and How Hollyhocks Came to New Mexico. Other books: Tortuga, Cuentos (MNM Press 1980), Zia Summer, Rio Grande Fall, Shaman Winter, Jemez Spring, and The Old Man's Love Story.

Amy Córdova is a visual artist, educator, author, and a nationally recognized children's book illustrator. She has illustrated eighteen books for children, and written and illustrated two of her own titles. She has twice received the national Pura Belpré Award for Illustration from the American Library Association and REFORMA. A sense of place, traditional cultural values, and the presence of spirit in everyday life are the core foundation of Córdova's colorful and inspirational artistic vision. She lives in Santa Fe.

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