Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid

By Xavier Garza

  •            Age Range: 5 - 12 years
  •         Grade Level: Kindergarten - 6
  •         Hardcover: 40 pages
  •         Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press; Bilingual edition
  •         Language: English, Spanish
  •         ISBN-10: 193369324X
  •         ISBN-13: 978-1933693248

“Even Santa Claus sends the jobs he is unable or unwilling to do to this colorful storybook by local author-illustrator Xavier Garza...The simple South Texas Christmas tale is printed in both English and Spanish, allowing for several different bilingual reading opportunities...Charro Claus is the perfect gift for the children of your Minute Men relatives.” —San Antonio Current, Nov. 19, 2008

Let’s welcome Santa’s newest helper: his cousin Pancho, a farmer living down in South Texas who is so smart he speaks both Spanish and English. Back in the day, Pancho was a mariachi singer with a whole lot of style and a fancy sombrero. But as the years passed, Pancho got, well, a little older and a little wider all around. Then one night his primo Santa Claus showed up. Santa needed some help along the US/Mexico border. Pancho volunteered. And then, poof, Santa transformed Pancho into the resplendent Charro Claus with his incredible Flying Burritos. And Charro Claus, it turns out, even had his own surprise elf—his nephew Vincente!

All Christmas Eve, Vincente and Pancho deliver toys to the boys and girls on the border. Neither rain, cloudy skies, wire fences, or concrete walls keep them from covering every inch of their newly assigned territory. And they don’t forget a single town or city. How could they? The border is their home.

A native of the Rio Grande Valley, Xavier Garza is a prolific author, artist, teacher, and storyteller whose work is a lively documentation of the dreams, superstitions, and heroes in the bigger-than-life world of South Texas. Garza has exhibited his art and performed his stories in venues throughout Texas, Arizona, and Washington State. He lives with his wife and son in San Antonio, Texas, and is the author of five books. His book Maximilian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel was a Pura Belpré Author Honor Book in 2012.


"Garza’s original text and bold, full-page illustrations will surely pull readers into the excitement of this new 'border' story. A wonderful acquisition." — Críticas

"The full-spread paintings are bright and energetic … A cheerful purchase." — School Library Journal

"Charro Claus is the perfect gift for the children of your Minute Men relatives." — San Antonio Current

"Bold, stylized cartoon-like illustrations help this creative author/illustrator tell the story of Santa Claus' Mexican cousin—telling it in both English and Spanish." —Children's Literature

"[This] bilingual retelling of the Santa Claus myth with a South Texas twist, brought vividly to life by Garza's colorful, expressive drawings." —San Antonio Express-News book blog

"This fascinating story reflects small-town Texas life and the magic of the holiday season." —Tucson Citizen

"This charming story will be embraced by children who do not see their lieves reflected in the traditional snowy Santa tales. Recommended."—REFORMA Newsletter

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