Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Christmas Poinsettia

Over the years, Poinsettias have become known as the "Christmas Flower." Why is this, you're probably asking yourself. Even I wasn't sure... but I remember stumbling upon this book earlier in the year when I've researched the works of Tomie dePaola and decided to feature it as one of my Christmas titles. I think it's important to introduce children to different aspects of Christmas, and this book certainly does that!

dePaola, Tomie.
The Legend of the Poinsettia.
Penguin Group (USA).
Guided Reading Level: O

The poinsettia, known as flor de la Nochebuena in Mexico, has, for many years become known as a symbol of Christmas, due to the red blooming flowers that bloom at this time of the year. Children, especially, tend to question how such symbols and traditions began, and The Legend of the Poinsettia will answer their questions about this particular Christmas symbol, especially if you have them spread throughout your house this season!

During the Christmas season all of the residents of Mexican villages (children and adults alike) come together and join forces, creating gifts to leave at the manger of Baby Jesus at their church on Christmas Eve. One family's misfortune (a sick mother, who was working alongside her daughter to create a new blanket for Baby Jesus' manger) leads a little girl to believe that because of her inability to finish weaving the blanket alone, she is unwelcome at the Christmas Eve services. However, an old woman quickly convinces the young girl that any gift she were to give Baby Jesus would be beautiful because it is a gift that is being given. As Lucida, the little girl, looks around, all that she is able to find is a tangle of green weeds. Little does she know, the tall green weeds are ready to bloom, and do so just as she places them beside Baby Jesus' manger. As the congregation leaves the service that night, they discover that all of the green weeds have blossomed and are offering the same glow and shimmer that they offered at Baby Jesus' manger, showing that a
simple gift had indeed become beautiful.
Not only does The Legend of the Poinsettia teach children about the poinsettia's place in the Christmas season, it also teaches a very valuable lesson - it's the thought of a gift that counts, not the price tag! I think this is something we can all take away a little something from this holiday season, as many families are facing uncertain times!

Crafts to Coincide with The Legend of the Poinsettia:
Free or Cost-Friendly Christmas Gifts Your Child(ren) Can Make:

If you're interested in finding out more information about any of the books reviewed or if you'd like to purchase the books, click the cover image for a link to


style='clear: both;' Brandon said...

Ran across your blog and just wanted to say thanks for all your promotion of children's literature! Keep it up. :)