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Federico and the Magi's Gift: A Latin American Christmas Story

by Beatriz Vidal

Published by Alfred A. Knopf, 2004
36 pages
ISBN: 0-375-82518-5

Ages 3-6

An original story from an Argentinian author/illustrator celebrates a Christmas tradition common throughout Latin America. Four-year-old Federico eagerly awaits the arrival of los Tres Reyes Magos (the Three Wise Men), who leave gifts in the shoes of well-behaved children on January 6. Heís still young enough to believe in their magic -- more than anything, he hopes they will leave him a toy horse -- and still young enough to worry that they will bypass him this year because he had been scolded for misbehaving. His worries make it hard for him to share in the excitement of his older brother and sister, who are busy gathering hay and water to put out for the Wise Menís camels. They also make it hard for him to fall asleep at night. Maybe if he could just talk to the Wise Men, he could explain. But sleep eventually comes, as do the Wise Men, bringing him the little horse of his dreams. Vidalís lush color paintings artfully blend fantasy and reality in a story set on a warm January night.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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