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Called "la flor de la Nochebuena"--the flower of the Holy Night--in Mexico, the poinsettia blooms at Christmastime, the symbol of a little girl's unselfish gift to the Christ Child. With illustrations that capture the brilliant colors of Mexico as well as the magic and excitement of the season, Tomie dePaola imbues the tale with his own special feeling for Christmas. Full color.
In addition to creating his own stories, Tomie dePaola is also well known for his retellings of folktales such as STREGA NONA: AN OLD TALE and FIN M'COUL: THE GIANT OF KNOCKMANY HILL, as well as his illustrations for the work of other authors such as Jean Fritz and Tony Johnston. dePaola has a B.F.A from Pratt Institute, a M.F.A. for the California College of Arts and Crafts, and a doctoral equivalency from Lone Mountain College. He entered a Benedictine monastery in Vermont for a short time after his graduation from college; many of his books reflect his interest in religion and spirituality. DePaola's works are noted for their conscious effort to avoid sexual stereotyping. In 2001 DePaola became the executive producer and star of the television program JIM HENSON'S TELLING STORIES WITH TOMIE DEPAOLA, a program intended to encourage children to use their imaginations and develop their own storytelling skills.
From the Publisher
At Christmas time, a young girl named Lucinda and her mother are selected to weave a blanket that will be used to cover the figure of baby Jesus in the holiday parade. Unfortunately, Lucinda's mother becomes ill and Lucinda is unable to complete the blanket herself. Disappointed because she has nothing to offer, she hides during the parade until a mysterious woman tells her that any gift from the heart will be appreciated. Lucinda approaches the figure of Jesus with a bouquet of weeds but when she lays them next to the statue, they blossom into beautiful red flowers. This retelling of a story from Mexican folklore, is accompanied by folk-art style illustrations.
When her mother cannot finish weaving a blanket for the church nativity, Lucida tries to finish it and ruins it beyond repair, but when Lucida offers an armful of weeds to be placed in the manger, they are transformed into beautiful, red poinsettias.