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12 December 2011

Review: The Virgin of Guadalupe by Tomie de Paola

December 12th marks the feast day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the Patron Saint of the Americas, and often called "The Queen of Mexico".  It is said that the Virgin Mary appeared to a poor Mexican-Indian peasant named Juan Diego (on December 8th, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception) and told him to build a church exactly in the spot they were standing in her honor.  The local bishop did not believe that the Queen of Heaven would appear to such a lowly figure, and speak to him in the native Nahuatl tongue, so he asked for signs that it was she.  December 9th is now celebrated as the feast day of St. Juan Diego.  For more information, check out the wikipedia page here .

This is a very important day for many of my students, 99% of whom are of Mexican descent.  Because she is such an integral part of their heritage, I wanted to share the book The Virgin of Guadalupe by Tomie dePaola today.
The summary from Goodreads is quite brief:
Recounts the appearance of the Lady of Guadalupe to a poor Indian farmer in Mexico in 1531.

I love that many of Tomie dePaola's books are not just bilingual, but cover Hispanic Christmas traditions as well (The Legend of the Poinsettia, The Night of Las Posadas).  His writing is both simple yet informative and thoroughly enjoyed by both my students and myself.  

 The Lady of Guadalupe is a wonderful retelling of the story of Juan Diego, the poor Indian and his miraculous vision.  It give so many details, both words and in the illustrations, I feel like I grew up knowing the story.  It is a little bit longer than many of Tomie dePaola's books, but it has so many details and descriptions that it really didn't bother me as there were so much vital information.  I loved that in the author's note, Tomie dePaola included information about the tilma of Juan Diego, and provided a little bit more information of why the painting on it is so miraculous.  

Don't forget to head over to the Seasons Reading page and check out the other books/reviews and to add your own!   

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