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Miracle on 133rd Street
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Miracle on 133rd Street

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  164 ratings  ·  41 reviews
An urban family’s dilemma becomes a community celebration in this delectable holiday treat from Sonia Manzano, also known as “Maria” on Sesame Street.

It’s Christmas Eve and Mami has bought a delicious roast for a Christmas feast. But, oh no! It’s too big to fit in the oven. Jose and Papa need to find an oven big enough to cook Mami’s roast. As they walk from door to door t
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 22nd 2015 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
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Alex (not a dude) Baugh
It's Christmas Eve, but living in an apartment in 133rd Street, everything is just too small for a proper celebration - or at least that's how Jose's mother feels - the tree is too small for all the decorations, the oven is too small to cook the roast in. Mami is definitely unhappy and homesick for Puerto Rico.

But as José suggests, a pizza oven would cook that roast. So, he and Papi, also named José, bundle themselves up to head over to Regular Ray's Pizzeria to see if they can use their over.

Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
On their first Christmas Eve after moving to the Bronx from Puerto Rico, things are just not going well. Their tree is tiny and now the holiday roast is too big to fit in their tiny oven! So Jose and his father head off to find an oven large enough for their big roast. As they leave their apartment building, they bump into neighbor after neighbor, each having a bad holiday too. The children are too noisy, an older couple won’t be seeing their family this year, and others are having money trouble ...more
A neighborhood full of people suffering through standard December crap - money's tight, the weather's cold, grown children can't make it home for the holidays - are brought together when Jose and his dad bring home an enormous Christmas Eve roast. I am a person who participates in roasting a whole pig on New Year's Day in a block party that draws something like 100 people (including, last year, a U.S. Senator!), so I can attest to the community-building power of protein. Set in the Bronx neighbo ...more
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story about what is truly important at Christmas-family and friends and being thankful for our blessings.And beautiful colorful whimsical pictures!
Nancy Kotkin
A lovely holiday story. In addition to Christmas spirit, the book encompasses diversity, neighborliness, friendship, and generosity.
Vamos a Leer
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Miracle on 133rd Street, written by Sonia Manzano and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman, focuses on the frantic energy of the yuletide season, as a family tries to find space for their holiday roast. The oven is too small in the family’s tiny, New York City apartment, forcing them to journey through the halls of their apartment complex, seeking help from their diverse neighbors, all of whom are also anticipating and preparing for their own holiday celebrations. The plot of finding space for the h ...more
Brightly colored illustrations showcasing a New York neighborhood along with a heartwarming (and mouthwatering) story of friendship, generosity, and the spirit of Christmas make this a terrific book to share with young readers during the holiday season. Jose's family's roast is too big for his mami to cook in their small apartment oven, so Jose's father arranges to cook it in the neighborhood pizzeria's oven. While they're taking the roast out of the building, they encounter the neighbors who ea ...more
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jose is not having the best Xmas Eve. His tree is too small and his mom can't fit the large roast into the oven. His father has the idea to have it baked in a pizza oven. As Jose and his father carry the roast to the pizzeria, all of their neighbors come out to complain about Xmas. When the roast is finished they make the return trip the mood shifts and everyone comes to eat with Jose and his family; having a wonderful Xmas after all.
May 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a new Christmas favorite of mine, it shows how everyone loses the meaning of Christmas but in the end can all put their personal feelings aside and enjoy the season for its true meaning. It isn't about gifts and things,its about people and giving your time to spend with them,and thinking of others . Very colorful illustrations!
Dan Gorman
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is really a wonderful children's book that has a lot to say about living in the big city and the challenges of the holidays. We may not only need love, all apologies to Messrs. Lennon and McCarthy, but this book reminds us that, at Christmas, love can distract us from our problems for a while.
This book was on a "Best Christmas Books" list so we checked it out from the library to read this season. I loved it! The illustrations are so colorful and stylized--very memorable. And the story is excellent, all about how a diverse community is brought together by a roast and the holiday spirit. I would definitely consider ordering a copy of this to add to our Christmas book collection.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Gorgeous colors and vitality, this is a book about Christmas without Santa. Lots of goodwill to all and features a boy and his family from Puerto Rico. Lots of cultures live in the apartment building in NYC and while they have lots of problems, the wonderful aroma of a roast brings them together.
Sarah Mae
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: advent-2017
great christmas story about community
Nov 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture, christmas
Adjusting to a new place/home.
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on Children's Atheneum

It's Christmas Eve and Mami wants to make a Christmas roast just like she remembers from Puerto Rico. The feast may never come when the roast won't fit in their small apartments oven. Jose and Papa decide to take their roast to the local pizzeria to see if they will cook the roast for them. As they walk down the stairs of their apartment one can see that the residents of this building have clearly not in the Christmas spirit. Yet when they return a
Miracle on 133rd Street, by Sonia Manzano (Sesame Street's Maria), illustrated by Marjorie Priceman, is a very special Christmas story that focuses on the tenants of an apartment building on 133rd Street in New York City, who are struggling to enjoy Christmas Eve for one reason or another. Central to all the holiday angst are Jose, Jr. And Jose, Sr., who have been given the task of getting their traditional holiday roast to Regular Ray's Pizzeria because the oven in their apartment is too small ...more
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, christmas
The author Sonia Manzano more widely known as Maria from Sesame Street tells the story of Christmas Eve and Jose's family celebration. There is a problem, Mami is the kitchen and the roast does not fit in the oven! Mami begins reminiscing about when they lived in Puerto Rico and how small and cramped everything is New York. Jose and Father set out to take the roast down the block and around the corner to Regular Ray's Pizzeria with hopes that he will let them cook it there. On their way they enc ...more
What a lovely story of different families who live in the same apartment house, but rarely see each other, each having unique personalities: one worried about the money spent on Christmas, another about burglaries, one wondering what gifts to buy for seven nephews. Young José tells the story, and begins with his mother, homesick for her beloved Puerto Rico, groaning about the smallness of the apartment, and the wonderful Christmas roast won’t fit in the oven. His Papi says they can take it to b ...more
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely love this book! A heartwarming story about food and the holidays brining the people in your life together. Little Jose is worried about the decorations being enough, Mami is stressed out about cooking, neighbors are wondering if the gifts they have bought their nephews are enough... We get so caught up in the commercialization of Christmas that we forget none of these small things truly matter, what matters is the love inside of your home (or apartment :] ) and the memories being ma ...more
Oct 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
The author, Sonia Manzano, is best known as Maria from Sesame Street. In this story, a Puerto Rican family can't cook their roast in their tiny oven. They make their way to the pizzeria, meeting annoyed and anxious neighbors at every turn. When the roast is finally finished, the delectable smell inspires kindness and thoughtful actions all around. A lovely Christmas story that embraces diversity and presents both the stressful (shopping! money) and special (family! gathering together!) parts of ...more
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Maria (Sonia Manzano) was my first Hispanic friend back in 1973. I met her one day on Sesame St. and I thought she was very beautiful and very nice. She worked for a kind old man named Mr. Hooper. She had a way with preschoolers then. And she has a way with them now. "Miracle" helps young ones understand why adults can sometimes be in bad moods during Christmas time but how one little gesture of generosity can turn everything around.
The Miracle on 133rd Street has nothing to do with its famous neighbor one block over. In fact Santa is never even mentioned. It is the story of a family living in an apartment and the miracle that happens as each person's heart is opened and they begin to celebrate and enjoy each other's company and a Christmas meal. Love this story. The characters, the illustrations, and the spirit all combine into a lovely book.
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A Puerto Rican family wants to cook their traditional pork roast but the oven in their NYC apartment is too small. So the father and son carry the roast to the local pizzeria to use the pizza ovens to cook the roast. On their trip, they encounter many neighbors that are all in a rather Grinchy/Scrooge kind of mood. After the roast is cooked, it smells so delicious that it magically changes everyone's mood. They all gather together for a tradition La Noche Buena - Christmas Eve feast.
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reviewed for Mock Caldecott Awards. What a sweet wonderful story. It's Christmas Eve and there are some last minute errands to run. As these errands are completed, many new friends in the neighborhood get involved and pretty soon a small family celebration becomes a lovely party with everyone pitching in. The illustrations are brightly colored and full of energy!
I really liked this picture book about Christmas in a city apartment building and neighborhood filled with realistic characters. It captures the reality of the holidays (being busy, lonely, broke, etc.) without being a downer, and the resolution is quite beautiful. Lovely details throughout, both in narration and illustration. Well done!
Dec 29, 2015 added it

Miracle on 133rd Street written by Sonia Manzano with illustrations by Marjorie Priceman is a classic tale of Christmas joy dispersed by the memories a smell conjures in the minds of the characters.

My full recommendation:
The day before Christmas, everyone in Jose's neighborhood seems grumpy, including his mother who is homesick for Puerto Rico, but when he and his parents return from the pizzeria where they borrowed an oven to cook their roast, the heavenly aroma reminds those they pass of all they have to celebrate.
Not to be confused with "Miracle on 34th Street" but does closely resemble "Stone Soup". Colorful, typical Marjorie Priceman illustrations add to the fun as a family works a Christmas miracle in their 'small' apartment.
Karen Arendt
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
A divers holiday story about an apartment building where all the residents are grumpy about Christmas for various reasons. Until, Jose and his dad bring home a roast that they roasted at the local pizzeria.
Dec 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Add this to the list of must-read Christmas stories. This is a lively picture book set in a diverse neighborhood in NYC that celebrates the power of the Christmas spirit in the guise of a good smelling roast. Vibrant illustrations with a sweet message about community and sharing.
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Sonia Manzano (born June 12, 1950) is an American actress and writer. She is best known for playing Maria on Sesame Street from 1971 until her retirement in 2015.

Manzano was born in New York City and was raised in South Bronx. Her parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico. Manzano attended the High School of Performing Arts, where she began her acting career. She attended Carnegie Mellon Universi