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A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas
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A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  41 reviews
An award-winning author and a rising star artist have put a festive Latino twist on "The Twelve Days of Christmas," populating it with piñatas in place of partridges, plus burritos bailando (dancing donkeys), lunitas cantando (singing moons), and much more, all displayed in the most vivid colors imaginable. In this version a little girl receives gifts from a secret amiga, ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 14th 2009 by Clarion Books
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Average rating 3.87  · 
Rating details
 ·  163 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Jon Nakapalau
New take on the 12 Days of Christmas - learned some new Spanish words!
Becka Whitlock
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ed-230
This was a good book explaining the Spanish heritage during christmas, explaining traditions and giving fun recipes. I think that it would be a really good book to introduce around the holidays when we are talking about diffrent hertiges and ethnicity during the holiday season, in a fun loving relatable way.
Valeria Ayala-Nazario
This diverse and cultural book showed Latino Holiday traditions. This book has fun, explanatory images. The text is presented in fun and colorful fonts and sizes. this book is great to teach cultures and could be used in a music class. Also, Latino students could relate and me engaged with this book.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
I loved this book, and my son liked it well enough--a keeper!
Whitney Pittsenbarger
Dec 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
All the kids really liked this version of the twelve days of Christmas.
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Pinata in a Pine Tree is a 2010 Americas Award commended title. For me, this was a great mix of English and Spanish writing. The books refers to the 12 days of Christmas but the items are in Spanish such as getting pastelitos on the second day of Christmas and lunitas cantado on the eleventh day. The book phonetically writes out the word as to pronounce it correctly, and it also contains an extensive glossary which explains what each item means in English if one is unsure when putting together t ...more
JJ Jones
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a terrific book celebrating the Latin 12 days of Christamas. The author's note explains that Mexico has a version of the traditional American Christmas song, however this version begins on December 25th and goes until January 5th. The illustrations have a magical, almost floating feeling about them. The words are written in a lyrical fashion, dipping up and down the page that reminds me of singing a song. Each illustration shows the gift of the day, alone with a pronunciation for the wo ...more
Loretta Benenati
Dec 15, 2011 rated it really liked it

I want to focus on creating an extensive library of books portraying Hispanic/Latino characters and culture. So, I began by acquiring several Toma Rivera award winners. When searching for those books, several others were brought to my attention.

I adore this book. Maybe because we have done a lot with the 12 Days of Christmas this year, but this book fit beautifully into what we were doing. Plus, I got to see the little faces light up on my Hispanic/Latino students when the
Jessica Rodrigues
So cute.

The Spanish words may become daunting for non-Spanish speakers as you get to the end of the song and you have to go through a list of 12 items. You can do it!

You could encourage active reading with non-Spanish speaking kids by asking them what they think each item may mean. They'll eventually figure out that pajaritos serenando are the little singing birds, and you might get some funny guesses along the way.

Amy Salamon
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nice twist on a song that many children are already familiar with. My 8-year-old enjoyed hearing it. Much of the story is in Spanish. The author provides translations and explanations in the back, but I'm not sure how much of it would make sense or that I would understand while reading the story if I didn't already know Spanish myself. But it's a cute book for younger children. ...more
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
My 4 year old loves Spanish and so we got this book. It's a wonderful book to teach children about different cultural practices regarding Christmas. Sadly I took only French and pronouncing the words proved a real challenge even with the helpful tips in the book. We had a good laugh at Mommy's attempt to speak Spanish. Regardless a wonderful book. ...more
Mar 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Mora is quickly becoming one of my favorite children's books authors. I love the great mix between writing in English and Spanish. The illustrations in her books are normally so fun and beautiful as well. This book was no different, so cute and fun to read. Definitely one we will have under our Christmas tree each year. ...more
Dec 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
I really love the way each page has the phonetic spelling of both the number and whatever each day represents. Lovely version of 12 Days of Christmas, and bright and fun illustrations. I had fun sounding out each word.
Feb 25, 2010 rated it really liked it
Good illustrations and lessons in Spanish words. This is an adaptation of the familiar Christmas carol -- Twelve Days of Christmas. In this book, you learn to count in Spanish and a few of the important Christmas symbols in the Latino culture.
Rogelia Pena
Dec 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eng261
A different, fun, and multicultural version of the famous Twelve days of Christmas. This is a bilingual picture book that can be read as early as 1st grade because its pattern enhances comprehension.
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It is all in Spanish but I still loved it even though I could not read it. Pictures are wonderful. Could have students practice Spanish by translating the words to English.
May 11, 2015 added it
Mar 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great choices for the days of Christmas, with simple explanations and phonetic pronunciation to make it accessible.
Jun 25, 2016 added it
Shelves: 2016, picture-books
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: math, retelling
This is really colorful and sweet! A secret amiga gives twelve days of gifts for Christmas.

It's definitely a bit of a tongue-twister, and some of the rhythm doesn't work quite right for singing to the traditional tune, but it's close.

The numbers and gifts are all in Spanish (cinco guitarritas, cuatro luminarias, tres tamelitos, dos pastelitos, etc), except for "a piñata in a pine tree." There's a pronunciation guide at the end, but there are also English pronunciations for the numbers and daily
Sierra Fresh
Nov 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: billingual
This book, written in English and Spanish, uses the familiar “12 days of Christmas” song to go through common traditions in a spanish Christmas. The back matter section expands on the traditions and allows clarification of the English equivalent word. The illustrations are beautiful and add context clues if the text wasn’t understood. This book could expand upon children’s understanding of different cultures.
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s, spanish
A bilingual book, which introduces the numbers 1-12 in Spanish, and 12 other Spanish words, with a pronunciation guide. It's not a translation of the song (i.e. the Spanish words are not "partridge," "turtledove," etc.), but the words chosen are Christmas-related. ...more
Dec 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 0-paper
3.5 stars. Good idea and nicely illustrated, but too many syllables in the upper ones,so not really singable even though they include the music at the end. Fine if you’re just reading it though. Also, the baby sister being the amiga giving her the gifts doesn’t really make sense.
Sam Grace
This was a cute book and it is a natural mix of English and Spanish. It's the 12 Days of Christmas, but instead of my true love it's my amiga and the things on the list are in Spanish and meant to evoke a Latino Christmas - though to my eyes this is not a pan-Latino experience so much as a Mexican American ... someone who knows better can correct me.

Because of that last point, I am slightly less interested in owning it - not because I dislike things Mexican American, but because I already have a
Dec 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book is more Latino-based so for non-Latino families it can be a rough read.

Following the traditional "Twelve Days of Christmas" the story's protagonist has a secret female friend giving her Latino-based gifts. The only English is "gives to me" and "in a pine tree", though.

Fortunately there is a pronunciation guide to the numbers and gifts while the glossaries in the back do basic translating but doesn't really explain what a dancing donkey is.

The illustrations are bright and colorful b
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book is a spin-off of the Twelve Days of Christmas song. A young girl talks about the different things she received for Christmas. The gifts are in written in Spanish and they include things like tamales, lanterns, cakes, guitars, angels and etc. There are illustrations of the Spanish words, however it is a little difficult trying to figure out what they mean. They provide a glossary at the end of the book that translates the Spanish words into English. There is no real plot to the text, it ...more
Nov 24, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an interesting and creative version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas," incorporating spanish words, customs and culture into the song. Not speaking Spanish, I had a bit of a hard time singing all of the verses, but I did my best and we had fun pointing out the pictures, translating the words, and counting in Spanish.

The illustrations are nice, though a bit dark, which makes it difficult to read in a dimly lit room at bedtime. Otherwise, it's a fun book to read aloud.
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a good book to teach children about diversity. The book takes the traditional song the twelve days of Christmas and makes it about Mexican traditions during the holidays. This would be a good book to share during the holidays and have the students explain what their families do during the holidays.
Lauren Brown
This story is based on the twelve days of christmas. It counts to spanish on each page and contains text in spanish and english. This would be great especially for an ESL student who is just learning english.
Barbara Lovejoy
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Pat Mora has done it again--a BEAUTIFUL book!...and the illustrations are simply delightful. This is a "birthday book" that one of our founding board members--Carmen Thompson--donated to our Esperanza library. ...more
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Pat Mora (born 1942) is a female Mexican-American author and poet. Pat Mora was born in El Paso, Texas. She is married and has 3 grown children.

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