Tracy is today’s guest blogger. I’ve been following her Instagram, but I highly recommend the book podcast she does with her kids!
To see previous Guest Bloggers, check out:
Arturo and the Navidad Birds
Written by Anne Broyles
Illustrated by KE Lewis
Some of the favorite books our family owns are those we would never have found on our own. When people give us books, we often uncover hidden treasures that never came across our Amazon recommendations or our Instagram feed. It’s no surprise, then, that some of our favorite books are Christmas books given to Lu (6) and Bean (4) over the years by grandmothers and friends of the family.
Arturo and the Navidad Birds was a special gift sent from the girls’ grandmother Mary in Illinois. It’s inscribed, “May you always be surrounded by people who love you and share stories with you.”
Those few words summarize Arturo and the Navidad Birds perfectly. The book shares the story of Arturo, a young boy who is decorating a Christmas tree with his grandmother. The pair share stories of the past and of their family as they dig through boxes of ornaments and place them on the tree. The ornaments recall stories of Abue’s (pronounced ah-BWAY, meaning grandma) childhood, of a trip to her hometown when she had children of her own, and of the Christmas story itself—the real reason we celebrate.
While Abue makes a quick trip into the kitchen, Arturo finds a cherished dove ornament given to Abue by a friend who has passed away. He happily flies the bird around the room until—oops!—the ornament comes crashing to the ground in pieces. Gathering the many shards of glass in his hands, Arturo faces the dilemma of how to tell his grandmother that he’s broken something that can never be replaced.
Arturo and the Navidad Birds is a heartwarming story that teaches young children the importance of telling the truth even in the most difficult situations. In the end, Arturo and Abue realize that while things can be shattered, memories stay with us forever.
English readers will pick up on a few new Spanish vocabulary words while being able to follow the whole story regardless of their Spanish language proficiency. Spanish readers will delight in having the full story available in Spanish alongside the English text on every page. Everyone will enjoy a new holiday reading tradition that leaves us knowing that being surrounded by people who love us and share stories with us is the most important thing in life.
Tracy Babler is a freelance writer from Minneapolis, MN. She writes about children’s literature at luandbeanread.com and produces the Lu and Bean Read children’s story podcast with her four- and six-year- old daughters. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.