The beautifully illustrated, emotional story is a simple account of what a child feels when she does not to have the means to buy presents at Christmas.
The story is beautifully illustrated by Fabian Negrin with warm glowing scenes that have been created with watercolours, coloured pencils, and wax and oil pastels on Fabriano paper. This mixture of media glows from the pages of the story book as high contrast is softened by subtle images.
A Mexican Christmas Narrative
Juanita has no money to buy presents for her family, but worst of all, no way to buy a present for baby Jesus. She feels distraught because it was a custom of Old World Mexico to take a present up to the alter on Christmas Eve.
Juanita embarks upon what is for her a harrowing and emotional journey. She sets out to find some way to take a present to baby Jesus. Her little trials and dilemmas are touching. They are an illuminating way to introduce children to the idea that Christmas is about what celebrators give rather than receive. The story focuses on what counts. The focal point of the beauty of the miracle, a poinsettia, redirects children’s focus to the adoration of baby Jesus and his birth.
A Story of Transformation
The story is one of trust, faith, unselfishness and acceptance. Although Juanita’s father has lost his job and has no money this Christmas, he is still able to share his talent. As he shares music freely with his children their mother shares her love. But this still leaves Juanita with a dilemma! This Christmas, she asks, how will she go to worship if she has no gift for Jesus?
The miracle, so beautifully represented, reads very much like the creation myths handed down by Australian Indigenous people. A natural new form is spontaneously transformed by the love Juanita holds for her family and for Jesus. Plain green weeds turn into what is now known as the Poinsettia. Through this transformation new light and love is born into the world.
Instructional Videos Show How to Make Origami Poinsettia
If parents or teachers are looking for ways to linger over this message this Christmas, why not search for YouTube instructional videos of how to make origami Poinsettia? There are many such videos available for download, which are quite easy to follow. Practice well before hand and while one adult reads another could be making origami Poinsettia. This will bring the message to life and it is likely that children will want to know how to make the flower. The flowers could be used as Christmas decorations for the Christmas tree or to decorate the classroom.
Bringing Intercultural Sharing into Christmas Festivities
There is great value in finding ways to bring intercultural sharing into Christmas festivities. This is especially in schools where it may perhaps no longer be appropriate to assume that there is only one way of “Doing Christmas”