Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story

La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story

Antonio Sacre
Illustrator:  Angela Dominguez 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2010   ISBN: 978-0810989672

This Christmas Nina is going to spend the holidays with her Cuban grandmother in Little Havana in Miami, Florida. Instead of the cold and snowy Christmas that she is used to having in her “up north” home, Nina is going to have a hot Christmas, and she is going to celebrate La Noche Buena, Christmas Eve, Cuban style. Nina is not altogether sure that she likes this arrangement. She misses ice-skating, Christmas greens, and the other things that she associates with Christmas.

Over the next few days, Nina’s relatives work hard to get ready for the coming celebration. Every Noche Buena Nina’s grandmother, aunts, uncles, and cousins eat a roast pig that is cooked over an open fire for three days. Nina is given the job of taking the marinade that is made in her grandmother’s kitchen to the place where the uncles and boy cousins are doing the cooking. She has fun helping, and she enjoys sharing this special time with the other children living in the neighborhood.

This warm and colorful picture book will show children that Christmas celebrations come in all kinds of flavors. Though her abuela’s celebration is not what she is used to, Nina finds out that it is great fun all the same. La Noche Buena is a time when people come together to share the joys of the season.