cover image JOS FELICIANO'S FELIZ NAVIDAD: Two Stories Celebrating Christmas

JOS FELICIANO'S FELIZ NAVIDAD: Two Stories Celebrating Christmas

Jose Feliciano, , illus. by David Diaz. . Scholastic/ Cartwheel, $15.95 (28pp) ISBN 978-0-439-51717-1

Rare is the presiding adult who will be able to resist singing along to this invigorating picture-book adaptation of Feliciano's bilingual pop-music carol. After an introduction highlighting the Puerto Rican Christmas tradition of the parranda (in which neighbors and friends carol and party from house to house), Feliciano's brief lyrics ("Feliz Navidad/ I want to Wish You a Merry Christmas/... From the bottom of my heart") come to life via Diaz's (Smoky Night) bold folk-art–inspired paintings. The first half of the book (in Spanish) shows parranderos in Puerto Rico; a middle wordless spread offers a quiltlike presentation of traditional symbols of the season (poinsettia, snowman, mistletoe, etc.); and the balance of pages (accompanying the English lyrics) depict merry-makers in a wintry setting. While calling each group of spreads a "story" implies more plot than actually emerges here, Diaz's compositions convey the joyous mood that holidays traditionally inspire in people, no matter where they live. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)