Reviews for Legend of the Poinsettia

Horn Book Guide Reviews 1995
DePaola retells a Mexican legend of miraculous transcendence. Ashamed to have spoiled her family's Christmas gift to the church, young Lucida humbly gathers an armful of weeds and places them around the manger. As she kneels in prayer, the weeds burst forth in flaming red stars and ""[cf2]la Flor de Nochebuena[cf1] -- the Flower of the Holy Night -- the poinsettia"" becomes a beautiful part of Christmas. Also available in Spanish. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

Kirkus Reviews 1994 October
~ Lucida and her mother are recruited by Padre Alvarez to weave a new blanket for the figure of Baby Jesus carried in their village's Christmas procession. They take to their task with great energy, but Lucida's mother falls ill and is not able to finish the blanket in time. When Lucida tries to weave it herself, she only manages to produce a hopeless set of tangles. Ashamed that she will have no gift to give the Baby Jesus, Lucida hides during the procession; but an old lady points out to her that any gift to the child would be accepted with love. Lucida grabs a hunk of weeds and prays for the best. Sure enough, as she places them beside the figure, the weeds burst into Christmas bloom, and so the great red spectacle of the poinsettia came to be. DePaola (Christopher, p. 140, etc.) has always had a way with the retelling of folktales--getting them straight without getting them sentimental--and he shines again here with this Mexican story, as do the bold swaths of color that illuminate his painting. (Folklore/Picture book. 4-8) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly Reviews 1994 September #3
In the tradition of his The Legend of the Bluebonnet and The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush, dePaola offers another gracious retelling of a timeless folktale. His skillfully pared-down narrative and paintings that glow with strong colors present the story of a well-intentioned Mexican child, Lucida. Distressed because she has no other gift to offer Baby Jesus, she carries into the church an armful of weeds, each of which suddenly becomes ``tipped with a flaming red star''-marking the miraculous blooming of the first poinsettias. Released simultaneously in English-and Spanish-language editions. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.