Author: Joanne Oppenheim / Illustrator: Fabian Negrin
The Story: The Miracle of the First Poinsettia is a a retelling of a Mexican folktale. In this version, Juanita is a young girl whose family has fallen on hard times. On Christmas Eve, Juanita searches for small gifts to give to her family and despairs when she has nothing to offer the baby Jesus at the church that night.
I discovered this book only a couple of years ago, when we first moved to Texas. As the Mexican culture is still very present, I wanted a new and unique book to read at Christmas time. I grew up in Ohio, but we always had poinsettias at Christmas. Yet, I never knew the story behind these beautiful red flowers.
Can you describe a favourite illustration or give a favourite quote from the story and tell us why you chose it.
I love the illustration towards the end when Juanita walks into the church on Christmas Eve carrying an arm’s full of poinsettias that she thought were just weeds. The light in this illustration gives off the same cozy, special feeling that I personally get when going to midnight mass. The warmth and awe in the parishioners faces portrays the warmth and awe of the Christmas season.
Michelle Nott is a children’s author who writes picture books, early readers and middle grade novels. Her children and their adventures living in Europe, in the USA, and soon in Malaysia help inspire her stories. She is represented by Essie White of Storm Literary Agency.
Readers can learn more about Michelle on her author website. Also on her website are weekly “Imagination Prompts” – visual writing prompts to jumpstart anyone’s creativity. You can find out about new prompts and keep up with other kid lit news on her Facebook page or on Twitter @MimiLRN.
Michelle Nott is the author of Freddy, Hoppie, and the Eyeglasses, an Early Reader for ages seven to nine. Her upcoming picture book is entitled Dragon Amy’s Flames. In this story, a little dragon with a big temper experiences many unfortunate, but funny, predicaments until she finds a way to control her flames.
Which book is on your Christmas wishlist this year?
La La La by Kate DiCamillo
2017 Story Snug Advent on Pinterest