Quirky Books: The Latino Holiday Book by Valerie Menard

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Latino Holiday Book by Valerie Menard

With descriptions of holiday celebrations in Puerto Rico, Mexico and Cuba "the Latino Holiday Book" is delightful. Famous Comedian Cheech Marin endorses the book with a humorous forward recalling a fun birthday experiences.

Born in California Valerie Menard is a Second-Generation Mexican. Graduating from the University of Texas she is the Editor of Latinos on Wheels. Cheech Marin is a Famous Comedian, Actor, Writer and Director with several appearances in films like "Up in Smoke" and "Born in East L.A." He also directs films like "the Lion King" and "Cars."

The political undertones in relation to specific holidays are fascinating. There are several holidays incorporating European and Native American traditions to celebrate Revolutions in Mexico, Cube and the State of Puerto Rico. Inspirational there are several ideals people in the United States should embrace during Federal Holidays.

People from religious backgrounds will want to read the book for ideas to incorporate religion into holidays such as Christmas. Dia de los Reyes celebrates the day the Three Wise Men bringing gifts to the Baby Jesus. This holiday occurs on January 6th and explains the 12 Days of Christmas. There are not as many gifts as the song implies, yet sentiment about religious meaning provide insight for Christmas and other religious holidays.

Copyrighted in 2000, placing additional information in the margins is an experimental format during this time; however, recipes, prayers and additional information enhance the topic with fun activities. It might be enjoyable make a pinata or ojo de dios.

Though overall text is well-written organization of content appears sporadically. In a couple chapters margin highlights do not match the body of text. Occasionally, it is repetitive. This might be a consequence of combining traditions of three cultures. In either instance the importance of content overrides compositional flaws.

An excellent book to learn about American Culture, several important political and religious beliefs have explanations while discussing seasonal holidays. I recommend "the Latino Holiday Book" to anyone curious about learning American History or improving holiday celebrations with depth of understanding the holidays. It is also wonderful for parents wanting to find fun ways to celebrate holidays.

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