Read La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story by Antonio Sacre AngelaDominguez Online


Nina is visiting her grandmother in Miami for Christmas. Usually she spends it in snowy New England with her mother and her family, but this year is different. She isn’t certain what to make of a hot and humid holiday, until she learns the traditions of her father’s side of the family from her Cuban grandmother. She helps prepare for the evening and takes part in all theirNina is visiting her grandmother in Miami for Christmas. Usually she spends it in snowy New England with her mother and her family, but this year is different. She isn’t certain what to make of a hot and humid holiday, until she learns the traditions of her father’s side of the family from her Cuban grandmother. She helps prepare for the evening and takes part in all their traditions—the intricate cooking for the feast, the dancing, the music, and the gathering of relatives and neighbors. It all comes together for a Noche Buena that Nina will never forget.   Antonio Sacre and Angela Dominguez have created a wonderful story that everyone who celebrates Christmas will enjoy. The book includes a glossary of Spanish words....

Title : La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780810989672
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 32 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story Reviews

  • 538am_Allison Nork
    2019-05-23 16:10

    La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story is a good read for students 2nd-4th grade. It would be good for reading alone and aloud as a class to generate discussion. It is about a young girl from the Northeast who goes down to spend the Christmas holiday with her family in Miami's Little Havana. She is leery about not spending time with her cousins like usual and knowing that there won't be any snow. After spending a few days being immersed in her family's culture she has fun and wants to bring the rest of her family to Little Havana next time so they can experience the celebration as well. This book would take some explanation for students before and during the reading. The teacher should explain that La Noche Buena is Christmas Eve and is celebrated more in Cuban culture than the actual day of Christmas. There are Spanish words and phrases scattered throughout the story, sometimes explained, sometimes not. The author did include a glossary in the back which will be helpful for students to further their understanding. I think this book is good for students to recognize celebrations that occur in other cultures right here in the United States. The character is celebrating her Cuban heritage but did not have to go outside of the United States to do so. This would be fantastic to expand on so students can explore their own Christmas holiday traditions and celebrations and learn and compare them with others from around the world. Dominguez creates beautiful illustrations that are full of color and capture the activities being presented in each scene. They were made using acrylic paint on paper. This book won the Notable Social Studies Trade Books award in 2011 and is Booklist reviewed.

  • Vamos a Leer
    2019-04-26 23:19

    La Noche Buena is a heartwarming story about a young girl who travels from her New England home down to Miami to spend Christmas and Christmas Eve with her Cuban relatives. It is her first time traveling to Miami for the winter holidays, and at first the warmth and humidity seem strange at this time of year: “How will Santa land his sleigh in the heat?” The unnamed, female protagonist’s parents are divorced and it is her Cuban father’s turn to have her for the holidays. The fact that the protagonist is unnamed helps readers identify with her, and her position as a child of divorced parents is an important perspective for children to witness and experience through literature. Divorce is such a common occurrence, but it is still a difficult experience for children. As young readers watch the protagonist transition between two parents, two cultures, two languages, they will witness how strong and resilient she is, a positive example for children going through similar struggles.At first, the girl is not too keen on going to Miami for the holidays—“As much as I love my Cuban grandmother, and as many times as she tells me I’m her favorite nieta, granddaughter, I’d rather be up north for Christmas, with my mother, my other grandmother, all my up-north cousins, and snow, lots and lots of snow!”—however, as the story progresses, readers will see how quickly the protagonist adapts to the changes, how important it is for her to familiarize herself with the other side of her family, and how much fun she has celebrating a Cuban-American noche buena (Christmas Eve). The holidays are not always a time of pure mirth and joy, but can also be a time of sadness, when we lament a divorce in the family, the separation of loved ones, or are overwhelmed by homesickness and nostalgia for a different place or a different time. What’s wonderful and heartwarming about this book, though, is that despite these realistic and all-too-human sentiments, an uplifting, loving, and communal core still shines through the narrative. Although the protagonist starts off sad and reluctant about traveling to Miami and missing her family up north, by the end of the story she realizes that instead of losing one family, or missing out on their festivities back home, she has gained a whole other family, a whole other community of people who love her and want to make her feel welcome.Dominguez’s beautiful, vibrant illustrations also help set the tone of merriment and celebration, and establishes the scenery of tropical Miami: “I walk out the door. I listen. At first I only hear the cars going by on Calle Ocho. Then I hear a dog barking and loud birds above me. I look toward the sound and see colorful parrots!” The protagonist’s surprise at the novel setting and climate gives readers the sensation that they are discovering and experiencing her surroundings alongside her.noche-buena-3As lovely as this story is, one thing to keep in mind while reading and while teaching this book, is that gender roles are starkly emphasized in this story: “‘Vaya, nina,’ says Uncle Tito. ‘We need more of Mimi’s marinade, and you are the only one who can go. Mimi won’t let any of us men into the kitchen, and we won’t let any of the women by the fire. They need you in the kitchen, but we need you here, too. You will have to go back and forth many times over the next few days.’” Although this is simply a reality in many cultures and many households, teachers might want to emphasize to their students that women don’t always need to be the ones cooking, and men don’t always need to be the ones barbequing. Moreover, that’s not necessarily the case in Cuban-American families. This is only one example of one family.Also, this scene serves to highlight yet another liminal phase that the protagonist must occupy, another crossing over of borders and divides. Not only is she traveling between parents, between states and between cultures, but she is also now transitioning between the women in the kitchen and the men in the backyard. Taken with a grain of salt, this also serves to further emphasize the protagonist’s flexibility and adaptability, important qualities for both children and adults navigating the challenges and surprises of life.Ultimately, this story is warm and uplifting and takes readers on a journey through the cultural celebrations and yuletide rituals of a Cuban-American family. Many of the themes that I often highlight this time of year ( nostalgia, the immigrant experience, cross cultural holiday gatherings, etc.) shine through this vibrant story. Many young children can identify with this story, whether they, too, are traveling for the holidays, are part of a multicultural family, are children of divorced parents, or are simply anxiously anticipating the holidays. For the full review, visit

  • Andrea Gray
    2019-04-26 15:03

    Grades K-3La Noche Buena introduces readers to a Christmas Eve feast for a Cuban American family. Nina goes to Miami to visit her dad's side of the family for the Christmas holiday. She's excited to see her family in Florida but wishes her Christmas could be like it always is, with her mom and family up north and SNOW. She was told by her father that La Noche Buena is the best night of the year for many Cuban families and she soon discovers for herself, that her dad is right. The author mixes in different spanish words and phrases with a glossary in the back to help us define any words we might now know. Nina spends the next three days with her abuela and the women in the family where they prepare the marinade for the family's big feast. When the magical night finally arrives, Nina gets to experience it first hand. She is so pleased as she eats this fantastic meal prepared by her family. They eat together and share food with their friends. Their friends do the same with Nina's family. The time in Miami has left Nina happy and grateful for the experience. It opened her eyes that sometimes, even when things break away from the routine we know, a lot of wonderful things could come of it.

  • Sandra Madrid
    2019-05-07 21:13

    La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story is a story about a girl named Nina who is used to celebrating Christmas with her mother in the Northern part fo the United States. In the book, she goes to Florida and celebrates Christmas with her dad. The celebration is centered on la Noche Buena. Nina helps her grandmother and other women in the family prepare traditional Cuban dishes while enjoying music and dancing, just like an authentic Cuban home. This book depicts an important holiday for the Latino community. As a whole, we celebrate on December 24 which is La Noche Buena, while we wait to ring in Christmas on the 25th. It is an accurate representation as to how many Latinos celebrate Christmas. This story is designed to be read from preschool up to second graders. The book contains words in Spanish and includes a glossary so that children can learn them in more detail. The text has illustrations that depict the food and the dancing making it appealing and visually shows the celebration. This story is representing of the Cuban culture. One of the other thing that a child can relate to in this story is that the parents are separated.

  • Margaret Chind
    2019-05-15 20:07

    Typically when I think of Christmas I think of cool if not out right cold weather and dreaming of snow that sometimes comes and sometimes does not. Although I was introduced to many different cultures and environments for Christmas through 17 Christmases. Now through the words of Antonio Sacre we're introduced to another cultural Christmas. Every family has their traditions and the Cuban-American culture is valuable to Nina's father's family and this is her Christmas with them. Through a melting-pot of experiences this book is a great introduction with a Spanish Christmas Eve holiday Buena Noche. Using sparse beginner's Spanish vocabulary, this is a great book for young readers interested in other cultures and learning Spanish. It also opens up communication on a varied realm of topics like blended families, ethnicity connection, festive diversity and more.*Thanks to Abrams Books for providing a copy for review.*

  • Jose Juan
    2019-05-13 23:12

    La Noche Buena captures how a Cuban family in Miami celebrates on December 24th. This is very similar to how my family celebrates La Noche Buena in California. My Mexican family loves to get together in masses during this special time. Everyone usually contributes some food or all the woman spend all day in the kitchen making tamales, champurado, and posole. The men usually hang out side cooking other foods like roasted chicken and carne asada. Some of the family likes to go to church at midnight and then come back to open their Christmas gifts. Their is lots of singing and dancing. The Mexican tradition is very similar to the Cuban Christmas Eve tradition. The illustrations by Dominguez are very colorful and capture the story nicely.

  • Sara
    2019-05-05 17:23

    This book makes a great read-aloud about holidays of different cultures around the Christmas season. The main character is spending Christmas with her Cuban-American Grandmother in Florida, where she experiences for the first time her family's traditions leading up to and on La Noche Buena, on Christmas Eve. I read this book to 3rd grade, and it was a great introduction to this holiday, to other Hispanic cultures (my students are primarily Mexican-American), and I also used this book to talk about sensory language. The author does a fantastic job of describing and incorporating the sounds, tastes, smells, textures, and sights of this holiday.

  • Roben
    2019-05-20 15:03

    A young girl must go and spend Christmas in Little Havana in Miami because "it is her dad's turn to have her". Only he's out of town so she is spending Christmas with her abuela. No worries -- La Noche Buena is a huge celebration in the Cuban community and she spends her days getting to know family and helping out with the pig roasting. The actual feast is a huge celebration and she ends her Christmas - happy, loved, and eager to come return the following year. The story has quite a bit of detailed text so this would be more appropriate for an older audience - not a traditional storytime. I also would have liked it better if the father had at least appeared for part of the story.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-05-01 16:33

    The illustrations are nice, though I felt like it was text-heavy -- I think I have a probably erroneous bifurcation in my head between picturebook readers and old-enough-to-read-on-their-own readers and so assume that if it's a picturebook it has to be able to hold the attention of a pre-reading age kid and thus can't be too text-heavy (which might in and of itself be an erroneous understanding of pre-reading kids).I enjoyed the story, except I'm grossed out by this Cuban norm that men can't come in the kitchen and women can't come near the fire as they're prepping the Christmas Eve pig roast.

  • Dee
    2019-04-28 17:28

    When Nina arrives at her grandmother's house it is a lot different than her home in snowy New England. She is greeted by her family and they have a great time cooking and having a good time as they wait for the best day of the year to arrive. Christmas Eve. They dress in their finest clothes and eat and dance until the sun rises on Christmas Day. They are tired but happy as they head off to bed. Nina discovers you can have a great Christmas as long as you are surrounded by those you love and you can learn new traditions. Y colorin, colorado, este cuento se ha acabado, the end. Kind of like they lived happily ever after. The book includes a glossary of Spanish words and phrases.

  • Edward Sullivan
    2019-05-06 21:24

    Warm story of a Cuban-American family celebrating the Christmas holidays.

  • Kiersten
    2019-04-29 23:04

    I loved learning about the Cuban Christmas traditions. I wish the writing (of which there was a lot--I had to condense parts of it for my two-year-old) had been a little more fluid.

  • Caroline
    2019-05-10 20:25

    A young American girl is sent to experience a traditional Cuban-American Christmas Eve with her grandmother in this vibrant picture book.

  • Rebecca Hernandez
    2019-05-21 18:21

    This book allows children to understand that La Noche Buena is the same exact holiday as Christmas. The only difference is that they celebrate differently