Celebrate Christmas and Three Kings Day with Pablo and Carlitos

Celebrate Christmas and Three Kings Day with Pablo and Carlitos
Celebra la Navidad y el Día de los Reyes Magos con Pablo y Carlitos



Carlitos writes a letter to the Three Kings, los Reyes Magos, asking for lots of presents. Later, he decides to write a new letter and gives up some of the things on his wish list in exchange for a bigger gift for his older brother, Pablo, who is very good to him and is teaching him how to ride a bike. The Three Kings are truly wise and surprise Carlitos and his brother with just the right gifts!


A description of the many ways in which Christmas and the Three Kings Day, or Día de los Reyes Magos, are celebrated in various countries. Illustrated with numerous informative photographs.


Each of the twenty four books in this collection dedicated to some of the most important holidays and festivities celebrated in the United States is the combination of two books in one. The first part is an engaging realistic fiction story beautifully illustrated by a diversity of illustrators. The second part is a non-fiction piece that explains the history and significance of the holiday or celebration. This second part is illustrated with bright and unique photographs that will allow children to witness the celebration.

The festivities addressed include:

For more details in the series and the values it presents see the series description: Series Stories to Celebrate / Cuentos para celebrar. There is also an individual page, like this, for each of the books in the series.

Lesson plans and questions to guide the Creative Reading Dialogue can be found on the SantillanaUSA website: www.santillanausa.com/cuentosparacelebrar.htm


There are two CDs with the readings of the twelve stories in English and two CDs with the readings of the twelve stories in Spanish.

The CDs will allow children to follow a professional reading aloud individually or in groups.

They can be beneficial to children learning a second language, whether English or Spanish, since they will be able to read the book in their stronger language and then listen to the recording in the second language, or vice versa.


Navidades and el Día de Reyes were highlights of my childhood and I waited for them all year. There were multiple associations with those days: the most important that my aunts, uncle and cousins and a dear family friend, Rafael Respall, would return from La Habana to our home town of Camagüey. Their presence was the best Christmas gift.

I delighted in building the Nativity scene. Rafael was a true master in creating a very elaborate depiction all over our front porch. At the beginning we had an incredible array of nativity figurines, borrowed from my parents’ store, then as the season progressed and the different models were sold in the store, ours would return to the store shelves and their place would be covered with plants or stones. It did not make us sad, we were happy to know that other people were also creating wonderful nacimientos.

I have written about the experience of helping my parents create simple Nativity figures in the vignette “Christmas for All” in the book Under the Royal Palms or Bajo las palmas reales.

Christmas also meant special food only eaten at that time of year, the only time when we had apples and grapes and the wonderful turrones from Jijona and Alicante.

Since I am only one of the authors of this book. You can visit www.isabelcampoy.com to read what the other author has to say.

Many readers are intrigued about how two authors collaborate to write a book. If you share this curiosity you may enjoy reading how Isabel Campoy explains this experience in the chapter authored by her “Writing in Collaboration: One plus One is One or Two” in the book Alma Flor Ada and You, volume II published by Libraries Unlimited.


Several of my books and poems touch on the topic of Christmas and Día de Reyes. This book can be correlated with La jaula dorada from the series Stories the Year ‘Round or Cuentos para todo el año, with the bilingual book The Christmas Tree/El árbol de Navidad. Also autobiographical Christmas experiences in the vignette “Christmas for All” in the book Under the Royal Palms or Bajo las palmas reales.

The theme of Christmas is also mentioned in the book I Don’t Want to Melt or No quiero derretirme from the series Stories the Year ‘Round or Cuentos para todo el año. Children reading in Spanish may enjoy these poems from the poetry anthology Días y días de poesía.

About Winter:

Alma Flor Ada

Salir a jugar feliz
y, para no acatarrarse,
¡abrigarse la nariz!

About those elements of Christmas that are presents and cards:

Alma Flor Ada

¡Qué divertido
envolver un regalo
y guarder el secreto
de lo encerrado!

Tarjetas de Navidad
Alma Flor Ada

A un amigo lejano
le puedes mandar
una tarjeta
de Navidad.
Paisajes, arbolitos
y regalos, quizá,
dibujada por ti
le gustará más.

Regalos hechos por mi
Alma Flor Ada

He estado hoy día
canta que canta:
hacer regalos
a mí… me encanta.
Papel y lápiz,
goma y tijera,
creo lindas cosas
de esta manera.
Todos recibirán
con alegría
lo que producen
las manos mías.

About the New Mexican tradition of placing luminarias for this season:

Alma Flor Ada

Una bolsa de papel
llena de arena
para que se sujete
muy bien la vela.
La velita encendida
marca el camino
que recorren cantando
los peregrinos.
Cantando villancicos
de Navidad
desde un extreme al otro
de la ciudad.
Esperando que llegue
la Nochebuena
amigos y regalos
¡y una gran cena!

And about Three Kings Day:

Los Reyes Magos
Alma Flor Ada

Uno a caballo y otro en camello
y, algo adelante,
otro montado a lomos
de un elefante.
Van los tres reyes magos
por una huella.
Melchor, Gaspar y Baltasar
siguen la estrella


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