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MAJOR AWARD-WINNING AUTHOR: Higuera won the 2022 Newbery Medal and Pura Belpré Award for her middle-grade novel The Last Cuentista. Her debut novel, Lupe Wong Won’t Dance, was a Pura Belpré Award honor book.
HOLIDAY TIE-IN: There aren’t many holiday picture books told through the lens of Spanish-speaking cultures. This festive read explores the Christmas holiday season including Nochebuena and the tradition of Las Posadas, with a community procession, piñata, and delicious food.
BILINGUAL STORY: The text seamlessly blends Spanish and English throughout.
RISING-STAR ARTIST: Perdomo’s vibrant, youthful, folk art–inspired illustrations lend extra charm and humor to the story. She is also the illustrator of Susan Verde’s Can You See It.
UNLIKELY FRIENDSHIP: Ramón and his adorable monster, El Cucuy, share a sweet bond as they face their first Navidad together in a new home.
EMOTIONAL LAYERS: The story gently explores feelings of being unrooted and fear of change, but in the spirit of Las Posadas—which celebrates welcoming those who were once strangers but are now family—Ramón reassures El Cucuy that they belong together. “I am your family?” “Por supuesto.”
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Gives an overview of the traditions behind Las Posadas (beginning on December 16th and ending on Nochebuena, Christmas Eve), a festival celebrated in Mexico and parts of Latin America and the United States.
WIDESPREAD MYTH: Though MUCH scarier in folklore than he appears in our picture book, the “real” El Cucuy is a familiar boogeyman figure with deep cultural roots in Spanish-speaking countries and many different versions around the globe.

A boy and his monster from under the bed celebrate Navidad—Christmas—in It’s Navidad, El Cucuy!, a festive, bilingual picture book from Newbery Medal–winning author Donna Barba Higuera and illustrator Juliana Perdomo.

Ramón is a little boy who can’t wait for Navidad.

El Cucuy is the friendly monster who lives in Ramón’s bedroom. He’s not so sure that Christmas is for him. The lights are too bright, and the snowman is scary!

So if El Cucuy is hesitant to embrace the holiday cheer, then Ramón will have to bring the spirit of Navidad to him.

A tender, heartwarming story about facing the unknown with a friend by your side, this companion to El Cucuy Is Scared, Too! explores the magic of the holidays and coming together as a community.

Features an overview of the traditions behind Las Posadas, a festival beginning on December 16th and ending on Nochebuena (Christmas Eve) that is celebrated in Mexico and parts of Latin America and the United States.

Higuera, D. | It's Navidad, El Cucuy!

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