From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2-Manuela dreams of a beautiful yellow dress, "the color of the rising sun." It is the gift she most wants for her birthday, but times are hard for her family. So, the dress she receives, an old one of her mother's, lovingly recut and altered to fit her, leaves her disappointed. Her mother senses the child's lack of enthusiasm, but wisely gives her some time to herself. Staring at the rainbow-colored pinata hanging in the barn, Manuela remembers Abuela's advice to "fill it with daydreams" until it is time for Papa to fill it with sweets for her party. She dreams of the gifts she would like to give each member of her family: more chicks and eggs for her mother; rain for her father, a farmer; and a horse for tired Abuela to ride. The young girl imagines the gifts falling from the pinata, but realizes that like the beautiful yellow dress of her dreams, they are out of her reach. Through her thinking, she comes to understand the love and care that went into her "new" dress. The fluid, rhythmic text is well matched by large, brightly colored, primitive paintings, perfect for sharing. Similar in message to Antonio Madrigal's Erandi's Braids (Putnam, 1999), this affecting story speaks to the consummate importance of family ties.
Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Reviews from: BOOKLIST
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL A girl hopes for a yellow party dress in Manuela's Gift by Claire B. Cotts. With drought in the land, times are hard in Manuela's village, and her birthday gift is a reworked hand-me-down, sadly, in blue. How she comes to terms with disappointment makes for an illustrative story. The fluid, rhythmic text is well matched by large, brightly colored, primitive paintings, perfect for sharing. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.