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<< Back to Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid

Charro Claus and the Tejas Kid

Children's Literature

Bold, stylized cartoon-like illustrations help this creative author/illustrator tell the story of Santa Claus' Mexican cousin—telling it in both English and Spanish. On Christmas Eve, Vincent and his uncle, Pancho, hear something on the roof. Vincent creeps out to see who is talking to his uncle and is surprised to see Santa Claus. We watch along with Vincent as Santa Claus greets Tio Pancho warmly and asks for his help. Santa needs someone to get all of the toys delivered along the Texas/Mexico border so he enlists Pancho.

In a Fairy Godmother-like move Santa transforms Pancho into Charro Claus and turns Pancho's broken-down wagon into a "… a brand new wagon, as white as the clouds." Of course, the little burros are transformed into the "Flying Burritos!" With the wagon packed with the magical sack and the flying burritos at the ready, Charro Claus prepares to take off on his toy delivering mission. Vincent decides that he wants to go along and hops into the magical sack just before the wagon flies off into the sky. At the very first house, Charro Claus discovers his nephew hiding in the magical sack just as a young girl comes into the room proclaiming "You are not Santa Claus!" Tio Pancho is greatly relieved when his nephew tells the girl that this is Charro Claus, Santa's Mexican cousin. Delighted with this idea the little girl goes to sleep. Charro Claus decides that he needs Vincent's help and transforms him into the Tejas Kid.

The last double spread shows the Tejas Kid riding the lead burro and calling out "Andale, Rigo! Go, Jaime! C'mon, Freddie! Dale gaaaaaas, Little Joe! Step on it!" The back matter includes a long note from the author discussing the foundations for the story, including his own childhood experiences, and a picture of his own son, Vincent, the model for the Tejas Kid. The author wrote both the English and Spanish versions of the story that appear together on each page. This will be especially useful in bilingual homes or classes.
- December 3, 2008 

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