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Happy Birthday, Josefina! is the fourth book in the Josefina series.

The Spanish title is ¡Feliz cumpleaños, Josefina!: Un cuento de primavera (Literally: "Happy Birthday, Josefina!: A Spring Story")



Chapter by Chapter Summary[]

Chapter One: Spring Sprouts[]

Chapter Two: Tía Magdalena[]

Chapter Three: Second Chances[]

Chapter Four: Rattlesnake[]

Looking Back: Growing Up in 1824[]

Discusses, birth, childhood, and maturity in New Mexico in the 1820s. Topics include:

  • The role a partera, or midwife, played during childbirth and early postnatal care
  • The role of curanderas, or traditional Native Mexican healers, and their knowledge about plants and other traditional medicines
  • The role of godparents in a person's life and how they were chosen
  • How children were given their names, baptized, and frequently named after the saint's day they were born on
  • How children celebrate their saint's day/birthday with gifts for themselves and others, music, sweets, and religious ceremonies
  • Children's role in every day work running a ranchero, and the expectations of a child in labor and behavior
  • The games and activities New Mexican children played, including toys, word riddles, sports, and games
  • A Catholic child's First Holy Communion at age twelve or thirteen, symbolizing their transition into adulthood and maturity.
  • Proposal and marriages in New Mexico, which could start at age fifteen for young girls, and refusing proposals with squashes
  • Expectations of marriage and future parenting, and what unmarried women did to assist their families


The 2024 re-release edition includes a new foreword. This foreword mentions updated imagery and language and a revised Looking Back section. The book also has pages with additional resources and discussion questions.

Book Covers[]

Items associated with Happy Birthday, Josefina![]