Day of the Dead / Dia de los muertos

“We celebrate our ancestors on the Day of the Dead / with offerings of flowers, sugar skulls, and bread”, begins El dia de los muertos/ The Day of the Dead, a bilingual picture book written and illustrated by Bob Barner and translated by Teresa Mlawer (Holiday House, 2010).

This book, with its illustrations of smiley and spirited skeletons, makes for a great introduction to the holiday for young children as a day of happy remembrance in honor of loved ones who have passed away. Its simple and well-crafted rhymes will peak kids’ interest and curiosity about the special foods, music, commemorative altars and parade that the celebration encompasses.

For more stories featuring endearing, not-scary-at-all skeletons, check out Yuyi Morales‘ Just a Minute Señor Calavera, a counting book and trickster tale about Señor Calavera’s (Mr. Skull) failed attempts to “take” Grandma Beetle with him.

November is Hunger Relief Month

The Lunch Thief by Anne C. Bromley, illustrated by Robert Casilla, is the wonderful story of a boy who finds himself homeless and lunch-less and stealing from his friends. This story of compassion and understanding brings awareness to the power hunger has over people.

November is Hunger Relief Month. Learn more about the issue by picking up a copy of this wonderful book. Also check out this powerful exhibit at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell, Maine, running through the month of November.