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.

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