Regular readers will notice that I’m posting not on Friday, as planned, but on Sunday evening. You’ll also find today’s post a bit shorter than usual, which is neither a reflection on the book nor the subject matter. Rather, it’s a reflection on life, and how life can change in an instant. Such changes make me appreciate family even more, and cause me to celebrate those who paved the path along which we trod.
Title: Día de Los Muertos
Written By: Roseanne Greenfield Thong
Illustrated By: Carles Ballesteros
Publisher/date: Albert Whitman & Company/2015
Suitable for Ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: bilingual; Latino; celebrations; Day of the Dead; rhyming
It’s Día de Los Muertos, the sun’s coming round,
as niños prepare in each pueblo and town.
For today we will honor our dearly departed
with celebraciones – it’s time to get started!
Children celebrate the Day of the Dead with their families
Links to Resources:
- Learn about Día de los Muertos in an Afterword;
- Many Spanish words are sprinkled throughout the text and are defined in a Glossary;
- Make pan de muerto, bread of the dead, that is part of the celebrations.
Why I Like this Book:
Día de Los Muertos is a wonderful introduction to a Halloween-like holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and much of Latin America. Unlike Halloween, though, celebrations are family-oriented, with remembrance of ancestors at the heart of the festivities.
While there isn’t a distinct story per se, the reader follows along as young children celebrate departed relatives, including Grandpa Padilla. Rhyming text keeps the action upbeat and fast-paced.
Colorful illustrations complement the rhyming text, leaving the reader with a sense of joy and connection to family.
A Note about Craft:
We learn as writers that rhyme should be utilized only when it adds to the story, when it’s necessary. In Día de Los Muertos, the rhyme quickens the pace and makes what could be a somber subject upbeat and more kid-relatable. Particularly impressive, Thong rhymes not just in English, but also in Spanish.
This Perfect Picture Book entry is being added to Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books https://susannahill.com/for-teachers-and-parents/perfect-picture-books/ list. Check out the other great picture books featured there!