Day of the Dead

"Día de los muertos <<DEE ah deh lohs MWEHR tohs>> is a Mexican holiday that honors the dead. Many Mexican American communities also celebrate it. Día de los muertos is a Spanish phrase meaning day of the dead. On this day, families gather in churches, at cemeteries, and in homes. They pray for and remember loved ones who have died. The celebration is usually on November 2, the Roman Catholic religious festival of All Souls' Day. Some people celebrate over several days, including All Saints' Day on November 1.

 

Día de los muertos combines Roman Catholic beliefs and ancient Native American traditions. Many families place an altar called an ofrenda in their homes and in cemeteries. Ofrenda is the Spanish world for offering. Families decorate the altar to welcome the souls of their dead family members and friends. People share stories about family history. They also eat candies and other treats shaped like skulls or skeletons."  -"Día de los muertos."  World Book Discover. World Book, 2012. Web. 5 Nov. 2012.

 

The Dead Family Diaz  by P. J. Bracegirdle

 A fresh, funny take on the Day of the Dead that's packed with kid appeal! Every skeleton in the Land of the Dead is excited to celebrate el Día de los Muertos with the Living. But not Angelito. His big sister has told him all about their horrifying bulgy eyes and squishy skin. So when Angelito is separated from his family in the Land of the Living, he's petrified! That is until, he makes a new friend who is just as terrified of them as Angelito is. Then his new buddy turns out to be (gulp!) a living boy! Angelito runs as fast as his bony feet can carry him. Fortunately the traditions of the Day of the Dead reunite the two boys, just in time for some holiday fun. Full of wild Tim Burton-esque art, this clever tale is sure to become un libro favorito for the Day of the Dead.

Clatter Bash!: a Day of the Dead Celebration by Richard Keep.

Graveyard skeletons shake, rattle, and roll in this spirited Day of the Dead celebration featuring bold and colorful cut-paper illustrations. ¡Hola! ¡Hola! Hey! ¡Qué fiesta! Yay! At dusk on the holiday known as Day of the Dead, a Mexican family has set out fiesta offerings in the graveyard in hopes that departed loved ones may return to visit. The playful skeletons rise from their graves to celebrate with gusto. All night long, they sing, dance, dine, tell stories, and play games. As morning approaches, they give thanks to the stars for their night of fun, tidy up after themselves, and leave no trace of their "clatter bash" behind as they return to their coffins until next year's Day of the Dead. Author-illustrator Richard Keep's rollicking rhyme-sprinkled with Spanish words-captures the bone-rattling sounds and fun of the evening. His vivid cut-paper art is sure to raise the spirits of young readers without frightening them. A two-page illustrated afterword gives factual information about el Día de los Muertos, the reverent but fun celebration honoring relatives who have passed on, and the special rituals, images, foods, and customs associated with this joyful Mexican celebration.

Beto and the Bone Dance by Gina Freschet.

A fantastic encounter on the Day of the Dead. Today is Beto's favorite holiday,  the Day of the Dead. First, he and his father craft an altar at home in honor of Beto's recently departed grandmother, filled with the things she loved in life. Later, it's off to the cemetery, where at midnight all the dead souls will come to visit the living. It's a celebratory occasion, but Beto is distraught because he isn't able to find a perfect gift for Abuela's altar. The answer to his dilemma is found in a wild dream, in which Beto joins a conga line of dance-mad skeletons. Through her effulgent paintings and rhythmic text, the author conveys all the excitement of this unique Mexican fiesta, as well as a comforting message for children who have lost a loved one.

 

Just a Minute: a Trickster Tale and Counting Book  by Yuyi Morales

In this original trickster tale, Senor Calavera arrives unexpectedly at Grandma Beetle's door. He requests that she leave with him right away. "Just a minute," Grandma Beetle tells him. She still has one house to sweep, two pots of tea to boil, three pounds of corn to make into tortillas, and that's just the start! Using both Spanish and English words to tally the party preparations, Grandma Beetle cleverly delays her trip and spends her birthday with a table full of grandchildren and her surprise guest. This spirited tribute to the rich traditions of Mexican culture is the perfect introduction to counting in both English and Spanish. The vivacious illustrations and universal depiction of a family celebration are sure to be adored by young readers everywhere.

 

Just in Case: a Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book by Yuyi Morales.
Three time Pura Belpre winner,  Yuyi Morales takes us on a new journey with Señor Calvera, the skeleton from Day of the Dead celebrations. Señor Calvera is worried. He can't figure out what to give Grandma Beetle for her birthday. Misunderstanding the advice of Zelmiro the Ghost, Señor Calvera decides not to get her one gift, but instead one gift for every letter of the alphabet, just in case. Una Acordéon: An accordion for her to dance to. Bigotes: A mustache because she has none. Cosquillas: Tickles to make her laugh...only to find out at the end of the alphabet that the best gift of all is seeing her friends. Morales's art glows in this heart-warming original tale with folklore themes, a companion book to her Pura Belpré-winning Just a Minute. Just In Case is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year, the winner of the 2009 Pura Belpre Medal for Illustration and a Pura Belpre Honor Book for Narrative.