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Celebrating the Day of the Dead

A Gift for Abuelita: Celebrating the Day of the Dead

A Gift for Abuelita: Celebrating the Day of the Dead

By: Nancy Luenn
Illustrated by: Robert Chapman
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

When Abuelita dies, Rosita's father encourages her to make a gift that she can leave at the altar on the Day of the Dead. Rosita likes the idea — but what can she make? This touching story captures the sadness of losing a loved one and the comfort of fond memories. The textured illustrations made out of cast paper add a unique and unforgettable dimension to the story. Bilingual text.

Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book

Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book

By: Jeanette Winter
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Don Pedro and his family make skeletons for el Día de los Muertos celebration in Mexico City. When the papier-mache Calaveras go to market on fiesta day, each skeleton acts out a letter of the alphabet. Richly toned illustrations in an appealing folk art style introduce the alphabet — from ángel to zapatero. This handsome book concludes with an alphabet glossary and a brief explanation of the Spanish alphabet.

Clatter Bash! A Day of the Dead Celebration

Clatter Bash! A Day of the Dead Celebration

By: Richard Keep
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Get ready for a party — these skeletons are ready to celebrate the Day of the Dead! They sing, they dance, they eat…but mostly they make a lot of noise! This playful book captures the festive mood of the Day of the Dead through its energetic illustrations and text, which consists of musical phrases and rhythms. The author's note is written in English but incorporates Spanish words and expressions into the explanation.

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

By: Tony Johnston
Illustrated by: Jeanette Winter
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

"Above a small town in Mexico, the sun rises like a great marigold." So begins one family's preparation for El día de los muertos. The children are eager to try just a taste of this and that, but everyone says they must wait until the family is ready to take their offerings to the cemetery for a night of celebration and remembrance. The warmth of this story about one of Mexico's most important traditions shines through the text and illustrations.

Felipa and the Day of the Dead

Felipa and the Day of the Dead

By: Birte Müller
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

"When Abuelita dies, Felipa misses her a great deal. When she is told that people's souls live on forever, she asks the donkey, the pig, and the llamas where her grandmother is hiding. They do not tell her. She searches high in the Andes but can not find her there either. In November, the village prepares for a celebration in which special treats, flowers, and candles are taken to decorate the graves and the cemetery comes to life with laughter, music, and stories. The child then feels close to her grandmother through the memories that her parents share with her." — School Library Journal

Fiesta U.S.A.

Fiesta U.S.A.

By: George Ancona
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Full color photographs and informative text introduce four Hispanic holidays that are celebrated in the United States, including the Day of the Dead and Las Posadas. Each celebration is photographed in a different U.S. city.

I Remember Abuelito: A Day of the Dead Story

I Remember Abuelito: A Day of the Dead Story

By: Janice Levy
Illustrated by: Loretta Lopez
Age Level: 3-6
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

As a family prepares for the Day of the Dead, a young girl remembers her grandfather, and wonders when and how his spirit will return to visit. Perhaps, she thinks, he will come back with the Monarch butterflies who are returning to Mexico — as long as he doesn't get lost! Warm, colorful illustrations bring the lovely setting and story to life, making this an excellent selection for younger readers.

Pablo Remembers

Pablo Remembers

By: George Ancona
Genre: Nonfiction
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

This compelling photo essay from George Ancona follows the preparations of young Pablo and his family for the Day of the Dead as they remember Pablo's grandmother. Ancona's photos cover a wide range of the family's activities, from a trip to the market to the family altar overflowing with marigolds. Ancona offers readers an authentic glimpse of daily life in Oaxaca, Mexico, as well as a sense of the love and care with which the family prepares for the celebration. Spanish version available.

Paper Crafts for Day of the Dead

Paper Crafts for Day of the Dead

By: Randel McGee
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Learn how to make special paper crafts for the Day of the Dead, from skeleton pets to paper marigolds! Easy instructions make this an excellent book for learning about the holiday.

The Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead

By: Bob Barner
Genre: Fiction
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Bright illustrations convey the festive traditions of the Latin American celebration known as the Day of the Dead accompanied by a straightforward Spanish/English text. An endnote about the holiday as well as the inspiration for the art are included.

The Spirit of Tío Fernando: A Day of the Dead Story

The Spirit of Tío Fernando: A Day of the Dead Story

By: Janice Levy
Illustrated by: Morella Fuenmayor
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Beginning Reader

Nando has many fond memories of Uncle Fernando, which he thinks of as he and his mother prepare to honor Fernando's memory. When Nando goes to the market to look for things that remind him of his uncle, he wonders just how he will know that Fernando's spirit has returned. Rich in detail, this story offers a perfect introduction to the Mexican customs of the Day of the Dead.

Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead

Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead

By: Judy Goldman
Illustrated by: Rene King Moreno
Age Level: 6-9
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Day after day, Lupita and Tío Urbano watch the Monarch butterflies arrive. Urbano says they are the souls of the dead ones arriving in time for Día de los muertos. When Urbano becomes sick and dies soon after, Lupita feels only sadness — until she sees the Monarchs and remembers Urbano's words. The beautiful story and illustrations bring the true meaning of this important celebration to life for readers young and old.

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