By Concetta Gleason and Roany Molina
of the Editorial and Creative teams for Club Leo
While Hispanic Heritage Month has come to an end, it’s now time for the Day of the Dead! / ¡El Dia de los Muertos!, a significant holiday in Latin America, but most primarily celebrated in Mexico. The holiday is gaining popularity in North America and takes place over two days (November 1 and 2). It is seen as a time when the veils between the worlds of the living and dead diminish as families and friends celebrate their memories of the dearly departed.
Below are some books that explore this holiday’s unique traditions and beliefs:
El Libro de la Vida (The Book of Life Movie Novelization) and La Travesía del Héroe (A Hero’s Journey) are fun new twists on El Dia de los Muertos that help children learn about and celebrate the holiday. Both books are based on the upcoming movie The Book of Life, which follows the adventures of the fearless Manolo. The movie is set during the two-day celebration for the Day of the Dead. The holiday is a time to not only honor those who have passed but also appreciate the importance of life. Many people believe that during this celebration their loved ones return to visit. Families even set out offerings such as food, flowers, and games that the dead enjoyed when they were living. The Book of Life novelization and picture book allow readers to get a better understanding of the culture and tradition in an entertaining way. These books are also available in English.
La difunta Familia Díaz (The Dead Family Díaz) is a playful and humorous tale that explores the friendship of two young boys—
one living and one dead—that changes both their (un)dead lives…and leads to some great pranks on their older siblings! The illustrations are bold and beautiful representations of ancient traditions merging with the modern, living world. La difunta Familia Díaz (The Dead Family Díaz) is also available in the Colección Herencia Hispana / Hispanic Heritage Collection.
El festival de las calaveras / The Festival of Bones expresses the joy and enthusiasm of this holiday. Gorgeous graphic illustrations of the skeletons actually dancing highlight the bilingual text, and the book includes a history of the holiday and fun activities for children.
Usborne: Motivos mexicanos para colorear (Usborne: Mexican Patterns to Color) is an activity book that explores the rich artistic history of Mexican culture with fun facts and appealing figurines to color. Special attention is paid to the Day of the Dead’s sugar skulls and costumes.
You can find all of these books online now!
Club Leo en Español supports your classroom with fun and affordable books that connect children’s home language and learning. Our books include amazing series, original titles, and winners of the Pura Belpré Award, which celebrates the remarkable contributions of artists who give voice to the Latino community through children’s literature.
Club Leo en Español apoya tu salón de clases con libros divertidos y asequibles que conectan la lengua materna y el aprendizaje de los niños. Nuestra colección incluye increíbles series, títulos originales y ganadores del Premio Pura Belpré, que celebra los extraordinarios aportes de artistas que dan voz a la comunidad latina a través de la literatura infantil.