Pin It
Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Preparing for the Day of the Dead

By
children's-book for Day of the Dead

In Day of the Dead by Tony Johnston (author) and Jeannette Winter (illustrator), two children in Mexico wake up one morning to the sound of mama slapping empanada dough in the kitchen. Thus begins a day full of festive preparations for the Dia de los Muertos. In the orchard, uncles gather oranges and tejocotes (a fruit local to Mexico). Aunties spend the afternoon stirring a mole sauce of chocolate and chile over the stove. Papa comes out of the bakery with several mysterious bundles. The children want a peek at the bundle and a taste of the empanadas, but the adults keep telling them, “Esperense,” (wait). “Esperense” adds melodic repetition throughout the story after each of the children’s attempts to sneak a taste of the holiday goodies. The children can hardly contain their excitement for the magical procession and joyful celebration that night at the town cemetery.

 

 

This book brings the Day of the Dead to life for any child through familiar feelings of excitement and expectancy that accompany important family holidays. Although written in English, Day of the Dead fluidly integrates many Spanish words and phrases. Each segment of the story introduces a facet of preparing for the holiday, like buying sugar skulls (calaveras de azúcar), with different family members involved. The illustrations are brightly colored with lively border decorations, creating a real warmth. Unlike some other books that focus on potentially spooky skeletons or are too heavily descriptive of the holiday itself, this book is a simple and sweet presentation of Day of the Dead as a celebratory family tradition in Mexico.

 

© 2011 – 2013, Shelley Guyton. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


Is all the Hard Work of Bilingualism Really Paying Off?

I just found out the surprising answer.

Almost African: My Childhood as a Serbo-Croatian in Sudan

The freedom of growing up as the only Serbo-Croatian in Sudan

Primary School Privilege

Time outs due to whistling versus school's out due to poverty

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Shelley Guyton is a native San Franciscan who always seems to make it back home no matter how far she wanders away. She has lived and worked in London and Galway, Ireland and has footprints in several other countries. After recently graduating from UC San Diego with a degree in Anthropology, she is now taking some time to enjoy the real world before continuing her formal education. You can find her working at a local non-profit, The Pachamama Alliance, by day, and studying Tagalog by night.

Leave us a comment!









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



A Children's Book for Raising Global Citizens

Every life is a story. It’s easier to understand someone when you know their story.

Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!
[…] Peru, 97 percent of newborns are breastfed, according to LLLI. In Culture Parent reported that 69 percent of Peruvian children are breastfed exclusively from birth to five months, and ou...
From Breastfeeding Around the World
Hi I was googling Islamic beliefs when I came across your post. We are American and our neighbors are from Pakistan I think. Our kids love playing together but their dad doesn't allow the kids to co...
From An Islamic Perspective on Child-Rearing and Discipline
Mother’s Day is the most perfect and accurate Occasion to express your Love and Gratitude towards Mothe...
From Holi Craft: Straw Painting
[…] Muslims fast for 30 days every year for Ramadan, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Ramadan this year is happening during most of the month […...
From Ramadan: June 28-July 28
[…] Raising a Little Buddha – Part 1, InCulture Parent — Post by a Buddhist Minister about raising an enlightened child.  It starts with intimacy, communication, and community. [R...
From How to Raise an Enlightened Child — Part I
[…] Breastfeeding in Jordan, InCulture Parent — Not as restrictive as one might think. […...
From Breastfeeding in Jordan
[…] Best and Worst Countries to be a Mother, InCulture Parent – “The 2010 Mothers’ Index rates 160 countries (43 developed nations and 117 in the developing world) in terms of th...
From Best and Worst Countries to be a Mother
[…] Why Americans Value Independent and Competitive Kids, InCultureParent — Interesting look at how our values impact our interactions with our children (babies in particular). […...
From Why Americans Value Independent and Competitive Kids
[…] Multiple Fathers and Healthier Children in the Amazon, InCulture Parent — a fascinating look at cultures in the Amazon where pregnant women have sex with more than one man as a means...
From Multiple Fathers and Healthier Children in the Amazon

More Multicultural Books, Etc.