Celebrating the Lives of Loved Ones: A Review of ‘Dia De Los Muertos’

“A human life is a story told by God.”–Hans Christian Andersen

Reading Level:

Grade 2

Review and Thoughts

Dia de los Muertos by Roseanne Greenfield Thong is a non-fiction book about the Day of the Dead, which is a traditional celebration in Mexico.  It is celebrated November 1 and 2.  These dates were chosen as a way to intermingle the Aztec and Catholic cultures. November 1 is All Saints’ Day, and November 2 is All Souls’ Day.

The story is told in rhyme and is very interesting and easily understood.  It begins on the morning of the Day of the Dead by explaining the reason for the celebration.  Then the reader follows all the activities of the day at home, going to the cemetery, dressing up for a parade, listening to the music, and of course eating the food.

The detailed pictures add so much to the celebratory atmosphere of the day.  They also illustrate the context clues for the Spanish words that are included on each page.  For example, a sentence begins,“Sweet calaveras, so sugary white –“  and there is a picture of children eating skulls treats.

The story is told so well that children will be able to understand that the day is not for sadness or fear.  It is a joyful day to honor the dearly departed with celebrations knowing that “they’ll be in one’s hearts until next year.”

Spanish Vocabulary included:

ninos, celebraciones, altares, rescuerdos, calaveras, angelitos, favoritos, ofrendas, meriendas, incienso, velas, calendulas, petalos, papel picado, pintado, esqueletos, tamales, atole, pan de muerto, viaje, huesos, corona, La Llorona, barba, musicos, espiritus, ancestros

Possible Issues

There are not issues with this book.

Further Discussion

  • There is a section for adults at the back of the book that provides a detailed information about Dia de los Muertos.

Catholic Resources

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