Kindergarten-Grade 4 - Black skies spattered with stars form the backdrop for most of the two-page illustrations in this zesty look at a special night. As the family members leave gifts at their loved ones' gravesites, the skeletons begin to exit their tombs. Quiet until the living are gone, they emerge, dressed in richly colored clothes and bearing horns, top hats, boas, and serapes. Visitors from other cemeteries arrive and they tell stories and sample the food left for them. The night culminates in a lively dance and fireworks before it's time to clean up and return to the grave. The minimal text, a rhyming mix of greetings, Spanish words, and onomatopoetic sounds, is printed along the bottom of the pages, functioning almost like subtitles. The joy on the characters' skeletal faces and in their excited movements is apparent as is their love of the lives they had. Small skeletons remind readers that even children are among the dead, and the beautiful details of the various aspects of the celebration reflect its Mexican roots. An afterword explains the holiday and its customs. This will be a popular title in Mexican-American communities and an eye-opener for others.- Coop Renner, Hillside Elementary, El Paso, TX
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