Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Clatter Bash! A Day of the Dead Celebration

Clatter Bash! A Day of the Dead Celebration

Richard Keep
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Peachtree Publishers, 2008   ISBN: 978-1561454617

Something special is happening in the cemetery this evening. People are bringing festive foods, flowers, and other treats, and they are setting these things on top of the graves. Now they are gone and the dead are rising from their coffins to celebrate, for it is El Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead.

On this night the dead feast on delicacies of all kinds, they admire the flowers their friends and family members have brought them, they tell stories, they sing and dance, and they generally have a wonderful time. It is a night when people remember them with fondness, and it is a night when people honor them.

With a minimum amount of text Richard Keep captures the essence of what the Day of the Dead is like. With the exception of the last few pages in the book, all the words are simple. They are not strung together into long sentences. Instead they stand at the bottom of the pages in ones and twos, giving a sense of what is going on in the cut paper artwork. Children will love the fact that most of the words are onomatopoeic, and they lend themselves to being said out loud with plenty of energy and volume.

At the back of the book the author explains what the Day of the Dead is, and readers will find out more about what takes place during this unique celebration.