Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead

Linda Lowery
Illustrator:  Barbara Knutson 
For ages 4 to 8
Lerner, 2004   ISBN: 978-1575055817

It is fall and people all over North America are celebrating the end of the harvest, and for some this is also the time of year when they celebrate El Dia de los Muertos, the day of the dead. Some people might think that celebrating death is a strange idea, but at this time of year many things die. And in the spring new life "will sprout up everywhere" from the seeds and remains of last years plants. Fin nature from death comes new life.

People, like animals and plants, also die and this is a time when we remember those who are gone with affection and gratitude. We give thanks for all the wisdom, memories, and other gifts that they left behind. It is not a sad time. Instead it is a time to celebrate and "to be thankful for life."

And what do people do on the Day of the Dead? They eat wonderful foods that are only made for this celebration. They decorate their homes with special flowers and banners, and set up alters for people who have died. There are so many things to do and to see, and many people go to family gatherings and boisterous parades. In the evening families have picnics in the cemetery, next to the decorated graves of their loved ones.

As they read this well written and interesting book children who are not familiar with the Day of the Dead will come to understand what this celebration is about, and what people do to make the day special. The author helps his readers to see that this day is important, and that it gives people the opportunity to give thanks, to remember, and to celebrate life.

This is one of the titles in the On my own Holidays series.