Thursday, October 15, 2015

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

There are a few new books out this year to celebrate Día de los Muertos, and they are fabulous so I want to share them with you. The first is a wonderful biography of José Guadalupe Posada, who is best remembered for his drawings of calaveras, especially La Catrina.

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Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh

There are a lot of talented Latino authors and illustrators out there, and Duncan Tonatiuh is one of my favorites because I love his unique art style, as well as his fearlessness when it comes to the topics of his books. He's not afraid to address controversial issues such as immigration and segregation. And he both writes and illustrates his books.

His latest book is another treasure. My kids and I loved learning about Posada and the way in which he created his artwork. From lithography to engraving to etching it amazes us how much talent people can have. I especially enjoy how Duncan's collage technique merges Posada's art into his own illustrations.

He also challenges the young readers to think about Posada's calavera drawings and to guess what message the artist was trying to get across through his work.

This book provides a unique perspective and allows us to study Day of the Dead from a totally different perspective. As an educator, I especially appreciate materials that allow us to delve deeper into history and explore an aspect of the holiday other than the traditional focus on the ofrenda.

Funny Bones is a treat not just for children, but parents, abuelos, and teachers, too.

You can find this wonderful book on Amazon:

DIY Calavera Poems

Teach your students about Calavera Poetry by having them create their own calavera poems! 

This activity includes a brief description of calavera poems, directions, graphic organizer for writing your own poem, sample calavera poems, and various Día de los Muertos writing pages. The directions and sample poems are in English only. The writing pages may be used in any language.


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