Top 10 Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Children’s Books

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Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos Children's Books

Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico and Mexican communities throughout the world from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November. It is an important holiday that honours deceased loved ones.

It is believed that the deceased return during that time to rejoice with the living. Families visit their graves and build altars decorated with flowers, candles, pan de muerto, sugar skulls, and pictures. They bring their loved ones’ favourite dishes and treats, as well as drinks to quench the thirst of the dead after their long journey back home.

Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos is a joyous celebration that includes singing, dancing and telling stories.

Teach your children about Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos with these colourful picture books:

Top 10 Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Children’s Books

The Day of the Dead/El Dia de Los Muertos
by Bob Barner

Best Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Children's Books: The Day of the Dead

Two children celebrate their ancestors with marigolds, sugar skulls, special bread, and other delicious foods. By spreading marigold petals, they guide the dead home to join the singing and dancing. With lyrical bilingual text and vibrant collage illustrations incorporating traditional symbols, The Day of the Dead is a fun introduction to this important Mexican holiday. ~ Preschool

Dia de Los Muertos
by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

Best Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Children's Books: Dia de los Muertos

“It’s Dia de Los Muertos, / the sun’s coming round, / as niños prepare in each / pueblo and town…” Children throughout the town are decorating with streamers and sugar skulls, making pan de muertos, and covering altars in marigolds and twinkling candles. With effortless rhymes sprinkled with Spanish words, and vibrant, child-friendly illustrations, Dia de los Muertos is a charming introduction to the holiday. ~ Preschool

Day of the Dead
by Tony Johnston

Best Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Children's Books: Day of the Dead

“Wait/Espérense. Till when? Soon.” Two siblings in a small Mexican town can’t wait till the celebrations for Day of the Day begin. They watch in anticipation as the fruits are being picked, food cooked, and flowers gathered. With bold illustrations framed by decorative borders, Day of the Dead is an appealing introduction to a fascinating holiday. ~ Preschool

Clatter Bash! A Day of the Dead Celebration
by Richard Keep

Best Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Children's Books: Clatter Bash

“¡Hola! ¡Hola! Hey! Qué fiesta! Yay!”  With rollicking rhyme sprinkled with Spanish words Clatter Bash! follows a bunch of playful skeletons as they celebrate Day of the Dead. They party all night long, rattling their bones, singing, dancing, telling stories, and playing games. At dawn they tidy up after themselves and return to their coffins until next year. ~ Preschool

Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book
by Jeanette Winter

Best Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Children's Books: Calavera Abecedario

On a rooftop patio in Mexico, Don Pedro’s calaveras come to life. The whole family helps making the papier-mâché skeletons for the Day of the Dead fiesta. There’s a special calavera for each letter of the alphabet, from the Angel and the Doctor to the Mariachi and the Unicornio. Calavera Abecedario is an unusual alphabet book with fun, folk-art style illustrations. ~ Preschool

Rosita y Conchita
by Eric Gonzalez &Erich Haeger

Best Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Children's Books: Rosita y Conchita

Follow little Conchita as she celebrates the life of her deceased sister by setting up a memorial altar on the Day of the Dead. Rosita y Conchita is his heartfelt story with bilingual rhymes and colourful illustrations. Includes instructions on how to make your own sugar skulls. ~ Elementary School

The Dead Family Diaz
by P.J. Bracegirdle

Best Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Children's Books: The Dead Family Diaz

Unlike all the other skeletons in the Land of the Dead, Angelito is not looking forward to celebrate the Day of the Dead with the Living. He is scared of their bulgy eyes, red tongues and squishy skin. When Angelito is separated from his family during the celebrations he is petrified – until he befriends a living boy. The Dead Family Diaz is a fresh and humourous take on the Mexican holiday, brought to life by vibrant, Tim Burton-esque illustrations. ~ Elementary School

Gift For Abuelita / Un regalo para Abuelita
by Nancy Luenn

Best Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Children's Books: A Gift for Abuelita

A Gift for Abuelita tells the story of a young girl’s bond with her deceased grandmother. Abuelita taught Rosita how to braid, make tortillas, and grow chiles. On the Day of the Dead, Rosita makes a beautiful braid as a gift to her beloved abuelita. With unique paper pulp illustrations, this is an affectionate picture about loss and the healing power of remembrance. ~ Elementary School

More books about grandparents: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents

Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead
by Judy Goldman

Best Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Children's Books: Uncle Monarch

When the monarch butterflies return to her Mexican village, Lupita knows that it will soon be Day of the Dead. Her uncle, Tio Urbano, reminds her that she should never hurt a monarch because they are believed to be the souls of the departed. A few days before the holiday, Tio Urbano dies. Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead is a heartfelt story about loss and remembrance, beautifully illustrated with soft coloured-pencil illustrations. ~ Elementary School

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

Best Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos Children's Books: Funny Bones

Funny Bones tells the story of artist José Guadalupe Posada, famous for his skeletons in the park, skeletons wearing fancy hats, and the skeletons for Mexico’s Day of the Dead. With a stunning mix of biography and art, young readers are invited to look at the deeper meaning behind Don Lupe’s artwork: His critiques about social class, quickly changing technology, and violence during the Mexican Revolution. This 2016 Américas Award winning book lends itself for classroom use. Includes an author’s note, glossary, and bibliography. ~ Elementary School

More Américas Award winning books: 2016 Américas Award Winning Children’s Books

*You can buy any of the books on this site from Amazon USA, CAN or UK by clicking on the book titles or covers*

Day of the Dead series | Multicultural Kid Blogs
Multicultural Kid Blogs is proud to be hosting another blog hop on Day of the Dead! (Don’t miss our series from last year!)
Be sure to visit all the posts below for great ideas on sharing Day of the Dead with kids:



4 Responses

  1. Marjorie (MWD)
    | Reply

    Definitely some books to be sought out here – thank you! I especially liske the sound of The Dead Family Diaz and Funny Bones from among those new to me… #DiverseKidLit

    • Colours of Us

      Those two are my favourite books on this list, too!

  2. Erika G.
    | Reply

    What a fabulous list! There are several I’d love to get for my children to read. I do celebrate Dia de Muertos and make a shrine with my kids to celebrate our dead every year. Last year I even made the Day of the Dead bread! And it came out amazing!! Thanks for the ideas and recommendations. Visiting from the #DiverseKidLit linky.

    • Colours of Us

      Thank you! I think we’ll have to try make Day of the Dead bread this year, too!

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