Día de los Muertos, also known as Día de Muertos or Day of the Dead, is a holiday celebrated all over Mexico, especially in Central and South Mexico, and by Mexican people all over the world.
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During Día de los Muertos, families gather to honor and pray for family and friends who have passed. Though the holiday deals with death, it is not a somber affair. Día de los Muertos is a day of celebration, and those who observe it believe their loved ones are awake and celebrating with them.
These books tell stories of Día de los Muertos, and teach all of us about the power of love and honoring our family members who have gone before us. These Día de los Muertos children’s books will make your understanding of this special celebration even richer!
14 Dia de los Muertos Children’s Books
Día de los Muertos by Hannah Eliot – This charming board books teaches the littlest readers about the traditions of Día de los Muertos. In addition to learning about customs, readers will also learn Spanish words related to the celebration. This book is perfect for reading with toddlers and preschoolers.
Day of the Dead by Tony Johnston – “Above a small town in Mexico, the sun rises like a great marigold.” This gorgeous book follows one family as the prepare to celebrate Día de los Muertos. My favorite thing about this book is the amazing, descriptive writing, which incorporates all the sights, sounds, and smells of the Día de los Muertos celebration. I recommend sharing this book with kids ages 4 and up.
Día de los Muertos by Roseanne Greenfield Thong – It’s Día de los Muertos, and the children of the pueblo are getting ready to celebrate! Follow them as they decorate with sugar skulls, streamers, and marigolds. You might just learn some new Spanish words along the way! This joyful book is great for kids ages 4 to 8.
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh – Calaveras (the festive skeletons you see during Día de los Muertos), are a staple of Day of the Dead celebrations. But why? This book teaches the history of calaveras, tracing their origins back to the Mexican Revolution and the art of José Guadalupe Posada. I recommend this book for kids ages 6 and up.
The Dead Family Diaz by P.J. Bracegirdle – Angelito is a little skeleton who is not excited about celebrating the Day of the Dead with humans. Humans are so funny looking and scary! But what happens when Angelito makes friends with an actual human boy? This is an excellent story about ignoring stereotypes and being willing to learn more about others. I recommend it for kids ages 5 and up!
Clatter Bash! A Day of the Dead Celebration by Richard Keep – The skeletons in the graveyard are ready to celebrate Día de los Muertos! They have a wonderful night of dancing, dining, and spending time together, and in the morning, they leave no trace of their festivities behind. This is a fun read for kids ages 3 to 8.
Skeletitos: Make Every Moment Count by Susie Jaramillo – This fun board book uses fold out pages to teach about telling time, with a Día de los Muertos theme. The underlying message is a great one: no one knows when their time will be up, so it’s best to make the most of it! I recommend this book for kids ages 4 to 7.
The Festival of Bones by Luis San Vincente – These skeletons are ready to party! In this bilingual book, beautiful verse and gorgeous illustrations work together to tell the story of Día de los Muertos. Little ones will love reading about these calaveras who are celebrating the biggest party of the year. This is a super fun read for kids ages 5 and up.
Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead by Judy Goldman – Lupito loves her Tío Urbano, and she always remembers what he told her about monarch butterflies: never hurt a monarch, because they are the souls of those who have been lost. When Tío Urbano passes away right before the Day of the Dead celebration, Lupita gets a special reminder of his love. Kids ages 7 and up will enjoy this touching story.
Just A Minute by Yuyi Morales – What happens when Grandma Beetle encounters Señor Calavera at the door? Señor Calavera wants Grandma to come with him to the other side, but she’s got a few tricks up her sleeve! This exciting trickster tale is a fantastic introduction to counting in Spanish and English, and I recommend it for kids ages 3 and up.
The Spirit of Tio Fernando by Janice Levy – Nando’s uncle, Tío Fernando, passed away just a few months ago. As the Day of the Dead approaches, Nando and his mother prepare to honor Tío Fernando. This bilingual book focuses on the healing that comes when we take time to honor our loved ones. I recommend sharing this book with kids ages 6 and up.
La Catrina by Patty Rodriguez – I absolutely adore the Lil’ Libros series, and this board book from the collection teaches emotions through Dia De los Muertos calaveras. This bright and colorful book is excellent for reading with babies and toddlers!
The Day of the Dead by Bob Barner – “We celebrate our ancestors on The Day of the Dead / With offerings of flowers, sugar skulls, and bread.” This fun rhyming story introduces the youngest of readers to the traditions surrounding the Day of the Dead celebrations. Written in both Spanish and English, readers will follow a family as they prepare to observe Día de los Muertos. This book is perfect for sharing with toddlers and preschoolers.
A Gift for Abuelita by Nancy Luenn – Rosita was very close to her grandmother; they spent every day together, and Abuelita taught Rosita so many things. Rosita is heartbroken when her Abuelita passes away, but Día de los Muertos gives Rosita a chance to honor her grandmother’s memory. This story is a truly beautiful one, and excellent for kids ages 6 and up.
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