Book review: Día de los Muertos by Hannah Eliot

Baby librarian Marian and her mommy Margaret review the recent board book Celebrate the World: Día de los Muertos by Hannah Eliot, illustrated by Jorge Gutierrez.

cover of dia de los muertos by Hannah Eliot

Baby Librarian Marian Reviews Día de los Muertos

I made Mommy re-read the beginning of this several times, because every time she started it, I took it away from her. The art is so interesting; I needed to inspect it closer. It’s unlike any of the pictures in all my other books. All the people have big white teeth like me. I only have six teeth right now, but most of the people have more teeth than that in the pictures. And there are friendly looking skulls and skeletons on every page. It’s very interesting. I like all the teeth and skeletons. None of my other books have skeletons in them, something Mommy needs to rectify, especially since they’re so friendly.

Honestly, I stopped listening to Mommy while she finished the book so I could throw all the books off my bookshelf. It’s a really fun game, and while I like the book, I like reorganizing all my books onto the floor even better, at least, right now I do.

Marian’s Mommy Margaret Reviews Día de los Muertos

Marian dressed as Phantom of the Opera for Halloween
Marian and I celebrated Halloween early at the zoo. She’s dressed as the Phantom of the Opera, and I as Madame Giry.

I love this new board book series from the makers of the Once Upon a World board books. So far, I’ve read two books from the Celebrate the World series: Ramadan and Día de los Muertos. I’m looking forward to collecting them all. Much like the Once Upon a World series, there’s one central author — in this case, Hannah Eliot, who I couldn’t find much about — and the illustrations are all by artists from the culture that practices each celebration. Día de los Muertos is illustrated by Mexican animator Jorge R. Gutierrez. The illustrations are very interesting. You would think a book covered in skeletons would be scary, but Gutierrez’s illustrations are comical, almost farcical with the exaggerated teeth and eyes, as Marian noticed.

It’s also somewhat bilingual, which is excellent! Every word isn’t translated, but key words on every page are also in Spanish.

This is the kind of board book that can grow with the child. Marian at ten months loves the colors, and can chew on it without harming it. It’s also a fun one for parent’s to read, because I learn more about the celebration. But I imagine Marian at ten will enjoy the information in the book, and will want to learn more about the day of the dead. And also, I remember ten-year-old me thought skeletons were cool, and I imagine that’s a pretty common kid thing (right?).

This is the perfect book to add to your Halloween/Day of the Dead book collection.

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