31 October 2011
Review: Clatter Bash: A Day of the Dead Celebration
Here is the summary from Goodreads:
Graveyard skeletons shake, rattle, and roll in this spirited Day of the Dead celebration featuring bold and colorful cut-paper illustrations. ¡Hola! ¡Hola! Hey! Fiesta! Yay! AT DUSK ON THE HOLIDAY KNOWN AS DAY OF THE DEAD, a Mexican family has set out fiesta offerings in the graveyard in hopes that departed loved ones may return to visit. The playful skeletons rise from their graves to celebrate with gusto. All night long, they sing, dance, dine, tell stories, and play games. As morning approaches, they give thanks to the stars for their night of fun, tidy up after themselves, and leave no trace of their "clatter bash" behind as they return to their coffins until next year's Day of the Dead. Author-illustrator Richard Keep's rollicking rhyme--sprinkled with Spanish words--captures the bone-rattling sounds and fun of the evening. His vivid cut-paper art is sure to raise the spirits of young readers without frightening them. A two-page illustrated afterword gives factual information about el Dia de los Muertos, the reverent but fun celebration honoring relatives who have passed on, and the special rituals, images, foods, and customs associated with this joyful Mexican celebration.
I really liked this book. The illustrations were GORGEOUS, and really (to me) in keeping with traditional Day of the Dead images.
I thought that there would be more of a story, but the story was really told through the illustrations. The back matter does include more details and information about the holiday.
I didn't have plans to read it to my groups of students yet (I was saving it for Tuesday, el Dia), but the ever-inquisitive Miss P. saw it on my desk and asked me to read it. How could I say no? Miss P grabbed the book out of my hands and started reading it to the other kids in the group (she only got through 2 pages before she asked me to finish, but thats a start!). When the story was over, I asked the group what they thought, and Miss P said, "Its good." Her partner in crime, Al, said, "I like the pictures."
Like I said, the teacher in me wishes there was a little more content in the story as there really aren't a lot of Dia de los Muertos books for kids, but this is a great anchor piece to build on or to introduce the holiday.