cover image The Remembering Day/El Día de los Muertos

The Remembering Day/El Día de los Muertos

Pat Mora, trans. into the Spanish by Gabriela Baeza Ventura, illus. by Robert Casilla. Arte Público/Piñata, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-55885-805-3

In a tender story, Mora imagines the origins of el Día de los Muertos in a village in “the land now called Mexico.” An aging grandmother and her granddaughter work in a garden, reminiscing about their time together. Explaining how “our bodies do not live forever,” Mamá Alma urges Bella to plan a “remembering day” each autumn, to honor her and other loved ones. Months later, on the night Mamá Alma dies, Bella sees “una pequeña luz,” “a tiny light,” dart out into the night and is comforted; the next year, she and her family have their first “remembering day.” Casilla sets the story against a lush landscape of green hills and thatched huts; his softly glowing portraits of grandmother and grandchild speak to the holiday’s quieter and more contemplative aspects. Ages 5–8. (Oct.)