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Harry N. Abrams

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

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Discover the story behind José Guadalupe Posada's iconic Día de Muertos skeletons in this fascinating picture book from award-winning creator Duncan Tonatiuh.

A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year
A Robert F. Sibert Medal Winner
A Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book
An ALA/ALSC Notable Children's Book

Funny Bones tells the story of how calaveras came to be. The amusing figures are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada (1852-1913). Lupe learned the art of printing at a young age and soon had his own shop. In a country that was not known for freedom of speech, he drew political cartoons, much to the amusement of the local population but not to the politicians.

While he continued to draw cartoons, he is best known today for his calavera drawings. They have become synonymous with Mexico's Día de Muertos festival. Calaveras are skeletons performing all sorts of activities, both everyday and festive: dancing in the streets, playing instruments in a band, pedaling bicycles, promenading in the park, and even sweeping the sidewalks.

They are not intended to be frightening, but rather to celebrate the joy of living and provide humorous observations about people. Author and illustrator Tonatiuh relates the pivotal moments of Lupe's life and explains the different artistic processes he used.

Juxtaposing his own artwork with Lupe's, Tonatiuh brings to light the remarkable life and work of a man beloved by many but whose name has remained in obscurity.

"Playful but informative . . . a fascinating introduction to the artist and his work." ―Booklist (Starred Review)

"Artistically beautiful and factually accessible . . . effectively blends artistic and political content for young readers." ―Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Author: Duncan Tonatiuh
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Published: 08/25/2015
Pages: 40
Binding Type: Hardcover
Weight: 1.16lbs
Size: 11.10h x 9.20w x 0.50d
ISBN: 9781419716478
Audience: Ages 9-12

Accelerated Reader:
Reading Level: 5.1
Point Value: 0.5
Interest Level: Lower Grade
Quiz #/Name: 178804 / Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

Award: Kirkus Prize - Finalist
Award: Orbis Pictus Award - Honor Book
Award: Pura Belpre Award - Honor Book
Award: Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award - Winner

Review Citation(s):
Kirkus Reviews 06/15/2015
Booklist 07/01/2015 pg. 52
Publishers Weekly 07/20/2015
School Library Journal 09/01/2015 pg. 183
Bulletin of Ctr for Child Bks 10/01/2015
Horn Book Magazine 11/01/2015 pg. 108
New York Times Book Review 11/08/2015 pg. 27
Kirkus Best Middle Grade Books 11/15/2015 pg. 89
PW Children's Starred Reviews 12/02/2015 pg. 46
Booklist Ed Choice Youth 01/01/2016 pg. 12
Hornbook Guide to Children 01/01/2016 - Outstanding, Noteworthy In Style

About the Author
Duncan Tonatiuh was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende. His books have received many awards over the years. He currently lives in San Miguel with his wife and children but travels to the US often.

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