Saturday, May 24, 2014

Calavera Abecedario

Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book
Jeanette Winter

I really love many of Jeanette Winter’s books. Her illustrations, for me, capture the color and vibrancy in Mexican culture. This book is a perfect example of that. Every color on every page, every different calavera and their profession, is perfect. This book reminds me of the books by Cynthia Weill, because it introduces the reader to a Mexican artisan and their body of work. We learn about Don Pedro, who makes skeletons for the Dia de los Muertos celebrations every year. He works tirelessly day after day with his family to make countless skeletons. We are shown an alphabet-full of skeletons, from Doctor to Quimico to Unicornio to Vaquero, all incredibly detailed. At the end of the celebrations, Don Pedro goes back home and wakes the next day to begin his work again in preparation for the next year (reminds me a little of Santa Claus). The end describes Mexican celebrations and tells us about Don Pedro Linares and his famous cartoneria creations. His children now carry on the tradition of creating these festive skeletons. A unique presentation of an artisan and his craft, the alphabet, different professions, and Mexican traditions.

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