Día de los Muertos/Day of the Dead Books for Kids

Bright orange cempasúchil (marigolds), yummy pan de muerto (bread of the dead) and sugar skulls sit on a beautifully decorated altar to welcome loved ones back to the land of the living for Día de los Muertos. Families visit the cemetery to clean, decorate and place their relatives' favorite food on their gravestones. Marigolds are placed to lead los espíritus (spirits) home. In Mexico and other places, festivities for Día de los Muertos begin October 31 and go to November 2.

Find out more about this celebración (celebration) by checking out some of these books!

What exactly is Día de los Muertos and why is it celebrated? What goes into an altar? Read Day of the Dead to find answers to your questions and discover more about this beautiful celebration. 

Pablo Remembers: Follow Pablo as preparations for Día de los Muertos begin in Oaxaca, from baking pan de muertos, making sugar skulls and estampas (stamped out tissue-paper decorations), to displaying their altar. Photographs on each page add a beautiful visual to the traditions of Pablo’s pueblo (village) for Day of the Dead.

In The Remembering Day, author Pat Mora imagines how Day of the Dead began. Bella has learned many things from Mamá Alma (her grandmother), like gardening, weaving and cooking. Mamá Alma shares with Bella her remembering place, where every year she goes to be close to her deceased parents. When Mamá Alma is no longer with her, Alma plans a remembering day to be celebrated by all in her village. 

We’ve all seen the calaveras that are featured on decorations for Día de los Muertos. You can thank Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada for those creations. What started off as simple printings of silly poems with illustrations of calaveras for Day of the Dead soon became his most sought-after work. Read all about Posada and his calaveras in Funny Bones.

Do you have a favorite Día de los Muertos book or movie you've shared with your family?

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Chicago Public Library