Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
Written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2015, Grades 1-5
The story is a biography about José Guadalupe Posada and his famous artworks called Calaveras. The story explains what a calavera is and how to pronounce it. It also explains how Posada developed his passion for printing. The story fully explains what lithography is and how Posada used it to create his artwork. The story also explained his adult life, his marriage and children and disasters that struck his homes. The story fully explains what Dia de Muertos is and how Posada’s Calaveras were used for this very important Mexican holiday. The story explained how he became more famous after his death for his artwork. The story also takes a guess at what Posada’s Calaveras may look like if he were to create them today. After the story, the author explains extensively what El Dia de Muertos is and how it became a holiday and how it is celebrated. There is also a glossary at the end to help children who read this book fully understand what is being discussed in the book.
The author’s writing style is obviously for children. He uses straight forward writing with simple explanations on what he is writing about. The author does a great job of making the story engaging for children and explaining Posada’s life. He fully explains the techniques that Posada used when creating his artwork and why he chose to use these techniques. The author also adds questions for the children who are reading the story to think about, creating an extension to the book.
The illustrations in the book are very colorful and take up the entire page. When the book is talking about lithography, engraving, and etching there are pictures that help the text explain each step involved in these techniques. The illustrations are very engaging and support the text on the page as well as the story. The author/illustrator also included some of Posada’s actual artwork throughout the book, in the illustrations that go with text and as full page examples of the artwork.
I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it to be used in a classroom for Day of the Dead discussions and lessons. The story is very engaging and the illustrations and examples of artwork makes the story very engaging. The glossary at the end, as well as the engaging questions throughout the book, makes the learning experience enjoyable for people of all ages.
Reviewed by Stephanie Wonnell