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Maria Molina and the Days of the Dead
     

Maria Molina and the Days of the Dead

by Kathleen Krull, Enrique O. Sanchez (Illustrator)
 
It's October 31, the first of the Days of the Dead in Mexico, and Maria Molina and her family are in the graveyard to honor her baby brother Pablo, who died when he was just a few months old. A candle flickers in the dark night, and on Pablo's grave they have placed his favorite toys, some chocolate, a sugar skull, and even a small 'Bread of the Dead.'Throughout

Overview

It's October 31, the first of the Days of the Dead in Mexico, and Maria Molina and her family are in the graveyard to honor her baby brother Pablo, who died when he was just a few months old. A candle flickers in the dark night, and on Pablo's grave they have placed his favorite toys, some chocolate, a sugar skull, and even a small 'Bread of the Dead.'Throughout Mexico, other families are doing exactly the same thing, for the three-day festival of The Days of the Dead is one of Mexico's most important holidays.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Maria's infant brother and her grandmother have died in the last year, and the girl and her family honor them during the Days of the Dead celebration. As her mother explains the various Mexican customs involved, readers, too, learn about them. Comparison to Halloween is smoothly woven into the narrative. After it is over, Maria's parents move north to the U.S., later sending for their children. Krull does an excellent job of showing how a family can leave its homeland and carry their culture with them while accepting their new land. She describes the traditional foods and concludes with additional facts about los Das de Muertos and a recipe for ``Bread of the Dead.'' Snchez's illustrations, done in earth tones, capture the flavor of the celebration. While skeletons appear in many of the pictures, children will not be frightened, as others show the fun people have during this period. A wonderful choice to introduce children to a custom with which they are not familiar, and a reassuring story for those who are trying to keep old traditions in a new country.-Jessie Meudell, California Polytechnic University at Pomona
Stephanie Zvirin
Although intended for a younger audience than Lasky's book, above, this also focuses on the celebrations of one Mexican family. Instead of choosing a real family, however, Krull follows a fictional one as it prepares for and experiences the Days of the Dead. The fictional framework is somewhat thin, with the family eventually moving to the U.S., where Maria, with childlike naivete, looks forward to being "richer than we were in Mexico" and celebrating Halloween. Krull makes clear that revelry is part of the holiday celebrations, but her narrative is rather solemn. Fortunately, Sanchez's paintings lighten the mood, their broad palette and pastel colors adding a pleasant, yet still suitable lift. Particularly noteworthy is the story's ending, in which Maria discovers that the spirits of her ancestors can still be honored in her new home--but in a slightly different way. Krull's appended notes add much to the telling, and a recipe for the traditional holiday bread will make the holiday experience more concrete.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780027509991
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
09/28/1994
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.78(w) x 11.26(h) x 0.35(d)
Lexile:
840L (what's this?)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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