A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books of the YearA Robert F. Sibert Award WinnerA Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor BookAn ALA/ALSC Notable Children’s BookSTARRED REVIEW *“Playful but informative . . . a fascinating introduction to the artist and his work.” ―BooklistSTARRED REVIEW *“Artistically beautiful and factually accessible . . . effectively blends artistic and political content for young readers.” ―Kirkus Reviews Discover the story behind José Guadalupe Posada’s iconic Día de Muertos skeletons in this fascinating picture book from award-winning creator Duncan Tonatiuh. 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.
Duncan Tonatiuh (toh-nah-tee-YOU) is an award-winning author-illustrator whose numerous accolades include the Sibert Medal and the Pura Belpré Award. Duncan is both Mexican and American. His artwork is inspired by Mesoamerican art. His aim is to create images and stories that honor the past, but are relevant to today’s people, especially children. He grew up in and currently lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he celebrates Día de Muertos with his wife and children every year. Learn more at duncantonatiuh.com.