The Remembering Day

The Remembering Day/El dia de los muertos by Pat Mora
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Awards
Tejas Star Reading List, 2016-2017
Texas Institute of Letters Denton Record-Chronicle Award, 2016
Skipping Stones Honor Award, 2016 MOSAIC Multicultural Book Display, Lincoln (NE) Public Schools, 2016
TIL Award Winner

The Remembering Day/El día de los muertos
Piñata Books/Arte Público Press, illustrated by Robert Casilla
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Long, long, long ago, Bella and her grandmother Mamá Alma admired their vegetable garden. They liked gardening together. They grew sunflowers and lilies too, and chatted with lizards and hummingbirds. They walked around the flowers and vegetables holding hands, something they had done frequently since Bella was a baby. As her grandmother aged, Bella helped her to walk. “Every year, I need your help more and more,” said Mamá Alma.

In this special bilingual picture book for children, author Pat Mora creates an origin myth in which she imagines how the Mexican custom of remembering deceased loved ones—El día de los muertos or the Day of the Dead—came to be. With tender illustrations by Robert Casilla that depict Bella and Mamá Alma’s loving relationship, this book will encourage children to honor loved ones, whether by writing stories and poems or creating their own remembering place.

Highlighted Reviews
"In a tender story, Mora imagines the origins of el Día de los Muertos in a village in 'the land now called Mexico'...on the night Mama Alma dies, Bella sees 'una pequeña luz,' 'a tiny light,' dart out into the night and is comforted; the next year, she and her family have their first 'remembering day.'"—Publishers Weekly
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"There is no shortage of books about el Dia de los Muertos, but Mora brings the concept to a deeply personal level in this bilingual story that imagines the holiday’s origins. Set long ago in a small village in Mexico, the story shows how Bella and her grandmother share a bond that transcends time."—Booklist
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"Mora...offers this imagined story of how a 'remembering day' to honor loved ones now dead might have started in the distant past...as Mamá Alma ages, she wants Bella to know that though human bodies do not live forever, if Bella plans a day when family and friends come together to remember the people they loved, the dead will remain alive in their memories."—Kirkus Reviews
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"The author has skillfully crafted a story which involves a grandmother and her granddaughter as they navigate through life together. The story focuses on the great relationship between both individuals as well as insight into the cultural observation of el dia de los muertos."—TheLatinoAuthor.com
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"This beautifully illustrated book focuses on the love between generations, the teaching of traditional values and customs, and the importance of remembering loved ones who have passed away. It is a sensitive and thoughtful introduction to the subject of death for young children."—Catholic Library World
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"The story line is a simple one and the illustrations done with mixed media highlight the beauty of the tale."—Children's Bookshelf, CMU Public Radio
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"This delicate subject matter is masterfully handled by Mora, a storyteller of unparalleled sensibility."—NBC News
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"This tender story will teach readers, children and adults alike, the wisdom and beauty of our Mexican tradition, El día de los muertos. It will also teach us the importance of remembering and honoring those who have passed away as well as those who are still with us."—Latino Book Review
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"It beautifully imparts both the importance of family in the Mexican culture, and the custom of honoring the ancestors on The Day of the Dead.—2016 Skipping Stones Book Awards
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Interior page from The Remembering Day/El dia de los muertos by Pat Mora