In the bilingual picture book The Remembering Day/El día de los muertos, Pat created an origin myth in which she imagined how the Mexican custom of remembering deceased loved ones came to be. Day of the Dead (El día de los muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and by people of Mexican heritage elsewhere.
Hopefully homes, libraries and schools can use this book to introduce this custom to children and suggest creating an opportunity for sharing memories.You can find ideas here.
An Author’s Note from Pat: Celebrating Lives
Many cultures have traditions for honoring their dead. A beautiful tradition, the Día de los Muertos, The Day of the Dead, is a time for remembering and honoring loved ones. A blending of indigenous and Catholic elements, this Mexican tradition is often misunderstood.
Since the world is our home, and we are affected by weather and what grows around us, cultures and religions link observances to the seasons. The Día de los Muertos occurs on November 2, in the mulling season of autumn.
What becomes popular is often what can be commercialized: skulls and marigolds, ways to lure customers. Actually, “luring” is a deep part of the tradition, since some believe that departed spirits are lured back, often by their favorite foods and objects.
I view this tradition as a celebration of those no longer with us. At schools, libraries, museums and homes, children, families and visitors can create and enjoy displays that include pictures, cherished objects, possibly favorite foods of those being honored. We can also create our own remembering traditions.
In this book, I imagined how this custom of creating a remembering day might have started in the distant part, in a rural village; when indigenous languages, and not Spanish or English, were spoken on this hemisphere; before large cities or churches existed in the Americas. Many families find this tradition a helpful way to annually celebrate the lives of cherished family members and friends and find comfort in remembering the