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Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book Hardcover – September 1, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books; English Language edition (September 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152051104
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152051105
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 8.3 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 4–A title that features jaunty illustrations inspired by Mexican folk art and a short story about preparations for the Day of the Dead that includes within it an alphabet book based on the Spanish alphabet. The heart of the book is the artwork: vivid pastel clothing and scenery set against shiny black backgrounds and complemented by the bright white of the skeletons that form an integral part of the Mexican and Mexican-American celebrations. Skeletal characters in the alphabet portion of the book include ángel (angel) and bruja (witch), Kahlo (as in Frida, about whom Winter has written), and zapatero (shoemaker). While the glossary is helpful, the illustrations offer plenty of clues as to what each word means. The story that surrounds the alphabet concerns the family of Don Pedro, three generations of which join in the yearlong making of the papier-mâché skeletons for the fiestas in early November. An author's note includes information about the real Don Pedro, whose life inspired her book. This is a lovely book that approaches the Day of the Dead from an unusual angle, reflecting not only the close family ties common to Mexican life but also the non-"devilish" nature of the celebrations.–Coop Renner, Hillside Elementary, El Paso, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

K-Gr. 3. Winter's continuing fascination with Mexican culture is evident in this alphabet book featuring el Dia de los Muertos--the Day of the Dead. The book opens as Don Pedro and his sons make papier-mache skeletons, Calaveras, on a rooftop in Mexico City. When the calaveras are ready, each one acts out a word in Spanish that begins with a letter of the alphabet: E for enfermera (nurse); H for huevera (egg seller); V for vaquero (cowboy). The Spanish language has no W, so that page depicts a skeleton pushing the letter off the edge of the picture. A glossary concludes, and an author's note pays tribute to a famous cala vera maker, Don Pedro Linares. Borders in sun-soaked colors contrast with black backgrounds that dramatically set off the white skeletons. Although readers looking for specific information about the fiesta won't find it here (for that they'll need to turn to Winter's 1997 book with author Tony Johnston, Day of the Dead) this striking celebration of an intriguing tradition will be welcomed by teachers, librarians, and Mexican American families, as well as by kids everywhere. Julie Cummins
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

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A great addition to my library.
Robin Gray King
El Dia de los Muertos is fun anytime of the year, and this book is a visual treat...
A. Del Rosso
Good way to understand the Latin culture.
ValerieNH

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A. Del Rosso on January 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is wonderfully illustrated, and kids love it. It has a great deal of re-read value for kids because the illustrations are so detailed. The Spanish is easy and many of the words listed are very similar to their English counterparts. El Dia de los Muertos is fun anytime of the year, and this book is a visual treat...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Seeker on February 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is sweet little ABC book (although they wimped out, not finding anything for the letter Z, I think it was...) about a family who create festive skeletons for the Day of the Dead festivities each year. Each page alphabetically exhibits various individuals, all seeming to dance across the pages - a fun way to learn the alphabet and about certain professions and hobbies. Obviously a book with southwest US/Mexican flavor, maybe not to everyone's taste, but just what I was looking for - sweet & spicy visual inspiration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Graham on December 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this book for my daughter (she's four) who is very interested in skeletons and Dia de los Muertos. This is a lovely alphabet book to help encourage learning a second language whilst learning about Dia de los Muertos traditions. I'm even thinking about ordering more copies as gifts for others :)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Jacobs VINE VOICE on December 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
The primary text of this book is in English, which explains the traditions of the day of the dead. Then there is one page dedicated to each letter. Most of these represent an occupation - xilofonista, mariachi, limera, jardinero - and are accompanied by colorful, vivid illustrations. A fun book for exploring the day of the dead and the variety of professions people can have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ValerieNH on January 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recommend this book for kids because it has pretty pictures. It family oriented and it teaches you the history of día de los muertos. Calavera abcedario is a fun read for all ages. Good way to understand the Latin culture.
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