Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

Funny Bones

Image Credit: Abrams, Duncan Tonatiuh

Author/illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh is one of my current favorites. I love not only the abundance of cultural and historical information in his picture books but his art style is simply amazing. It’s so smooth and modern while being unique and a throwback to his indigenous Mexican heritage. Does it get better than that? Not really and that’s why I’m loving his books so much.

Because Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is coming up soon, I’m discussing his newest book Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras. I’ve had an interest in Dia de Los Muertos ever since I taught a lesson about it to my Korean students. I wanted to expose them to a cultural tradition that was different but similar to one of their own. Koreans celebrate a holiday called Chuseok where they honor and pray for their dead ancestors. Since there are some similarities to Dia de Los Muertos, I thought the kids might really get something out of it!

Tonatiuh does an excellent job of making culture, art critique and history accessible to kids. Some kids really enjoy the bio books and I think they’ll love this one. We learn about the life and art of Mexican artist Posada who is responsible for making the crazy and vibrant Calavera (bone people) illustrations popular. He also documented important political events like the Mexican Revolution.

What I enjoyed most about this picture book is how Tonatiuh encourages children to do art critique. He reproduces Posada’s art, blends it with his own and poses questions about the meaning of the art all while telling Posada’s story. This is awesome! Because the book is partially about Dia de Los Muertos, it encourages you to think about life and death. This may seem heavy but like the holiday, it is about the celebration of life as well as the celebration of a great Mexican artist!

Recommended for: Ages 7 and up
Great for: History, Art History, Diversity, We Need Diverse Books, Holiday, Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, Artist Bio, Biography, Non-Fiction, Mexico
Book Info: Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh, 2015 Abrams, ISBN: 9781419716478


All the Picture Books!

happy cat

When I see all the lovely picture books!

A little about me: I’m definitely a picture book girl but I’ll be highlighting great middle grade and YA as well. What is it about picture books?? Well it takes skill and finesse to match a great story with great illustrations. The picture book industry is BOOMING right now but does that mean every book is quality? Oh no, it doesn’t. As a former children’s bookseller, I can assure you that every New Book Tuesday was full of hits and misses. But nevertheless, you could never pull me away from the picture books…

Happy Reading

Welcome! Sit back, relax and read

Image Credit: Tina Kugler

Image Credit: Tina Kugler


This blog will be my platform to not only discuss my favorite children’s books (and to spread the love) but it will also be about diversity in children’s literature. You may or may not already know about the We Need Diverse Books movement by now. If you don’t, it’s something you should definitely check out. Why? Because all types of children should be able to see positive role models in the books they read. They should be able to walk into any bookstore or library and pick up a book that has a kid on the cover who reminds them of themselves. As far as diversity in race/ethnicity goes, the stories of people of color are not limited to historical non-fiction/fiction. Let’s share these diverse stories and celebrate them because we all benefit from them. 🙂

Welcome to Read It Real Good! Do-do do do do do-do do do do do…