By Pat Mora
Illustrations by Robert Casilla
Publisher: Piñata Books – Arte Público Press, Houston, Texas
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.
The relationship is shown through great storytelling. Although I realize the book was written for a younger audience, I felt as if the story spoke to me as well. This is credited to a good writer. The story took me back to relationships with loved ones who have departed and still remain very much a part of my everyday life today.
Ms. Mora did a superb job in capturing raw emotions, yet bringing the story full circle for her audience. With this story, the author has shed light into a cultural event that is not always appreciated as it was meant to be. In some places, el dia de los muertos is celebrated as a fun event, but the author shows that there is much more meaning behind the festivities. It totally sheds light on this unique event.
Because the book is bilingual, written in English and Spanish and this is an added benefit. This helps to connect the audience to the characters and plot. For those that are familiar with this celebration after death, it connects the dots. For those that are not, it provides great insight into another culture.
The illustrations are realistic and it makes the reader feel as if they have transgressed into a totally different time sequence. It is very nicely done.
What a great story all around. Glad it came across my desk. I loved, loved, loved the story!
Source: Book was provided by author for review. It was reviewed by Corina Martinez Chaudhry.