Week 10: Nonfiction


  1. Tonatiuh, Duncan. (2015). Funny bones: Posada and his day of the dead calaveras. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers. (Winner of the Sibert Award, 2016)
  2. Thong, Roseanne Greenfield. (2015). Dias de los muertos. New York: Albert Whitman & Company. (Notable NCSS Trade Book, 2016)


“Whatever their motivation for reading nonfiction, children deserve to have books of information that are accurate, engaging and well written,” (Horning, 2010, p. 23)

These two picture books, Funny Bones (grades 3-6) and Dias de los Muertos (preschool-grade 2) revolve around the Mexican holiday of Dias de los Muertos, otherwise known as the Day of the Dead.

Although both are informational picture books that revolve around the same topic, Funny Bones is a picture-book biography on José Guadalupe Posada, a famous and well-loved Mexican artist who drew calaveras and calacas in his artwork as political satire, whereas Dias de los Muertos concentrates solely on the history and the traditions of this holiday. The author is a two-time Sibert award winner, and Funny Bones includes an extensive glossary, author’s note, bibliography, index and even incorporates some of Posada’s own artwork. Combining Tonatiuh’s colorful illustrations that complement Posada’s art on every pages allows kids to appreciate, learn and understand how art and politics often coincide. Dias de los Muertos, rather than a biography, is an exploration of the holiday itself, but similarly also has engaging illustrations that are bright, colorful and fill up the whole page. This children’s book also has an extensive glossary in the back that translate the Spanish words to English definitions, as well as an “about” section of the Day of the Dead to provide kids with a necessary background on this important holiday.


Vardell, S. (2014). Children’s literature in action. A librarian’s guide (2nd ed.). Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited.

Horning, K. (2010). From cover to cover: Evaluating and reviewing children’s books (Rev. ed.). New York: Collins.


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