10 top book recommendations for Día de los Muertos
In this post, you’ll find our absolute favorite books to learn about and celebrate Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead!
Are you looking for a book to read aloud with your class or to use with your own children? Look no further! These titles will introduce your children to Day of the Dead in English or Spanish. They are perfect for dual language classes and bilingual families.
These books will help your child discover how Day of the Dead is celebrated. Utilize the titles to start a discussion about how you or family and friends celebrate this holiday, to introduce new vocabulary words related to the celebration, or to explore more about this unique cultural tradition!
I hope one of these amazing books can become a new favorite for you! Look for these titles at your local public library or a nearby bookshop. You can also explore more of our favorite books in Book Resources or Bilingual Balance’s Bookshop.
Explore more fall-related posts:
- Spooky Spanish Halloween Science Experiments for Kids (with Videos!)
- Fall Scavenger Hunt for Kids in Spanish & English (free printable)
- Spanish Thanksgiving Books for Kids
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Day of the Dead Books
Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book
by Jeanette Winter [Ages 4-7]
This beautiful book would be perfect for preschoolers or lower elementary! Each letter of the alphabet is paired with a Day of the Dead-related vocabulary word. Kids will love the bright and colorful illustrations. Use this one to inspire kids to create their own alphabet book with holiday vocabulary they’ve learned!
Calavera, Calavera, What Do You See?
by Julia Cervantes-Espinoza, illustrated by Francesco Orazzini [Ages 4-7]
This Spanish and English title is a great overview of the Day of the Dead celebration. Older kids will love learning some new themed vocabulary related to Mexican culture. Younger children will love the rhythm and predictability! The book includes a helpful glossary with a pronunciation guide.
Citlali and the Day of the Dead / Citlali y el Día de Muertos
by Berta de Llano, illustrated by Jaime Rivera Contreras [Ages 4-9]
A top read-aloud favorite for all elementary grades! Written with much more text than many other recommendations, this is the story of how Citlali remembers and honors her grandmother at home and at her school’s ofrenda. Full of themed vocabulary words like pan de muerto, calaveritas de azúcar, catrinas, and cempasúchiles! We adore the fairytales in this series by Carson Dellosa Education: Bilingual Keepsake Stories.
The Day of the Dead: A Bilingual Celebration
By Bob Barner, translated by Teresa Mlawer [Ages 4-8]
This bilingual book has been a favorite for all three of my children (9, 6, and 3 at the moment)! It has simple text written in both languages as well as large, colorful illustrations. With only a sentence or two on each page, it is a great pick for beginning English or Spanish language learners. Use this text to pick a handful of new vocabulary words to teach your child!
Día de los Muertos
by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by Carles Ballesteros [Ages 4-8]
In this simple book, your kids will hear about many classic symbols of the holiday – from altars with marigolds and sugar skulls to tamales and a costume parade. Kids will love the playful pictures and the easy text. I’d recommend this one for kindergarten to second grade.
Festival of Bones / El Festival de las Calaveras: The Little-Bitty Book for the Day of the Dead
by Luis San Vicente [Ages 4-7]
This one is a tiny but mighty book full of key words and information about Day of the Dead! Young kids will love the amazing illustrations, and will ask for this one over and over again. My preschooler enjoys this one because of the simple text and rhythm.
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
by Duncan Tonatiuh [Ages 6-10]
This highly-acclaimed title would make an excellent choice for even the oldest elementary students. It is about how the famous “calaveras” of Day of the Dead came to be – from Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada (1852–1913). Posada is best known for his skeleton drawings and they are a well-known symbol for the holiday.
I Remember Abuelito: A Day of the Dead Story / Yo Recuerdo a Abuelito: Un Cuento del Día de los Muertos
by Janice Levy, illustrated by Loretta Lopez, translated by Miguel Arisa [Ages 4-8]
In this bilingual story, a young girl is busy helping her family prepare for Day of the Dead. She is especially missing her grandfather and wants to make things special for his spirit’s visit. This touching story will help children understand information about the holiday while they think about their own special family members who have passed.
Just a Minute: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book
by Yuyi Morales [Ages 5-8]
This adorable book is perfect for a Day of the Dead celebration – and practicing counting in English or Spanish. While it is written mostly in English, there are Spanish words mixed in throughout. It is a fun way to introduce the Spanish language and Mexican cultural traditions into the classroom! This title won the 2004 Pura Belpre Medal for Illustration.
The Remembering Day / El día de los Muertos
by Pat Mora, illustrated by Robert Casilla [Ages 5-8]
This fictional story is about Mama Alma spending time with her granddaughter, Bella. Grandmother Alma reminisces with Bella, and asks that when she is gone, the family remembers her on a special day each year. A fascinating bilingual story about how this cultural tradition could have been started! This is a perfect pick to enjoy together as a family.
Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead
by Judy Goldman, illustrated by René King Moreno [Ages 6-9]
While this title is only written in English, I had to include it! This is a magical story about how monarch butterflies connect to Day of the Dead. Lupita and her Mexican family are celebrating the holiday, and she learns that monarch butterflies are believed to be the souls of the departed. This book would make an excellent science connection to the butterfly life cycle.
Have you read any of these bilingual books for kids? Which ones are your favorites? Do you recommend any other Day of the Dead books your own children or students love? I’d love to hear in the comments!
Find more Halloween, Day of the Dead, and other fall-related activities and resources in Bilingual Balance’s Fall Pinterest Board!