Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

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Written and Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

​New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2015
A Robert F. Sibert Award Winner
A Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book

An ALA/ALSC Notable Children's Book

Discover the story behind José Guadalupe Posada’s iconic Día de Muertos skeletons in this fascinating picture book from award-winning creator Duncan Tonatiuh
 
Funny Bones tells the story of how calaveras came to be. The amusing figures are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada (1852–1913). Lupe learned the art of printing at a young age and soon had his own shop. In a country that was not known for freedom of speech, he drew political cartoons, much to the amusement of the local population but not that of the politicians. He continued to draw cartoons, but he is best known today for his calavera drawings. They have become synonymous with Mexico’s Día de Muertos festival.
 
Calaveras are skeletons performing all sorts of activities, both everyday and festive: dancing in the streets, playing instruments in a band, pedaling bicycles, promenading in the park, and even sweeping the sidewalks. They are not intended to be frightening, but rather to celebrate the joy of living as well as provide humorous observations about people.
 
Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh relates the pivotal moments of Lupe’s life and explains the different artistic processes he used. Juxtaposing his own artwork with Lupe’s, Tonatiuh brings to light the remarkable life and work of a man beloved by many but whose name has remained in obscurity.
Funny Bones tells the story of how the amusing calaveras—skeletons performing various everyday or festive activities—came to be. They are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada. In a country that was not known for political freedom of speech, he first drew political cartoons, much to the amusement of the local population but not the politicians. He continued to draw cartoons throughout much of his life, but he is best known today for his calavera drawings. They have become synonymous with Mexico’s Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival. Juxtaposing his own art with that of Lupe’s, author Duncan Tonatiuh brings to light the remarkable life and work of a man whose art is beloved by many but whose name has remained in obscurity.
The book includes an author’s note, bibliography, glossary, and index.
Hardcover / Juvenile Nonfiction / Biography / Art / Cultural, Ethnic & Regional / Holidays & Celebrations / Mexico
Ages 6 to 10
0.5" H x 11.1" L x 9.2" W (1.16 lbs) 40 pages


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