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Pinatas & Smiling SkeletonsPiñatas, mariachis, and marigolds . . . Mexico's colorful festivals are exciting and serious, familiar and unique, blending the cultures of her ancient people and of Spain, creating new traditions for modern times. Here is a year of special Mexican celebrations, from December 12, the festival of Guadalupe, through Christmas, Carnaval, Corpus Christi, Independence Day, and the Day of the Dead. The story of the Mexican people from Olmec times to Delano provides the background, while crafts, recipes for holiday treats, legends, and spectacular illustrations help convey the richness of their traditions.

For ages 9 - 13. Authors Zoe Harris and Suzanne Williams

Outstanding: Parents’Council

Winner: Best Multicultural Non-fiction: Independent Publisher’s Book Award, 1999.

Click here to order copies of Pinatas & Smiling SkeletonsOpen in a New Window
(ISBN: 1-881896-19-6)


Reviews and Comments

 "Por fin! (Finally!) Here's a fact-filled book filled with interesting information that helps children better understand the many events, traditions, and customs celebrated by Mexican and Mexican-American children everywhere. . . . Kudos to the authors , who also recognize the presence of Mexican populations in the United States and urge readers to look in their communities for ways to participate in celebrations of cultural heritage in the United States. In addition, the book encourages young readers to look around them for clues to the presence of Mexico in their everyday lives, be it in the food they eat or the words they speak. . . . It is also the best example of children's book illustration that balances the depictions of Mexican children in traditional as well as modern, everyday dress."----MultiCultural Review

**Selected as outstanding** "An excellent resource for teachers or parents who seek background information for discussing or celebrating Mexican holidays." ------ Parent Council, Spring/Summer 1999

From Edward Pratt Free Library Kids Page, Baltimore Maryland,. ( This book does a lot more than just tell you how the Festivals are celebrated--they show you how! You can make crafts, cook food, learn songs, and much more. This book brings the wonderful traditions to life.

"Colorfully illustrated in a vibrant folkloric style that captures the very essence of ancient hieroglyphs and modern retablos. Holiday recipes and lyrics to popular songs that are key to these celebrations make this fascinating collection particularly informative. An ideal book on the history, legends, artwork, and food intrinsic to the ritualistic festivities of modern Mexico." ------ School Library Journal, April 1999

"Highly recommended . . ." ------Lorraine Garcia-Nakata, Mexican Museum

"Authors explain to young readers and adults alike the story behind each festival, including recipes for appropriate holiday treats and tips for celebrating the holiday." ------ Los Angeles Times, January 24, 1999