Day Of The Dead: Books For Kids

This list of the best kids books about day of the dead is sure to include a new favorite for the voracious young reader in your life! From Dia de Los Muertos to La Catrina there's something here for everyone's tastes. Do you have a favorite book about day of the dead? Let us know!

Dia de Los Muertos book
Dia de Los Muertos
Written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong and illustrated by Carles Ballesteros
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Goodfather

Fantastic rhyming, playful and colorful illustrations, and a celebratory message about honoring ancestors on the Dia de Los Muertos are a few reasons I think this is an excellent book. The inclusion of Spanish words might be make reading aloud a little awkward for some readers, but it gives the title a very authentic feel (and conveniently helps with the rhyming at times).

It’s Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and children throughout the pueblo, or town, are getting ready to celebrate! They decorate with colored streamers, calaveras, or sugar skulls, and pan de muertos, or bread of the dead. There are altars draped in cloth and covered in marigolds and twinkling candles. Music fills the streets. Join the fun and festivities, learn about a different cultural tradition, and brush up on your Spanish vocabulary, as the town honors their dearly departed in a traditional, time-honored style. ¡Es el Día de los Muertos y todos los niños del pueblo y ciudad están listos para celebrar! Decoran con calaveras lo calavera de azucar, pan de muertos y banderas. Hay altares cubriertos de manta con muchas flores, y velas parpadiendo. Musica llena las calles. Hay que unirse con los festivales y abrender una diferente cultura y traduciones y repasar el vocabulario en español, mientras el pueblo honra sus queridos en una tradución con el transcurso y con el estilo del tiempo.

Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead book
Uncle Monarch and the Day of the Dead
Written by Judy Goldman and illustrated by Rene King Moreno and Judy Goldman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A family celebrates Día de Muertos, a holiday for remembering those who have passed. When the monarch butterflies return to her Mexican countryside, Lupita knows that Día de Muertos, “the Day of the Dead,” is near. She and her favorite uncle watch the butterflies flutter in the trees. When a butterfly lands on Lupita’s hand, her uncle reminds her that she should never hurt a monarch because they are believed to be the souls of the departed. Lupita and her family get ready for the holiday. When the first of November arrives, the family will go to the cemetery to honor the memories of their loved ones. But this year is different—Lupita’s uncle cannot join them. Now, Lupita learns the true meaning of the celebration.

Just a Minute!: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book (Pura Belpre Medal Book Illustrator (Awards)) book
Just a Minute!: A Trickster Tale and Counting Book (Pura Belpre Medal Book Illustrator (Awards))
Written by Nancy Luenn and illustrated by Yuyi Morales and Robert Chapman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Goodfather

This is a classic counting tale that teaches learning to count in English and Spanish. It also involves the delightful Grandma Beetle and her clever encounter with Señor Calaveras, or Mr. Skeleton. It makes for a great title to enjoy on Dia de los Muertos and all throughout the year. The ending is fun and touching.

In this original trickster tale, Senor Calavera arrives unexpectedly at Grandma Beetle’s door. He requests that she leave with him right away. “Just a minute,” Grandma Beetle tells him. She still has one house to sweep, two pots of tea to boil, three pounds of corn to make into tortillas — and that’s just the start! Using both Spanish and English words to tally the party preparations, Grandma Beetle cleverly delays her trip and spends her birthday with a table full of grandchildren and her surprise guest. This spirited tribute to the rich traditions of Mexican culture is the perfect introduction to counting in both English and Spanish. The vivacious illustrations and universal depiction of a family celebration are sure to be adored by young readers everywhere.

Día de los Muertos (Celebrate the World) book
Día de los Muertos (Celebrate the World)
Written by Hannah Eliot and illustrated by Jorge Gutierrez
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Learn all about the traditions of Día de los Muertos with this second book in the brand-new board book series Celebrate the World, which highlights special occasions and holidays across the globe. At the end of October each year, it’s time to celebrate an ancient tradition: Día de los Muertos! With vibrant illustrations by Golden Globe–winning Mexican illustrator Jorge Gutierrez, this festive board book teaches that Día de los Muertos honors ancestors and loved ones who have passed. From sugar skulls to papel picado, this is a holiday that truly commemorates the cycle of life.

Day of the Dead book
Day of the Dead
Written by Tony Johnston and illustrated by Jeanette Winter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
Thoughts from The Goodfather

While the story is fun, it’s also simple. I think it’s the colorful illustrations that really make this a great Day of the Dead title. Little kids will enjoy the anticipation the children in the experience as they watch all of the preparations building to the celebration and are finally able to enjoy all of the yummy food and treats.

Above a small town in Mexico, the sun rises like a great marigold, and one family begins preparations for an annual celebration, El día de los muertos, the Day of the Dead. Soon they will go out into the night, join their neighbors, and walk to the graveyard to welcome the spirits of their loved ones home again. Framed by decorative borders and peppered with Spanish words, Day of the Dead is a glorious introduction to a fascinating celebration. A note at the end of the book provides factual information about the holiday.

  1. The Dead Family Diaz - A fresh, funny take on the Day of the Dead that’s packed with kid appeal! Every skeleton in the Land of the Dead is excited to celebrate el Día de los Muertos with the Living. But not Angelito. His big sister has told him all about their horrifying bulgy eyes and squishy skin. So when Angelito is separated from his family in the Land of the Living, he’s petrified—until he makes a new friend who is just as terrified of THEM as Angelito is. Then his new buddy turns out to be (gulp!) a living boy! Angelito runs as fast as his bony feet can carry him. Fortunately the traditions of the Day of the Dead reunite the two boys, just in time for some holiday fun. Full of wild, Tim Burton-esque art, this clever tale is sure to become un libro favorito for the Day of the Dead, Halloween season, and beyond.

  2. Rosita y Conchita / Rosita and Conchita (English and Spanish Edition) - Help Conchita celebrate the life of her dearly departed sister as she sets up a memorial altar for her on the Day of the Dead. This heartfelt story book rhymes in English & Spanish. Includes how to make your own sugar skulls activities.

  3. I Remember Abuelito: A Day of the Dead Story / Yo Recuerdo a Abuelito: Un Cuento del Día de los Muertos (Spanish and English Edition) - It’s the Day of the Dead! It’s time to celebrate! In this bilingual book, a young girl is busy helping her family prepare to honor those who have died—especially her grandfather. She misses him very much and is excited for his spirit to visit that night. Es el Día de los Muertos. ¡Es tiempo de celebrar! En este libro biligua una niña joven esta ocupada ayudando a su familia preparar en los que han muerto―especialmente su abuelo. Ella lo estraña mucho y está con mucho emoción que su espirito venga de visita está noche.

  4. La Catrina - Inspired by one of the most recognized symbols of Dia de Muertos or “Day of the Dead,” a holiday that celebrates life and remembers the dearly departed, this book will introduce little ones to emotional expressions and their first English and Spanish words.

Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!