Dia de los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) is a meaningful and festive event celebrated throughout Mexico, Central America, and the United States, (as well as many other places throughout the world). If you’re interested in exploring its significance with your children, you’ll definitely want to check out these 10 magical Day of the Dead picture books! And while you’re at it, celebrate with some other simple and fun activities too!
10 Magical Day of the Dead Picture Books
by Roseanne Greefield Thong and Carles Ballesteros
This festive book highlights all of the special components of Dia de los Muertos, and explains the importance of this special celebration. Reflecting on the lives of family and friends who have passed away, altars are decorated with marigolds and sugar skulls, tamales and treats are prepared, and music and costumes express the love being celebrated.
Packed with whimsical illustrations, this is a lovely picture book to introduce young readers to Dia de los Muertos!
2. I Remember Abuelito: A Day of the Dead Story / Yo Recuerdo a Abuelito: Un Cuento del Dia de los Muertos
by Janice Levy, Loretta Lopez, and Miguel Arisa
This bilingual book tells the story of a young girl who is busy helping her family prepare for Dia de los Muertos, a celebration that is very meaningful within her community and culture. As her family honors loved ones who have died, she misses her grandfather tremendously and looks forward to honoring him.
Provides a personal and meaningful example of grief, remembrance, honor, and ultimately, celebration.
by Bob Barner
We follow along with two children as they celebrate their ancestors with decorations, special food, dancing, and reminiscing.
Using both Spanish and English, the author also provides specific details about the historical context.
Vivid, joyful illustrations make this a delightful read!
by Eric Gonzalez & Erich Haeger
This is a book filled with delightful rhymes in English and Spanish, as well as lovely illustrations highlighting this special annual celebration.
A beautiful introduction to this special celebration!
by Flavia Z. Drago
Gustavo is great at ghostly things like making objects fly and glowing in the dark. But he’s also really shy so he finds it hard to make friends with other monsters. With Day of the Dead approaching, he’s desperate to belong and celebrate with everyone else.
A celebratory and sweet story about overcoming fear and discovering friendship.
by Karl Jones and Steve Simpson
This activity book explores the incredible history and traditions of Day of the Dead through wonderful illustrations. Mazes, puzzles, stickers, and activities are included, some of which can be used to make masks and create shrines.
A simple and fun way to enjoy hands-on activities, embracing this special celebration.
by Angela Cervantes and RH Disney (Disney/Pixar)
This book retells the story of the movie, Coco.
Miguel dreams of becoming a musician but unfortunately, his family has a long-standing ban on all music. Eager to prove his talent and achieve his dream, he ends up experiencing a strange series of events, eventually ending up in the Land of the Dead.
Along his journey, he meets Hector, and they set off on an incredible adventure as they try to discover the mystery of Miguel’s family history.
If you’re looking for something for middle schoolers, be sure to check out Coco: A Story About Music, Shoes, and Family by Diana Lopez!
by Janice Levy, Morella Fuenmanyor, and Teresa Mlawer
As Day of the Dead approaches, Nando and his mother prepare to remember Tio Fernando. Nando wonders how his uncle’s spirit will find them during the celebration and how they will know it’s really him.
Another wonderful story, in both Spanish and English.
by Tony Johnston and Jeanette Winter
This is a story describing a small Mexican town where one family begins preparations for the annual Día de Los Muertos celebration. Describing a variety of celebratory details, they eventually join their neighbors and walk to the graveyard, welcoming the spirits of their loved ones home again.
A wonderful overview of a meaningful celebration!
by Raul Jimenez and Felipe Vasconcelos
This book shows the excitement of celebrating Dia de los Muertos for the very first time as a Mexican-American. We learn about the history, symbolism, and the roots the celebration shares with Halloween.
Captures the enthusiasm, intrigue, and mystery of experiencing something for the first time.
I hope you and your children enjoy these 10 magical picture books about the Day of the Dead. Be sure to check out my post on Day of the Dead Activies for Kids too!