Day: October 2, 2015

Review: Funny Bones by Duncan Tonatiuh

Funny Bones by Duncan Tonatiuh

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh (InfoSoup)

Award-winning author and illustrator, Tonatiuh brilliantly tells the story of Jose Guadalupe Posada. Called Lupe by his family, he showed artistic promise early in life. At age 18, he went to work in a print shop where he learned lithography and engraving. Lupe starting doing drawings for the small local paper, including political cartoons. Lupe eventually opened his own print shop and starting to create illustrations for books and pamphlets. After his shop was ruined in a flood, he moved with his family to Mexico City where he opened a new shop. Lupe began creating broadsides and that is where he started creating his calaveras or skeletons. Some have specific meanings while others are unknown, many of them make political commentary on Mexican society. Lupe was soon recognized for these prints more than any of the rest of his work. Posada continues to be known for these images thanks to other Mexican artists like Diego Rivera who investigated who had drawn the etchings.

Tonatiuh does a great job of telling the story of the full life of Posada while focusing on making it accessible to children and also making it a compelling tale. Readers will recognize some of the images in the book, creating a firm connection between the artist and the images. The story of Posada’s life is a mix of tragedy and accomplishment, rather like the images he created. The Author’s Note at the end of the book adds details to the story of Posada and his art.

Tonatiuh’s art is as unique and marvelous as ever. He uses his stylized characters, usually shown in profile. They have a wonderful folk-art feel to them and work very nicely with Posada’s own skeletons. His illustrations are a rich mix of collage and line drawings, mixing textures and colors very effectively.

A great book to share for Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead, this will be a welcome addition to all public library collections, but particularly those serving Hispanic populations. Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Reviewed from library copy.

This Week’s Tweets, Pins & Tumbls

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter, Pinterest, and Tumblr accounts this week that I think are cool:

High-Interest Books for Struggling Middle School Readers | Parents | Scholastic.com// #familytimemachine:

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

20 Kids’ Books That Defy Gender Stereotypes – http://buff.ly/1MJNHiY #kidlit

Can children’s books help build a better world? http://buff.ly/1N15yVD #kidlit

Cybils Nominations Are Open – http://buff.ly/1Ri7WWR #kidlit #yalit

Honoring Picture Book Champions at the 2015 Carle Awards http://buff.ly/1VpKLzu #kidlit

Lauren Oliver Interviews H.C. Chester About Curiosity House : The Childrens Book Review – http://buff.ly/1VpPKAh #kidlit

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TEEN READS

Just How Bad The Problem of Gender Bias in Science Fiction Awards Really Is – http://buff.ly/1VpN0D7 #scifi #gender

One Thing Leads to Another: An Interview with Libba Bray – The Hub – http://buff.ly/1Ri8M5L #yalit

Q & A with Leigh Bardugo http://buff.ly/1Rg4M5T #yalit

‘Scorpio Races’ to Be Directed by Matt Sobel http://buff.ly/1YOJW2s #yalit

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