Pablo Remembers: The Fiesta of the Day of the Dead

by George Ancona

Hardcover, 1993



Local notes

394.2 Anc



Lothrop, Lee & Shepard, (1993), Edition: 1st, 48 pages


During the three-day celebration of the Days of the Dead, a young Mexican boy and his family make elaborate preparations to honor the spirits of the dead.

Original language


Physical description

48 p.; 9.88 inches


0688112498 / 9780688112493



User reviews

LibraryThing member ccoakley
Pablo Remembers is a great book demonstrating the cultural importance of the Day of the Dead for people of Mexican heritage. This book explains to children why this celebration is so significant to the people who celebrate it, and it does not trivialize the festivity. This book is directed to an audience who most likely is not familiar with the celebration, but does so from the point of view of someone who is familiar with the subject, rather than the author acting as a "tour guide." One aspect of the book I liked in particular was the original photographs, as well as both English and Spanish captions to describe the pictures. The book also provides a glossary in the back of Spanish words, giving the English translations for what the words mean. I think this book would be a great resource in any elementary classroom to help introduce the topic of the Day of the Dead in a way that does not trivialize the celebration or look at it from the perspective of an "outsider."… (more)
LibraryThing member pacifickle
This is the story of Pablo, who lives in a small village in Mexico outside of Oaxaca. He remembers and celebrates the life and legacy of his grandmother throughout the three-day fiesta. This novel is perfect for older children, with clear explanatory text and beautiful photographs of Pablo and his family as they celebrate. The book details many cultural practices of the holiday including pan du muertos (bread of the dead), sugar skulls, estampas (the delicately-cut tissue-paper decorations), copal (a resin incense) and cempasuchil (marigolds, the holiday’s flower). It outlines how Pablo and his family make ofrendas, or altars presenting their offerings to the departed. It also details the ingredients and processes of the various foods they prepare and eat for the holiday. The photographs show the process of preparing for the fiesta with careful attention, and really demonstrate the connection the family still has to their departed loved ones as they celebrate in Mexico. The book ends with a three-page note from the author that explains the historical background of Día de los Muertos, and how it evolved from its ancient beginnings to how it is practiced now, and also has a glossary of Spanish words used in the book.… (more)
LibraryThing member CLDoyle
Appropriate grade level for this book would be 2nd to 6th grade. This book hasn't received any awards. This book is full of illustrations that capture the holiday El Dia de los Muertos, the day of the dead. This book talks about one family's observation of the Day od the Dead. Uses in the classroom for this book would be to have students share their favorite holidays and how their family celebrates that specific holiday. Students could write about what they do on that holiday and who they do it with. They could also draw a picture that references their favorite holiday.… (more)
LibraryThing member BrennonJ
Pablo Remembers The Fiesta of the Day of the Dead by George Aconda is an informative children’s book about the Mexican holiday and cultural traditions of the same name. While published in 1993, I found the colorful photographs and cheerful images they projected to fit modern times and would be easily relevant for young children today.
The narrative of this book talked specifically about one family’s celebration during the Days of the Dead while providing a perspective about the culture celebrating as a whole. I had read a journal critique about this book, and seven others, which placed this one at the top. The author is familiar and most likely practices this holiday which certainly adds a depth of understanding that translates to a well written children’s book on the subject.
I would assume this book would be of value in young elementary education while discussing world culture and beliefs. The author portrays nothing scary about this holiday to young children and I cannot imagine parents would be adverse to instruction of this material while discussing foreign cultures.
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LibraryThing member EmilyDrennan
Pablo Remembers is an in-depth story about the Mexican holiday, The Day of the Dead. Pablo has recently lost his grandmother, so this day of the dead is especially important. The Day of the Dead allows for Pablo to celebrate the life of his grandmother and other loved ones he has lost. This book goes into detail about the traditions and preparations of the Day of the Dead. Children need to be knowledge of holidays around the world, and this book will help educate them about the Day of the Dead. This book follows Pablo's day of the dead, and children can relate to him because he is a young boy. Children could re-create some of the traditional activities done during the Day of the Dead as a classroom activity after reading this book.… (more)
LibraryThing member Areamatha
Pablo Remembers the Fiesta of the Day of the Dead, by Georģe Ancona, tells the story of Pablo’s experiences on a Day of the Dead. It tells of the preparations for the festivities. How the family goes to the market to buy food, prepares the food and sets up the alter. They place pictures of the deceased, sugar skulls and food out for the dead. Then the family visits with other family members. The next day the family goes to the cemetery and decorates the graves. I would use this book along with others in a lesson about other cultures customs.
The content has a narrow scope. The focus is Pablo’s experience with the day of the dead. The book is introductory to the Fiesta of the Day of the Dead. Accordingly, it is not very in-depth.
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LibraryThing member Katina_DeBerry
In Pablo Remembers: The Fiesta of the Day of the Dead by George Ancona, the reader follows Pablo and his family as they celebrate el Dia de Los Muertos. On one of the first pages, there is a two page, color picture of Pablo, his sister, and two of their cousins with their decorated candy skulls. This picture was very impactful. I was not familiar with this celebration, and I automatically thought that it was more of a time of mourning instead of an actual celebration. Seeing the huge smiles on the faces of those children changed my perception, and I became even more interested in this celebration. The story begins on All Hallows Eve with Pablo and his family preparing for the celebration. Readers accompany Pablo and his family as they go to the market to buy items for the fiesta. As Ancona explained the items that the family bought from the market, he used Spanish and the English translation was provided in italics. I appreciated the authenticity of the book, but as the story progressed, the translations were not included. I found myself flipping through the book trying to remember where I had previously seen a word so that I could continue with the rest of the story. For some of the words, such as angelitos, a brief explanation followed the use of the word, but this was not always the case. I began to feel like an outsider. I definitely think that the target audience for this book is people who are familiar with the culture and this celebration.

I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures. They documented each stage of the celebration from the women working together to make the traditional meal for the festival to the men buying sugarcane to build an arch. In the Note from the Author, Ancona provides a general explanation about the celebration of the Day of the Dead and how it has changed over the years. He notes that the holiday is both a public and private holiday in which people honor their deceased family members. After reading this book, I definitely had a better understanding of the difference between the Day of the Dead and Halloween. At the end of the book, there was a glossary of Spanish words. However, it would have been more beneficial to have the definitions included in the story.
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(18 ratings; 3.9)
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