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Felipa and the Day of the Dead by Birte…

Felipa and the Day of the Dead

by Birte Müller

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Felipa misses her Abuelita, or grandmother, in this simple holiday tale from the Andes, searching everywhere for her departed soul - in the fields and the cemetery, on the mountains - until her father explains that souls cannot be visited in this way, that they live in their own world, except when they return to us, on the Day of the Dead. When the long awaited day finally comes, Felipa joins her family and neighbors in the celebration: enjoying the special dough cookies, helping to clean and decorate the graves, and feeling, for the first time since her death, close to her beloved Abuelita.

Felipa and the Day of the Dead is an outgrowth of German author Birte Müller's research into the observance of the Day of the Dead in Bolivia, and reference to the Andes makes it clear that the story is set in that part of the world. The narrative itself is quite simple, which makes it ideal for younger children, but also means that few culturally specific details and terms are used. It's a shame that Müller didn't give more details, in her brief afterword. What are the dough cookies, shaped like people, called? What other specifically Bolivian customs are practiced on this day? Given that many readers might be unaware that the Day of the Dead isn't just a Mexican holiday - I know I was - further information would have been very welcome.

Still, for what it is, this is an engaging holiday story, and is recommended to anyone looking for picture-books about the Day of the Dead, and its celebration in South America. ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | Apr 17, 2013 |
Stunning illustrations. Would be great for young kids who've lost a grandparent, as long as you don't mind the insistence on an afterlife. ( )
  yarb | Nov 14, 2007 |
This children’s book tells the story of Felipa, who lives high up in the Andes Mountains. After her grandmother dies, she looks for her soul everywhere. She wanders so far away, her father has to come find her in a field. Her father assures her that her grandmother’s soul will come to her on Día de los Muertos. Felipa waits eagerly for November to arrive, and celebrates the holiday, and says goodbye to her grandmother until next year. This book has a simple explanation of the holiday for younger readers for them to understand and be able to read on their own. It’s illustrations are expressive, interesting, and provide much visual stimulation. This book doesn’t get into too many details of the customs associated with Día de los Muertos, but is a good introduction. ( )
  pacifickle | Nov 20, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Birte Müllerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Martens, MarianneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0735820112, Paperback)

Felipa's beloved grandmother, Abuelita, has died. Felipa miser her terribly and is very sad. Her parents try to comfort Felipa. They tell her that the souls of the dead live on forever. So Felipa decides to find Abuelita's soul. But where is it? She asks her grandmother's donkey, her pig, and her llamas for help. She treks many miles to the highest mountain, but grandmother's soul is nowhere to be found. Then, months later, the entire village is bustling with preparations for the Day of the Dead. Felipa joins in the celebrations honoring loved ones who have died, and in the process finally finds Abuelita's soul.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:22 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

In the Andes Mountains, Felipa misses her grandmother Abuelita, and goes in search of her soul, only to find the celebrations of the Day of the Dead to be the perfect way to feel close to Abuelita again.

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