Books by Richard Keep

CLATTER BASH! by Richard Keep
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 1, 2004

With its mix of English and Spanish ("Knock-knock! Shh! Huh? Rattle-rattle ¿Qué?"), this celebration of the Mexican Day of the Dead (El Dia de los Muertos), appears to combine the North American tradition of skeletons popping out of graves at Halloween with the Mexican concept of the skeleton as a reminder of mortality and symbol of death. As family members bring offerings to the cemetery at sunset, the skeletons begin lifting lids of the coffins in preparation for rising out of their graves to party. They dash off in a car and on a bicycle, "Putt-putt, Honk-whiz ¡Hola! ¡Hola! Hi!" then marvel at the marigolds, dance with butterflies, tell scary stories, eat, sing, and play before tidying up the cemetery and returning to their graves. "Shush-hush . . . Sigh . . . ¡Gracias!" An author's note provides information on the Day of the Dead, but these dancing, singing skeletons have little to do with this traditional holiday in which the spirits (not the skeletons) of the dead pay a visit. There are more appealing and authentic Day of the Dead books for this age group. (Picture book. 3-7)Read full book review >