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BETO AND THE BONE DANCE by Gina Freschet

BETO AND THE BONE DANCE

By Gina Freschet (Author) , Gina Freschet (Illustrator)

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: Oct. 2nd, 2001
ISBN: 0-374-31720-8
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Freschet returns to the theme of Mexican holiday she celebrated so well in Naty’s Parade (2000). Beto loves laughing at the crazy skeletons and eating the sugary treats on el Día de los Muertos (The Day of the Dead), but he is troubled that he cannot think of anything to place on the altar for his grandmother’s return. As Beto and his father travel through the market, picking up all the things that they will need, Beto sees many things that he would like to give her, but from candles to bread to soda pop, everyone else seems to have taken care of it all. Even though he is saddened because he is without a meaningful gift, Beto is swept up in the celebration. He takes part in a dream-like bone dance with hundreds of swirling skeletons and as all the spirits come out at midnight, he sees the spirit of his grandmother and she tells him what she loves most of all. Beto awakens to find himself in his father’s arms and fishes in his pocket to find a picture of himself to place on the altar. Spanish terms pepper the text and vibrant drawings with a decidedly south-of-the-border flavor add a richness to this tale of the remembrance of the dead through the celebration of their lives. (Picture book. 4-7)