Barrilete: A Kite for the Day of the Dead

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9780888993663: Barrilete: A Kite for the Day of the Dead

Every year on November 2, the Day of the Dead, the villagers of Santiago Sacatepequez in Guatemala fly some of the biggest kites in the world in memory of their deceased loved ones. Brilliantly colored and often spanning 23 feet, the kites fill the sky over the cemetery. This is the story of Juan, who has built a kite every year with his grandfather. Since his grandfather has died, Juan must now carry on the tradition alone. Beautiful photographs show Juan, with his friends' help, sending his kite soaring into the sky.

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From School Library Journal:

Grade 2-5-This photo-essay follows Juan and his brothers as they build a barrilete, or kite, for the celebration of the Day of the Dead. Juan lives in a Guatemalan village renowned for its huge kites, some of which are seven meters across. The progression from late summer into fall is marked by the stages in the process of kite building, which is both explained in the text and illustrated with color and black-and-white photographs. Despite occasional lapses in the narrative (for example, text dealing with kite making is interrupted by a page discussing the boys' mother making tortillas), the descriptions of the construction and flying of the kite are involving. The explanation of the festival itself is cursory; thus the book is best used with George Ancona's Pablo Remembers (Lothrop, 1993) or Tony Johnston's The Day of the Dead (Harcourt, 1997). Barrilete allows children to view another culture through the lens of a holiday.
Ann Welton, Terminal Park Elementary School, Auburn, WA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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