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Funny Bones
Cover of Funny Bones
Funny Bones
Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
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Funny Bones tells the story of how the amusing calaveras—skeletons performing various everyday or festive activities—came to be. They are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe...
Funny Bones tells the story of how the amusing calaveras—skeletons performing various everyday or festive activities—came to be. They are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe...
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Description-

  • Funny Bones tells the story of how the amusing calaveras—skeletons performing various everyday or festive activities—came to be. They are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada (1852–1913). In a country that was not known for freedom of speech, he first drew political cartoons, much to the amusement of the local population but not the politicians. He continued to draw cartoons throughout much of his life, but he is best known today for his calavera drawings. They have become synonymous with Mexico's Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival. Juxtaposing his own art with that of Lupe's, author Duncan Tonatiuh brings to light the remarkable life and work of a man whose art is beloved by many but whose name has remained in obscurity.

    The book includes an author's note, bibliography, glossary, and index.

 

Awards-

About the Author-

  • Duncan Tonatiuh was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende. His books have received many awards over the years. He currently lives in San Miguel with his wife and children but travels to the US often.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from July 20, 2015
    Tonatiuh offers a comprehensive look at the life of Mexican artist and printmaker José Guadalupe “Lupe” Posada, while providing a crash course in lithography, engraving, etching, and studying art. Posada is best known for his calavera images (featuring the skeletons associated with Mexico’s Day of the Dead), which Tonatiuh intermixes with his own brand of hieroglyphic digital collages. Reproductions of Posada’s calavera images accompany questions that encourage readers to consider their meaning (“Was Don Lupe saying that... no matter how fancy your clothes are on the outside, on the inside we are all the same?”). With a wealth of biographical and contextual information (much of it in an extensive author’s note), it’s a valuable introduction to Posada that will leave readers thinking about the process of creating art and the social impact it can have. Ages 6–10.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from June 15, 2015
    Tonatiuh's Mixtec-influenced illustrations make an apt complement to this picture-book biography of one of Mexico's most beloved artists, Jose Guadalupe Posada. Don Lupe, as he was called, used the printing techniques of lithography, engraving, and etching. Each technique is summarized in four-panel layouts, and sample images of his calaveras and calacas (skulls and skeletons) are liberally incorporated into the illustrations. Many of the iconic images associated with Dia de los Muertos were created by Posada as integral elements of his world-renowned political satire, particularly during the Mexican Revolution. Tonatiuh skillfully blends his own distinctive style of digital collage and hand drawings not only to highlight events in Posada's life, but also to add whimsical elements by introducing contemporary calaveras. He incorporates amusing, thoughtful exercises for young readers into the narrative, prompting them to interpret the messages behind Posada's artwork. Also included is an in-depth author's note on the history of the Day of the Dead and an extensive glossary. In addition, a bibliography, list of art credits, and venues where Posada's art is displayed are provided for further exploration of Posada's life and work. Phonetic pronunciation is, unfortunately, only sporadically and unevenly sprinkled throughout the story. Following on his Sibert Honor-winning Separate Is Never Equal (2014), Tonatiuh further marks himself as a major nonfiction talent with this artistically beautiful and factually accessible offering that effectively blends artistic and political content for young readers. (Picture book/biography. 7-13)

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from September 1, 2015

    Gr 3-6-Tonatiuh's latest delves into the life of artist and social commentator extraordinaire Jose Guadalupe Posada, best known for his literary calaveras, brief and amusing rhyming poems about skeletons dressed in clothes, going about their daily business. The beautifully expressive Day of the Dead-inspired illustrations on heavy paper pages sport borders of bones, grinning skeletons, and Tonatiuh's signature figures shown in profile, influenced by the ancient Mexican art of his ancestors. Simple yet effective sentences accompany step-by-step images detailing the artistic processes that Posada learned as a printer's apprentice: lithography, engraving, and etching. Reproductions of Posada's calaveras will help children appreciate Posada's passion for his profession, such as the broadside "Calavera Love," which depicts a gentleman skeleton proposing marriage; the poem concludes, "I am sorry, Senor. But that cannot be./You're handsome and all, /but too skinny for me!" Tonatiuh explains the poetry, posing questions about the artist's intentions and adding historical context, explaining the calaveras that Posada created in response to the Mexican Revolution. Extensive back matter includes links where students can see Posada's original work and an author's note that suggests using the calaveras "to learn and celebrate el Dia de Muertos." VERDICT A stunning work, with great possibilities for lesson plans or tie-ins with Day of the Dead.-Toby Rajput, National Louis University, Skokie, IL

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from July 1, 2015
    Grades 3-5 *Starred Review* This exceptional picture-book biography profiles Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada (18521913), who is remembered primarily for his portrayal of calaveras, the droll skeletons prominent in Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. Posada, who loved to draw as a child, later discovered printmaking, the art form that would shape his career. He learned lithography, engraving, and etching, three techniques that are succinctly explained here and illustrated through cartoonlike panels of drawings. As an adult, then known as Don Lupe, Posada's images of calaveras amused the public by poking fun at politicians. In the second half of the book, every other page reproduces a Posada print and asks a question, such as, Was Don Lupe saying that . . . even powerful leaders one day become calaveras? The use of questions works well, encouraging readers to engage with the art, while the clearly written narrative continues on the facing pages. Appearing throughout the book, Tonatiuh's illustrations are digital collages notable for their controlled energy, vibrant colors, and a wonderfully rhythmic arrangement of forms on the page. The final scene, a witty, updated version of grinning calaveras, depicts them as young people today. Playful but informative, this picture book offers a fascinating introduction to the artist and his work.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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