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Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  1,979 ratings  ·  470 reviews
A picture book biography of 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 ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 25th 2015 by Harry N. Abrams
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 ·  1,979 ratings  ·  470 reviews

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Jon Nakapalau
Excellent book on the work of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada (1852–1913).
A picture book biography of Jose Guadalupe Posada who is well known for his calavera (skull/skeleton) artwork. His artwork is very much tied to the el Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations every year on November 1-2 and this book provides biographical info about the artist, info on the holiday, as well as encourages the reader to think critically about what Posada was trying to say with his artwork.

The hand-drawn and digitally collaged artwork is very well done here and my favorite by th
Tonatiuh combines his Mixtec inspired illustrations with Jose Guadalupe Posada’s artwork to introduce Posada as an influential Mexican artist. Aesthetically beautiful, the narrative is accessible and insightful, giving the reader the context for Posada’s work in relation to the politics of Mexico and the Day of the Dead traditions. Tonatiuh does an impressive job including much information about the Mexican Revolution, lithography, engraving, and etching while telling a straightforward story abo ...more
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it

I love learning about culture and so I am definitely glad I read this one. The artwork was really interesting and it helped me learn more about a holiday I had only some familiarity with. Posada's original artwork is very interesting and I just wish there was more to this book.
This is a well written book with great resources in the back of the book to help teach kids research skills.
Sep 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Fascinating. Duncan Tonatiuh expands the boundaries of picture books in wonderful ways using techniques that enlighten and ask questions of readers.
Sara Grochowski
I am a huge fan of Tonatiuh's THE PRINCESS AND THE WARRIOR and know I've been remiss in not having read his backlist. This book is gorgeous, as well as informative. Something readers will come back to again and again.
Adrienne Pettinelli
And then I had to spend some time looking at Posada's calaveras on the Internet. I think Tonatiuh accomplished his mission.
Edward Sullivan
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A great introduction to Posada (Don Lupe Posada), who created calaveras, the skeletons prominent in Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. Engaging and informative.
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It told about Posada and his day of the dead Calaveras.
Kara Garcia
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
In the book Funny Bones, it tells how Jose Guadalupe Posada learned how to do engraving and lithography to make what would later become famous prints of calaveras, which are skulls or skeletons. Calaveras are often used in Mexican culture, especially during the Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Posada created many calaveras drawings for Dia de los Muertos, but also created almost political cartoons or satires of the people and politicians of Mexico for a newspaper as well. His art and style cont ...more
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I'd never heard of the Mexican artist Posada before until I read this book, but I think I've seen his illustrations. He specialized in calaveras (skeletons), which were particularly popular during the annual el Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivals. Whenever he had to depict people, whether in political cartoons or in humorous Day of the Dead pictures, he always showed them as skeletons. Sometimes you could recognize them as political figures by their facial hair or the way they were dresse ...more
Dani Kraft
Jun 21, 2018 added it
Shelves: non-fiction

Funny Bones Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

Funny Bones is a non-fiction book by Duncan Tonatiuh. This story is about a boy named Jose Guadalupe Pasada. People called him Lupe. Lupe was a talented artist. At the age of eighteen, Lupe began to work at Don Trinidad Pedroza’s print shop. There her did lots of work with printing of documents, diplomas, flyers, labels, and much more. One day he was told to make apolitical cartoon that got him in a lot of trouble. This resulted him moving to t
Alexa Marshall
Jun 20, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: nonfiction-books
-Possible Area Content Crossover: Art

-Bloom's Taxonomy:


--Recall what Posada's most famous images were called, and what they looked like.


--Summarize the events of Posada's life that were mentioned in the story.


--Analyze a picture of one of Posada's calaveras that is in the book. Examine it and share what you think he was trying to say in the image.

I think that Posada was making fun of the politicians by drawing them climbing all over each other to ge
Jennica Lyons
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I choose it because I am on the CLD track and I am always interested in ways to introduce different cultures and languages into the classroom. I think Day of the Dead is an extremely interesting lesson to have in the classroom and this book can be a great tool for this.

Overall, I think this book provides great informational knowledge. I think that for younger students the pictures and basic knowledge of the information are easily accessible and understandable. For ol
Margarita Rodriguez
For this book I decided to make a text to text connection. A text-to-text connection is making a connection between the text and another book or movie or idea/theme across both texts. The reason I chose to make a text-to-text connection is because I feel that when people are trying to educate and share Mexican culture, El Día de Los Muertos is often used as one of the main holidays in Mexican culture. There was a Disney movie made not too long ago, Coco, which focuses on the customs and traditio ...more
Jun 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: info-bios
This award winning picture book tells us about the life of Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) and his work. The reader learns about the relationship between calaveras and Dia de Los Muertos, but also learns about Mexico’s history and political climate that gave rise to Posada’s artwork. This book contains some of Posada’s work and reflective questions. The terra cotta colored illustrations alongside Posada’s detailed etches work give the book a rustic charm.
The book is rich in info
Jun 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a nice book for kids. Funny Bones tells the story of the Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada, who popularized calaveras both as a form of political protest and a popular entertainment.

He excelled at drawing and at 18 began to work in a print shop. The book goes into the process of how a newspaper is printed.

Posada’s literary calaveras in the book are for the Day of the Dead celebrations. These are printed black-and-white images of skeletons, poking fun at the living. The illustration are
Meira (readingbooksinisrael)
I really enjoyed it. It taught me more about something I don't know a lot about and the art style was inspired by Mixtec cultures and I always love art styles that are inspired by the past of the thing that they're talking about or referencing. It reminded me a lot about a series of pictures books about famous Black people I had when I was little because it was so easily accessible and interesting. Plus with the information 'pamphlets' about how engraving, lithography and etching are done. Littl ...more
Funny Bones tells the story of the artist, Posada, and the Calaveras that he popularized in Mexico in the early 1900's. This book would be excellent to use in the classroom. BTW, the story starts in Aguascalientes, the same town that Esperanza Rising begins in. The time frame is close to concurrent.
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras is the story of artist Jose Guadalupe Posada and his journey from budding artist to the creation of calaveras. Calaveras were irreverent depictions of people from all walks of life pictured as skeletons.

Includes an Author's Note, Glossary, Bibliography, Art Credits, Places to Visit, and an Index.
Petra Fuentes
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras is written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh. It tells the life story of Don Lupe Posada the artist who created the famous calaveras of the Day of the Dead. Throughout his life he created calaveras as a form as expression because there wasn't freedom of speech at the time. He drew calaveras of ordinary people and even of his friends. A theme presented was that poor or rich we all end up as calaveras (skeletons).

I enjoyed learning about the
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: info
This is the story of how Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913) created the famous Calaveras, most commonly seen during the Day of the Dead. Lupe, as everyone called him, learned the art of printing at an early age as an apprentice and then went on to own his own printing company where he created political cartoons that spoke out on the injustices he saw were occurring at the time. He also collaborated with writers to create and publish intriguing stories on large sheets of paper and s ...more
Marisa Torres
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras is a non-fiction biography of the Mexican artist Jose Guadalupe Posada written for children by Duncan Tonatiuh. This book reveals how the artist created calaveras and how the calaveras rose to significance in Mexico’s Dia de Muertos festival. It is also the 2016 recipient of the Tomás Rivera Book Award.

This book is a great introduction to a few aspects of Mexican culture and history. Important terms are written in Spanish and defined for Eng
Tyra Kornegay
Mar 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Funny Bones, written by Duncan Tonnatiuh, is a unique book. It is unique because it is a both a biography about an artist named Jose Guadelupe and a informational text about the history and culture of Mexico. The story goes through Jose's life starting out from when he was just a young boy who's older brother noticed that he had a talent for drawing. As he grew up, he started drawing pictures of caleveras (skeletons) that became widely admired and seen by the Mexican people. His drawings had man ...more
Maggie Elizabeth
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: diverse-books
Funny Bones by Duncan Tonatiuh
-ebook on Kindle

Many people hear, El Dia de Muertos, or The Day of the Dead, and immediately think of calaveras, or the skeleton figures that are often depicted during this festival doing everyday activities. However, not everyone knows about their origin. Awarded the Pura Belpre Medal, Funny Bones by Duncan Tonatiuh is a biography that celebrates the life of the artist Jose Guadalupe Posada and his contributions to Mexican Art through his calavera prints. The autho
Katherine Lochbaum
Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
With a title like "Funny Bones" I was expecting something that would make me laugh out loud! However, this book is informative and interesting - and afterwards it did leave a smile on my face.

It's the tale of an artist who was involved in politics and printing in Mexico. Jose Guadalupe Posada was a fabulous artist, mainly of skeletons and featured during the Day of the Dead. My favorite quotation from the biography is " matter how fancy your clothes are on the outside, on the inside we are
Jim Sibigtroth
Feb 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-aloud-2nd
This is an interesting non-fiction picture book about the life and art of Jose Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada, and el Dio de Muertos (Day of the Dead). This introduces American children to this unfamiliar aspect of Mexican culture. Calaveras are cartoon skeletons who are depicted (often humorously) as returning to celebrate with their families during el Dio de Muertos. They were also used to satirize political figures.

A word of warning about the Kindle version of this book - it is unreadable. The text
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Award-winning author and illustrator, Tonatiuh brilliantly tells the story of Jose Guadalupe Posada. Called Lupe by his family, he showed artistic promise early in life. At age 18, he went to work in a print shop where he learned lithography and engraving. Lupe starting doing drawings for the small local paper, including political cartoons. Lupe eventually opened his own print shop and starting to create illustrations for books and pamphlets. After his shop was ruined in a flood, he moved with h ...more
Mary Ann
Tonatiuh blends his signature style artwork with Posada's calaveras to help young readers understand both Posada's printmaking process and also his political messages in behind these iconic images.

My students will certainly recognize La Catrina, but few will be know about Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada (called Don Lupe Posada), who created this and many other calaveras, skeletons prominent in Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations. As a young man, Posada learned the printmaking tech
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I was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I received my BFA from Parsons School of Design and my BA from Eugene Lang College, both of them divisions of the New School University in New York City.

My first picture book "Dear Primo, a letter to my cousin" is published by H N Abrams and will be in stores March 1st, 2010.

My illustrations of the AH1N1 in Mexico were selecte

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