by Judith Valdes Breidenstein
Art by Carlos Valdez Aguilera
Little Bee Books, 2023
JACKET COPY: Benito loves Perro. But when Perro passes away, Benito is heartbroken. During the Day of the Dead celebration, he tries to understand the meaning of the flores de cempasúchil, candles, pan de muertos, photographs, and sharing memories of departed loved ones. By creating his own special altar for Perro, he realizes that his love for his beloved companion, and the happiness Perro gave him, will always remain. Told with honesty and hope, this heartfelt book is the perfect story for any child coping with loss, and for those who celebrate— or want to learn more about—Día de los Muertos.
THREE REASONS TO READ:
Judith highlights the special relationship between a child and its pet. This has takeaway value for both a child (cherish the memories) and an adult (how important pets are in a child's development).
This well-executed story has several strong hooks -- learning to process grief, the cultural celebration of Day of the Dead, the relationships between us and our ancestors and of course, friendship and dogs!
It's a super sweet story with a satisfying character arc for Benito as he processes the loss of his furry friend. It has lots of takeaway value for the reader in dealing with any grief they may encounter fun story with a satisfying ending, and lots of laughs and takeaway value.
As a festive bonus, Carlos' engaging art is everything you would want from a Day of the Dead story -- important cultural details, kid-friendliness, and the perfect colors in the perfect hues to make it festive, but reflective!
It's perfect for celebrating or learning about The Day of the Dead, but also has appeal for anytime a child suffers a loss, furry or otherwise.