top of page

by Duncan Tonatiuh


Discover the story behind José Guadalupe Posada’s iconic Día de Muertos skeletons in this fascinating picture book from award-winning creator Duncan Tonatiuh.


A New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of the Year
A Robert F. Sibert Medal Winner
A Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book
An ALA/ALSC Notable Children’s Book


Funny Bones tells the story of how calaveras came to be. The amusing figures are the creation of Mexican artist José Guadalupe (Lupe) Posada (1852–1913). Lupe learned the art of printing at a young age and soon had his own shop. In a country that was not known for freedom of speech, he drew political cartoons, much to the amusement of the local population but not to the politicians.


While he continued to draw cartoons, he is best known today for his calavera drawings. They have become synonymous with Mexico’s Día de Muertos festival. Calaveras are skeletons performing all sorts of activities, both everyday and festive: dancing in the streets, playing instruments in a band, pedaling bicycles, promenading in the park, and even sweeping the sidewalks.


They are not intended to be frightening, but rather to celebrate the joy of living and provide humorous observations about people. Author and illustrator Tonatiuh relates the pivotal moments of Lupe’s life and explains the different artistic processes he used.


Juxtaposing his own artwork with Lupe’s, Tonatiuh brings to light the remarkable life and work of a man beloved by many but whose name has remained in obscurity.


“Playful but informative . . . a fascinating introduction to the artist and his work.” ―Booklist (Starred Review)


“Artistically beautiful and factually accessible . . . effectively blends artistic and political content for young readers.” ―Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras

SKU: 9781419716478
$19.99 Regular Price
$17.99Sale Price
  • Duncan Tonatiuh (toh-nah-tee-YOU) is an award-winning author-illustrator. He is both Mexican and American. He grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and graduated from Parsons School of Design and Eugene Lang College in New York City. His artwork is inspired by pre-Columbian art. His aim is to create images and stories that honor the past but are relevant to today’s people, especially children. His books include A Land of Books, Feathered Serpent and the Five Suns, and Separate Is Never Equal. He currently lives in San Miguel with his family but travels in the United States often.

  • ISBN-13:9781419716478
    Publisher:Abrams Books for Young Readers
    Publication date:08/25/2015
    Product dimensions:11.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.50(d)
    Age Range:6 - 10 Years

    books - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Art
    books - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Cultural, Ethnic & Regional
    books - Juvenile Nonfiction | Holidays & Celebrations | Other, Nonreligious
    books - Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places | Mexico
    books - Juvenile Nonfiction | History | Mexico
    books - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Social Activists
    -Posada, Josae Guadalupe    -Engravers
    -Mexico    -Human skeleton in art

bottom of page