Tonatiuh offers a comprehensive look at the life of Mexican artist and printmaker Jose 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. (Aug.)Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.
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, ILCopyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.