We meet Caren whose family makes the fireworks that the town explodes to celebrate their patron saint. At their workshop on the outskirts of town her father, uncle, and grandfather build toritos, bulls that are made of Papier-mâché and painted. Then they are covered with fireworks. Castles of fireworks are built in the town plaza and that night after the procession the fireworks light up the town as rockets are shot into the night sky exploding with color flowers of fire.
José’s neighborhood is the Mission District in San Francisco. The book shows the blending of cultures such as Halloween becoming the Day of the Dead which is celebrated in schools, stores, and homes. It is a community that sings out it’s cultures and histories with murals, festivals. gardens, foods, holidays and birthday parties.
Armando and Gasper live in Teabo, a small town in Yucatan, Mexico. The peninsula is the region where the Maya have lived for four thousand years. The boys live in the traditional thatched roof house with their family; their father, don Victor, doña Satulina, their mother, Leidi, their older sister and Rosa, their baby sister.
Don Ricardo, or Tío Rico as the children call him, is the piñata maker of a village in southern Mexico. Now seventy-seven years old, Tío Rico has been making elaborate and beautiful piñatas for fifteen years. He brings great joy to children with his magical puppets, masks and piñatas–and of course, he gets invited to nearly all the parties.
On October 30, people everywhere in Mexico are busy preparing for the three-day fiesta of El Día de Los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Bakers are baking the traditional pan de muertos, the bread of the dead. Candy makers are making sugar skulls. Children are cutting out cardboard skeletons. Farmers are harvesting marigolds, flowers of the dead. Families are building and decorating alters to honor loved ones who have died.