||The Spirit of Ti'o Fernando/El espi'ritu de ti'o Fernando
||Albert Whitman & Company, Morton Grove, Illinois, 1995
||Janice Levy (Text), Morella Fuenmayor (Illustrations)
||Latino and Latina Literature/Multiple Ethnicities
||This children's picture book is suitable for Grades 3-5. The book is
written in both Spanish and English. It gives students an appreciation of the century old
Hispanic holiday, The Day of the Dead. It illustrates a traditional way Hispanic culture
remembers and honors their lost ones. Written from a young child's perspective it
describes the rituals and offerings of this holiday. In a soft and beautiful way it
answers the child's central question: "Mother, How will I meet Ti'o's spirit? Will I
see him? Will he make noise? How will I know it is really him?. Grade A.
|Use in the classroom
||This book teaches students that the greatest gift those who have died
can leave with us is their living memories, the things they shared with us and the little
things that make us like them. Rather than grieving the loss of a loved one, it teaches
reverence for their spirit and joy in their memory. The book can be used in the classroom
in a variety of different ways. It can be used as part of a celebration of The Day of the
Dead holiday replete with sample offerings, breads, etc. It can be used as part of a
mosaic/theme on Hispanic holidays and traditions. It can be used as a vehicle for Hispanic
students to share their experiences with Anglo and students of other nationalities. As
part of an exploration of this and other traditions, perhaps a grandparent of an Hispanic
student can come into the classroom and discuss Hispanic traditions and holidays as they
remember them growing up. Finally, this book can be used as a delicate way to explore the
issue of death with young students and ways of examining death from the perspective of a
celebration of life and living memory.
"Tell me how you die, and I will tell you who you are
To the inhabitant of
New York, Paris or London death is a word that is never uttered because it burns the lips.
The Mexican, on the other hand, frequents it, mocks it, caresses it, sleeps with it,
entertains it; it is one of his favorite playthings and his most enduring love.
Octavio Paz, The Labyrnth of Solitude (Grove/Atlantic, Inc. 1961)