Now available in a bilingual paperback edition, this is a beautifully photographed story about three Guatemalan brothers who, upon the death of their grandfather, lead their family’s Day of the Dead celebrations.
In Guatemala, there is a village called Santiago Sacatepéquez. It is a very small but famous place because once a year, on the Day of the Dead, the people of Santiago fly some of the biggest kites in the world. As large as seven meters (twenty-three feet) in diameter, they fill the sky over the cemetery with brilliant colors.
Juan and his brothers always helped their grandfather build the kite for the Day of the Dead. But this year the boys must carry on the tradition on their own. This fascinating book shows us the village of Santiago and tells us Juan’s story as he gathers the materials, builds the kite and, finally, flies it with the help of his friends.
Elisa Amado is a Guatemalan-born author and translator who once flew one of the barriletes of Santiago. She has written Cousins (Primas) and Tricycle (El triciclo), which is on the Américas Award Commended List and is a USBBY Outstanding International Book. Her most recent book, What Are You Doing? (illustrated by Manuel Monroy), has received stellar reviews. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Joya Hairs, who lived in Guatemala for thirty years, is a renowned photographer. She visited Santiago Sacatepéquez many times to visit the kite makers. This book was photographed in the 1970s, before the civil war that resulted in the deaths of many Maya.