The Ofrenda That We Built – Chronicle Books
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The Ofrenda That We Built

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Jolene Gutiérrez , Shaian Gutiérrez , Gabby Zapata
Learn about and celebrate the Day of the Dead! With warmth and energy, this spirited picture book is a joyful ode to family traditions and the memory of loved ones who have passed but whom we continue to remember.It is Día de Muerto...
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Learn about and celebrate the Day of the Dead! With warmth and energy, this spirited picture book is a joyful ode to family traditions and the memory of loved ones who have passed but whom we continue to remember.

It is Día de Muertos—the Day of the Dead—and the family ofrenda is at the center of the celebration! Inspired by the popular nursery rhyme “The House That Jack Built,” The Ofrenda That We Built invites readers to join in the building of a colorful ofrenda, a home altar full of symbols and meaning, one special element at a time.

This is truly an intergenerational holiday with deep familial love at its heart. Readers will recognize these moving and universal themes in the hands-on activity of building an ofrenda together, an accessible way of learning more about other cultures and celebrations. Told in warm and welcoming rhyme, with beautiful, immersive illustrations, this is a delight for readers of all backgrounds to enjoy when the holiday arrives each autumn or any time of year that calls for remembrance and connection with loved ones.

LA FAMILIA IS LOVE: Every element of the ofrenda speaks to a tradition of togetherness and the enduring importance of community. Combining the poignancy of the past with love in the present, those celebrating Día de Muertos also make a promise to be a part of one another’s futures. 

CELEBRATES THE CIRCLE OF LIFE: LikePixar’s Coco, this is a joyful celebration of Día de Muertos, which encourages us to see death as a natural and necessary part of the circle of life to embrace rather than to fear. With an emphasis on remembering the lives of our loved ones with joy, this holiday makes room for both collective grief and collective celebration—a powerful (and always timely) perspective on the nature of being alive that will resonate with children and adults alike.

SPIRITED READ ALOUD: Pairing poetic text full of repetition, rhyme, and evocative description with bright, engaging illustrations, this story is just right for group and lap-reads, sure to appeal to booksellers, teachers, and librarians as well as parents and caregivers.

Perfect for:
  • Anyone who celebrates or wants to know more about Día de Muertos
  • Parents, grandparents, and caregivers looking for unique fall books for kids
  • Fans of multicultural picture books
  • Gift-givers seeking heartfelt picture books about family and celebration
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 48
Size: 11 x 9 h
Publication Date: 08/06/2024
ISBN: 9781797215624

Jolene Gutiérrez grew up on a farm surrounded by animals, plants, and history. She is an award-winning teacher-librarian and has been working with neurodivergent learners at Denver Academy since 1995. She lives with her family in Denver, Colorado, and is the author of several books for children. This is Jolene's first co-written book, and she's overjoyed that she was able to create it with her daughter, Shaian. You can find her at
Shaian Gutiérrez's family is from Jalostotitlán, Jalisco, in Mexico, and she loves to show her appreciation for her Mexican roots through her work, whether it's writing, creating art, or cooking. In 2022, she graduated from Colorado College with a double major in art and Hispanic studies, earning a distinction in Spanish after presenting two theses and winning a grant to create art abroad about Mexican collective identity. You can find her on Instagram at @_art_by_shai_.
Gabby Zapata is an artist from Los Angeles, California, of Mexican and Colombian descent. She is a character designer and visual development artist for both feature animation and television. She has worked for various studios, including Disney, Paramount, Nickelodeon, Pixar, and DreamWorks. You can find her at

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