About the Book
Long, long, long ago, Bella and her grandmother Mamá Alma admired their vegetable garden. They liked gardening together. They grew sunflowers and lilies too, and chatted with lizards and hummingbirds. They walked around the flowers and vegetables holding hands, something they had done frequently since Bella was a baby. As her grandmother aged, Bella helped her to walk. “Every year, I need your help more and more,” said Mamá Alma.
Sitting on their favorite rock, they remembered how Mamá Alma carried Bella to show her the sun and everything that grew in its powerful rays: trees, cacti, corn and flowers. The oldest and wisest woman in the village, she taught her granddaughter to sing, tell stories and weave. Mamá Alma is pleased that Bella has become the best healer in the village, the one everyone comes to for help with a sick bird or a stomach ache. Mamá Alma tells her granddaughter to remember their happy times together and to plan an annual “remembering day,” a special time to think about her when she is gone.
In this special bilingual picture book for children, acclaimed author Pat Mora creates an origin myth in which she imagines how the Mexican custom of remembering deceased loved ones—El día de los muertos or the Day of the Dead—came to be. With tender illustrations by Robert Casilla that depict Bella and Mamá Alma’s loving relationship, this book will encourage children to honor loved ones, whether by writing stories and poems or creating their own remembering place.