S. & S. Aug. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534499638.
PreS-Gr 3–The Pura Belpré award-winning team shares a new story about the deep, familiar pain of losing a pet and the natural, continuous circle of life and death. In this hauntingly beautiful text, a family memorializes their dog through the cultural practice of creating an ofrenda and sharing memories of their dearly departed protector on Día de Muertos. “The house seems empty without you here. So our family fills it with photos and stories until we feel like you are near.” Through remembering, the family builds an altar with offerings to guide the spirit of their beloved friend home to them. The gorgeously illustrated movement of swirling spirit and marigold petals fills the pages. Garcia portrays heartfelt scenes with acrylic paint on paper, inspired by photos of real-life pet friends, with the living pictures inching outside of the frame as their memories continue to live on. Back matter explains to readers how to construct their own ofrenda for remembering loved ones.
VERDICT This poetic text with opulent illustrations is worthy of accolades.

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