What to wear, what to wear?
The age-old lament takes on a different nuance as Catrina la catrina, a fashionista of the skeletal sort, desperately searches through her ancient trunk for an outfit befitting her station. Catrina tosses out pinching high heels, a sangria-stained disappointment, a moth-eaten creation, and even some blue high-water palazzos. Nothing is good enough to make her stand out at the Day of the Dead ball. Missing buttons, rumpled lace, what is she to do? Finally, the cranky catrina finds just the thing! So what if a few pearls have gone astray and the sequins blink dully—Catrina has never seen a dress so divine. De Alvarado’s tribute to José Guadalupe Posada’s iconic catrina successfully captures the dressing-for-a-party frenzy even as readers occasionally trip over uneven rhyme schemes and awkward meters, both in her original Spanish text and the uncredited English translation.“Tiene encajes torcidos y polvorientos, / enredados entre perlas finas, / lentejuelas descocidas y canutillo mullido.” Similarly, “Inside the chest, there’s still more to discover: / a nightmarish necklace and earrings so peculiar. / She puts them on, takes a look in the mirror / and exclaims, ‘Darn, I sure cut a fine figure.’ ” However, Navarro’s cocky catrina steals the show. With the perfect touch of the macabre, la divina Catrina expresses consternation and delight as her frantic search for the perfect outfit progresses.
Joins a growing selection for Dia storytimes.
(Picture book. 4-8)
Pub Date: today
Page Count: 32
Publisher: Piñata Books/Arté Público
Review Posted Online: Sept. 1, 2020
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2020