Project Description

Clatter Bash

Clatter Bash!

by Richard Keep

Graveyard skeletons shake, rattle, and roll in this spirited Day of the Dead celebration featuring bold and colorful cut-paper illustrations.

¡Hola! ¡Hola! Hey! ¡Qué fiesta! Yay!

At dusk on the holiday known as Day of the Dead, a Mexican family has set out fiesta offerings in the graveyard in hopes that departed loved ones may return to visit. The playful skeletons rise from their graves to celebrate with gusto. All night long, they sing, dance, dine, tell stories, and play games. As morning approaches, they give thanks to the stars for their night of fun, tidy up after themselves, and leave no trace of their “clatter bash” behind as they return to their coffins until next year’s Day of the Dead.

Author-illustrator Richard Keep’s rollicking rhyme—sprinkled with Spanish words—captures the bone-rattling sounds and fun of the evening. His vivid cut-paper art is sure to raise the spirits of young readers without frightening them. A two-page illustrated afterword gives factual information about el Día de los Muertos, the reverent but fun celebration honoring relatives who have passed on, and the special rituals, images, foods, and customs associated with this joyful Mexican celebration.

Paperback: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-461-7
Total Pages: 32
Size: 9 x 10
Language: English
F&P (Fountas & Pinnell)
F&P Level: LB
F&P Grade: Pre-K


“…[a] zesty look at a special night… The joy on the characters’ skeletal faces and in their excited movements is apparent as is their love of the lives they had. Small skeletons remind readers that even children are among the dead, and the beautiful details of the various aspects of the celebration reflect its Mexican roots. An afterword explains the holiday and its customs. This will be a popular title in Mexican-American communities and an eye-opener for others.” ―School Library Journal

“Clatter Bash! not only offers a wonderful opportunity for cultural education, but also a reason to explore the topic of death. In fact, its upbeat tone and picture would likely bring comfort to those mourning the loss of a loved one.” ―Janet Boyer blog


Children’s Choices ―International Reading Association/Children’s Book Council 2005

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―NCSS/CBC 2005

You May Also Like

Meet the Author/Illustrator

Richard Keep is the author-illustrator of several children’s books, including Clatter Bash! and A Thump from Upstairs. He lives in Mexico. You can visit his website here.