Project Description


Clatter Bash!

by Richard Keep

Get ready for a rollicking Day of the Dead celebration! Graveyard skeletons shake, rattle, and roll as a Mexican family marks the annual Day of the Dead holiday.

★ “[A] zesty look at a special night.” ―School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW

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. An illustrated afterword gives information about the customs associated with el Día de los Muertos, a Mexican celebration of honoring relatives who have passed on.

Children’s Choices ―International Reading Association/Children’s Book Council
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―National Council for the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council

Format: Paperback
Price: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-461-7
Publication Date: 9/1/2008
Page Count: 32
Size: 9 ̎ x 10 ̎
Age Range: 4 – 8
Language: English
F&P: LB, Gr Pre-K, Genre F
Themes: Celebrations, Day of the Dead, Traditions
BISAC 1: JUV030100 JUVENILE FICTION / People & Places/Mexico
BISAC 2: JUV017090 JUVENILE FICTION / Holidays & Celebrations/Other, Religious
BISAC 3: JUV013030 JUVENILE FICTION / Family/Multigenerational


“[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, STARRED REVIEW

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


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

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People ―National Council for the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council, 2005

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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 North Carolina. You can visit his website here.