Written by Elisa Amado
Illustrated by Joya Hairs
Publication Date August 01, 2012
In Guatemala, there is a village called Santiago Sacatepéquez. It is a very small but famous place because once a year, on the Day of the Dead, the people of Santiago fly some of the biggest kites in the world. As large as seven meters (twenty-three feet) in diameter, they fill the sky over the cemetery with brilliant colors.
Juan and his brothers always helped their grandfather build the kite for the Day of the Dead. But their grandfather has recently died, and the boys must carry on the tradition on their own. This beautifully photographed book shows us the village of Santiago and tells us Juan’s story as he gathers the materials, builds the kite and, finally, flies it with the help of his friends.
Elisa Amado is a Guatemalan-born author and translator. She has written Un barrilete para el Día de los muertos / Barrilete: A Kite for the Day of the Dead, Cousins (Primas) and Tricycle (El triciclo), which is on the Américas Award Commended List and is a USBBY Outstanding International Book. Her most recent books are What Are You Doing? and Why Are You Doing That?. Elisa lives in Toronto, Ontario.
Joya Hairs, who lived in Guatemala for thirty years, is a renowned photographer. She visited Santiago Sacatepéquez many times to visit the kite makers. This book was photographed in the 1970s, before the civil war that resulted in the deaths of many Maya. She lives in Jamaica.