The Ofrenda That We Built


It’s Día de Muertos—the Day of the Dead—and the family ofrenda is at the center of the celebration! Inspired by the popular nursery rhyme “The House That Jack Built,” The Ofrenda That We Built invites readers to join in the building of a colorful ofrenda, a home altar full of meaningful symbols, one special element at a time.

Día de Muertos is an intergenerational holiday with deep familial love at its heart. And nowhere are these moving themes more evident than in the cultural practice of building an ofrenda together! Told in warm and welcoming rhyme, with beautiful, immersive illustrations, this joyful picture book is perfect for celebrating Día de Muertos each autumn—and for remembering loved ones all year round.

Art direction and design by Sandy Frank

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★ “Gutiérrez’s rhythmic, cumulative story is a natural read-aloud, gathering momentum as the family snips colored paper into graceful papel picado, collects treasured mementos, and prepares their abuelo’s favorite food. A few Spanish words are seamlessly woven into the narrative, intuitively deciphered by context. Zapata’s digitally rendered illustrations are warm and vibrant, mirroring the sensorial experience a traditional ofrenda offers. . . . A rich, rhythmic ode celebrating Día de Muertos, this read-aloud is recommended for all school and public library holiday collections.” —School Library Journal (starred review)

“Adhering to the structure of “This Is the House That Jack Built,” mother-daughter authors Gutiérrez compose a warmly rendered rhyming poem, in English and Spanish, about a family preparing for Día de los Muertos. . . . Bright digital illustrations by Zapata impart joy through the actions of the Latinx-cued family in this inviting work.” —Publishers Weekly

“The bouncy verse scans well, accompanied by richly hued visuals depicting a loving, brown-skinned family taking part in the festivities. . . . A lively and illuminating look at a holiday tradition.” —Kirkus Reviews

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