What could be a better gift than the gift of inspiring kids to read. If your kids loved Disney•Pixar’s Coco, or even if they haven’t seen it yet, these books inspired on the movie will make for a fantastic gift!
People are already calling Disney•Pixar’s Coco the best movie of the year. With spectacular visuals and music Coco is a true celebration of Mexican culture but above everything Coco is a heartwarming story of family and about following your passion.
Having had the amazing opportunity to attend a press junket at the Disney • Pixar studios a few months ago I have shared a few blog posts about Coco and about how much this movie means for Latino families like mine. But culture aside, Coco is one of those movies that reminds us why we love to go to the movie theater; we want to be transported to a magical and unique world and forget about our everyday troubles while being reminded how important it is to appreciate those things that we love. Coco is a movie about the importance of family and about finding yourself by looking at your past and at your roots. Coco’s story is not only heartwarming but fun, exciting and surprising filled with unexpected twists that keep you entertained and delighted. Pixar has truly created a masterpiece in Coco and this is without a doubt the best film I’ve seen all year. The best part was that I got to share it with my family and that my kids loved it too. They loved it so much that we wanted to bring the magic of Coco home and dive into Miguel’s story even deeper and what better way to do that than through a book?!
Coco: Miguel y la Gran Armonía
This picture book brings together the amazing writing of award-winning author Matt de la Peña and Pixar artist Ana Ramírez. The book features a beautifully written original story inspired by the Disney • Pixar movie Coco. There is an English version (Miguel and the grand harmony) as well as this Spanish version.
We chose the Spanish version as a way to motivate my kids to read more in Spanish and I was delighted not only with De la Peña’s beautiful writing and story but with the gorgeous illustrations by Ramirez. Although this is a picture book the story, written in a fun and engaging way, this book is best suited for kids 5 years and older. I enjoyed the style in which it was written and so did my kids who are 10 and 12.
Miguel y la gran armonía is a story told from the point of view of La Música, music herself. La Música exists in many places from the tunes coming out of a guitar in the plaza to the whistle of the wind or the morning bird’s song. In the town of Santa Cecilia, where Miguel lives, La Música is everywhere and it connects people in a great harmony. When La Música meets Miguel she realizes that she must help him realize his dream so she enlists the help of Dante to help Miguel find his passion.
This is a great book to read to younger kids who know Spanish and a ideal book for Spanish readers who are at an intermediate or high level of Spanish, no matter what their age. I really enjoyed the book myself and want to read it again.
There is also a version in English: Miguel and the Great Harmony for those who do not know Spanish.
Coco: A Story About Music, Shoes and Family
Inspired by Pixar Animation Studios’ latest film, Coco, this middle-grade novel retells the story of Miguel’s magical adventure into the Land of the Dead.
Both of my kids, who are 9 and 12 loved the book and really enjoyed being able to get inside Miguel’s head and learn a little bit more about how he feels and what he thinks through the book. Readers will also gain more perspective about some of the characters and the book also shares some more subtle details that could have been missed in the film and that help make a stronger connection and make it easier to understand some details of Miguel’s family story.
Like the film you will find may English words swapped for Spanish word in the character’s dialogue which is ideal for bilingual readers or kids who are learning Spanish. For my kids, this made the story and the characters much more relatable as we often use Spanglish at home too! If your child doesn’t know any Spanish most of these words can be induced by the context but it would be a good idea to have a Spanish-English dictionary on hand (or have the kids google the words to get the English translations).
I really liked the design cover, inspired on papel picado, which is also used in the film’s prologue. The book includes a family tree at the beginning and another one at the end. If kids haven’t seen the movie make sure they don’t peek at the family tree at the end of the book as it contains a major spoiler. The book’s chapters are designed in a way that clearly differentiates those parts of the story happening in the Land of the Living and the parts happening in the Land of the Dead. The pages of the chapters that happened in the World of the Living have marigold yellow borders and each chapter begins with a papel picado which features Dante, while those that take place in the Land of the Dead have a blue border and the beginning of the chapter features a papel picado design with Miguel in skull makeup.
Coco Read-Along Storybook and CD
If your kids liked the movie Coco they will love this read-along book. The book includes a CD and it’s ideal for younger kids to read along with. The story is narrated by actress Tammy Trull and combines the voices from the animated film’s actors including Benjamin Bratt as Ernesto de la Cruz and Anthony Gonzalez as Miguel, along with many others.
Hearing the narration and listening to the voices from the characters and the sound effects really brings this story to life. The book includes a very condensed but complete story line of the movie so if you have not watched the movie yet beware because the ending does contain some unexpected twists and you might not want to spoil the movie.
Coco is centered around family and music plays a very important part of the story so it is great that the CD also includes the song “Remember Me”. After reading along with the CD we really want to buy the CD with all of the music from the movie!
This book is ideal for beginner readers. Reading along with the CD makes it easy and fun, especially if your kids are already fans of the Coco movie.