Día de Muertos & Alebrijes Book Signing and Family Workshop

Día de Muertos & Alebrijes Book Signing and Family Workshop

Celebrate Día de Muertos and learn to draw alebrijes with illustrator Hazel Quintanilla.

Book cover of Alebrijes (2023).

The Academy Museum Education and Retail teams invite families to meet Lil’ Libros illustrator and artist Hazel Quintanilla as she shares her newest book, Alebrijes (2023).

Hazel will be guiding families in how to draw an alebrije. Alebrijes are spirit guides that are a mix of animals. Alebrijes are represented in Mexican folk art as vibrant, fantastical creatures. Their role is to guide people through their lives and care for them after they are deceased. They have increasingly become part of Día de Muertos celebrations.

In the animated Disney film about Día de Muertos/ Day of the Dead, Coco (2017), alebrijes are “spirit animals” that guide the spirits of ancestors on their journey.

After the drawing workshop, Hazel will sign copies of Alebrijes, which will be available for purchase onsite in the Shirley Temple Education Studio.

In addition to the book signing and workshop, we encourage visitors to attend our Animation gallery on the third level of the museum to see a montage of animated clips, including one from Coco. The film features a large alebrija named Pepita. Pepita is a brightly colored mixture of animals with ram’s horns, a lizard tail, eagle feet, wings, and a jaguar’s face.

A separate museum admission ticket is required to visit the galleries. Children 17 and under are free.

Drawing workshop. Learn how to draw an alebrije with illustrator Hazel Quintanilla.

Book signing and continued art making.

If you have any questions, or need assistance planning your visit, please email museumeducation@oscars.org.

Hazel Quintanilla has been drawing since she was little, and used to carry a pencil and a small notebook in a furry bear-face purse that her mom bought for her. She also carried cheese cubes in it (ewww!). When she grew up, she decided to follow her passion and studied graphic design, followed by an MA where she specialized in illustration. She has produced work for numerous brands, magazines, and books, illustrating over a hundred children's books published in the United States and worldwide. Hazel loves animals, pjs, and her iPad, on which she produces most of her art. She’s the proud mom of nine dogs, really loves her job, and enjoys putting the bold colors and cute shapes living in her mind onto paper.

Lil’ Libros was founded by two mothers, Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein, who saw that there was a shortage of bilingual books for children. Their mission became to introduce bilingualism and Latin American culture through children’s board books. Lil’ Libros was created to inspire parents to read to their children and encourage them to do so in two languages. They believe children’s books are seeds that when nourished allow for a child to turn their dreams into reality. Their goal is to make the world a better place by providing authentic stories that promote inclusivity and love!

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