Skulls and skeletons

LIHUE –  Two years ago around Halloween time, Monika Mira came up with an idea fit for the season.

“I said to my son, ‘Let’s do a Day of the Dead party,’” she said. 

So they did.

She gave the children sugar skull drawings to color and they went nuts over them. It inspired her to create a coloring book. Included in it is a life-sized, four-foot skeleton that can be torn out. 

The skeleton idea again came from a later Halloween party for her son. 

“I buried the skeleton in a mock graveyard outside and I had the kids dig through piles of leaves in the yard to find the pieces. Then the kids brought the pieces inside to assemble it,” the Kalaheo mom, educator and conservationist said.

The title of her coloring book: “The Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Coloring Book.”

“It’s exciting because it reached number five on the hot new releases on the site,” Mira said. 

The book features 10 original sugar skull coloring pages and one blank skull template that can be customized.

The back of each page is left blank so that the artist can tear out the pages and use them to string banners, decorate an alter, make masks, or for cultural activities in classroom settings. 

The skeleton takes up about 10 pages of the book and can be colored in, cut out and assembled by a child. All the major bones of the skeleton are labeled, and can be used for anatomy lessons.

Mira is a member of the Kauai Children’s Authors Guild and an award-winning Kauai illustrator.

Since the coloring book was released in early September it has sold a couple hundred copies on at the price of $6.99 each.   

Her previous coloring book, available only in Kauai stores is titled, “The Complete Hawaiian Reef Fish Coloring Book.”


Lisa Ann Capozzi, a features and education reporter can be reached at


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