Book Review: All the Stars Denied by Guadalupe Garcia McCall

 

Review by Katrina Ortega

DESCRIPTION OF THE BOOK (from Lee & Low Books): In the heart of the Great Depression, Rancho Las Moras, like everywhere else in Texas, is gripped by the drought of the Dust Bowl, and resentment is building among white farmers against Mexican Americans. All around town, signs go up proclaiming “No Dogs or Mexicans” and “No Mexicans Allowed.”

When Estrella organizes a protest against the treatment of tejanos in their town of Monteseco, Texas, her whole family becomes a target of “repatriation” efforts to send Mexicans “back to Mexico” –whether they were ever Mexican citizens or not. Dumped across the border and separated from half her family, Estrella must figure out a way to survive and care for her mother and baby brother. How can she reunite with her father and grandparents and convince her country of birth that she deserves to return home?

There are no easy answers in the first YA book to tackle this hidden history. In a companion novel to her critically acclaimed Shame the Stars, Guadalupe Garcia McCall tackles the hidden history of the United States and its first mass deportation event that swept up hundreds of thousands of Mexican American citizens during the Great Depression.

 

Image result for no dogs or mexicans

 

MY TWO CENTS: The one thing not lacking in All the Stars Denied is very intense, often life-or-death, drama. Guadalupe Garcia McCall presents readers with historically accurate situations and characters and environments that many readers may connect with deeply. The story is also full of incredibly high stakes, and ultimately can be read as a coming-of-age story.

All the Stars Denied is fast-paced, and readers hit the ground running with Garcia McCall’s high-stakes, dramatic writing. Estrella Del Toro’s family’s story, particularly that of her parents, is spelled out more clearly in Shame the Stars. The story takes place in the Rio Grande valley, an area of Texas where Mexican-American or Tejano (Mexican-Americans born in Texas) identity is often built into every capacity of life. As Estrella illustrates early in the story, language in an area like Monteseco is fluid, with people switching from English to Spanish easily, as their Mexican and American identities interact. Estrella organizes her protest to show the injustices shown to people born on American soil but of (sometimes very distant) Mexican descent. This not only recognizes that, though the people of her town are U.S. citizens, their ethnicity and culture bring their citizenship into question. This also demonstrates the inseparability of ethnicity and culture of many people in Latinx communities in the U.S.

Garcia McCall’s attention to these details is especially critical in today’s political and social climate. She demonstrates how intertwined the lives of many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans are, and how similar the cultures continue to be throughout the United States. Through this, Garcia McCall exemplifies the extensive presence, scrutiny, and discrimination that Mexicans and Mexican-Americans have had in the United States for many decades.

Garcia McCall also addresses class issues in her book; readers take a close look at the disparities between economic and social classes through Estrella’s experience as a repatriate. The reader gets the impression that the family is quite comfortable in Monteseco and holds both economic and social prestige in their community. During the repatriation process, though, Estrella is thrust into the very real experience of those who do not have the economic means to save themselves from unfair judicial processes. She, along with her mother and younger brother, experience a disarmament of sorts, where anything they might have been able to use to help their cause is denied to them. Throughout their journey, Estrella’s mother tries to soften the blows of their newfound economic hardship, reminding Estrella that much of what they experience is the norm for populations more socially or economically disadvantaged than they are. Estrella learns to appreciate their newfound situation, humbles herself, and works with her mother in any way she can to make sure their family survives another day.

The points made above all contribute to the way in which All the Stars Denied is a Bildungsroman, a coming of age story about a young girl who grows exponentially as a person because of the difficult, unjust, and discriminatory situations she experiences. Estrella repeatedly looks to her family for direction through her father’s journals, her mother’s sage advice, and her grandmother’s memory, and she uses her own journal to express her thoughts and emotions. Even still, and regardless of her young age, Estrella takes a leadership role throughout the narrative. The reader can see Estrella’s development by the way that she creates plans and ideas. Though her proposals might be half-baked, Estrella’s consistently trying to help her mother, putting herself in positions to listen and learn from others to the great benefit of her family. While Estrella’s outspokenness might arguably lead to more scrutiny upon her family, her growing courage – and her notorious tenacity – assist her family in so many different ways and helps her to become a person that not only her family can be proud of, but one that she can be proud of herself.

 

Mexican and Mexican-American families wait to board Mexico-bound trains in Los Angeles on March 8, 1932. County officials arranged these mass departures as part of “repatriation campaigns,” fueled by fears that Mexicans and Mexican-Americans were taking scarce jobs and government assistance during the Great Depression.
Los Angeles Public Library/Herald Examiner Collection. Posted on NPR’s website 2015.

 

TEACHING TIPS: In All the Stars Denied, as in Shame the Stars, Garcia McCall shows readers why Mexican American studies is an incredibly important part of any school curriculum, but especially in areas of the country where a majority of the population either comes from or is descended from Latinx countries. Both books stand on their own. By reading both novels, the reader learns about a slice of history not often taught, and is able to do so in both a macro- and microscopic way. In All the Stars Denied, readers see the damage that Mexican Repatriation did to entire communities in cities across the country, as well as to individuals and their families. The life-and-death stakes were real, and this book is an excellent way to introduce not only the chaos caused by terrible discrimination in general, but specifically the destruction caused by unjust immigration laws and xenophobia.

The novel can also teach about the economic hardships experienced around the country as a result of the Great Depression. Much of what Estrella’s family faces during their time in limbo is a result of their lack of monetary resources, but also the lack felt by both the U.S. and Mexico.

Though not the only two teaching tips in the book, these points can easily be used to jump into more contemporary conversations, looking at ways in which present day immigration laws and current economic policies create waves of hardship experienced by many already disenfranchised communities. The resources that Garcia McCall includes in the appendices give excellent background information that is accessible and of significant interest to both youth and adult historians interested in learning about this piece of concealed history.

Posted on Lee & Low Books’ websiteJacqueline Stallworth, curriculum consultant and professional developer, created a guide featuring All the Stars Denied for the “Putting Books to Work” panel at the International Literacy Association (ILA) conference. Check out this guide to find out about tips and strategies for how to use All the Stars Denied alongside other great texts in your classroom.

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from Lee & Low Books): Guadalupe Garcia McCall was born in Mexico and moved to Texas as a young girl, keeping close ties with family on both sides of the border. Trained in Theater Arts and English, she now teaches English/Language Arts at a junior high school. Her poems for adults have appeared in more than twenty literary journals. McCall is an up-and-coming talent whose debut YA novel, Under the Mesquite, won the Pura Belpré Award and was named a Morris Award finalist. McCall lives with her husband and their three sons in the San Antonio, Texas, area. You can find her online at guadalupegarciamccall.com.

 

 

 

FullSizeRenderABOUT THE REVIEWER: Katrina Ortega (M.L.I.S.) is the Young Adult Librarian at the Hamilton Grange Branch of the New York Public Library. Originally from El Paso, Texas, she has lived in New York City for six years. She is a strong advocate of continuing education (in all of its forms) and is very interested in learning new ways that public libraries can provide higher education to all. She is also very interested in working with non-traditional communities in the library, particularly incarcerated and homeless populations. While pursuing her own higher education, she received two Bachelors of Arts degrees (in English and in History), a Masters of Arts in English, and a Masters of Library and Information Sciences. Katrina loves reading most anything, but particularly loves literary fiction, YA novels, and any type of graphic novel or comic. She’s also an Anglophile when it comes to film and TV, and is a sucker for British period pieces. In her free time, if she’s not reading, Katrina loves to walk around New York, looking for good places to eat.

Forgive Me My Bluntness: I’m a Writer of Color and I’m Right Here In Front of You: I’m the One Sitting Alone at the Table

By René Saldaña, Jr.

I’ve avoided writing this piece long enough. Number one reason is that politically I’m a conservative, and the last thing I want to do is to appear as though I’m playing the race card. Which I’m not, though it might look like it. Doing so’s a cheap and underhanded thing to do. So I don’t. Second reason: what I’m tossing out there can be dangerous to my career as a writer, I’ve been told, because of who I’m aiming it at: the very folks who buy my books, or won’t due to my brazenness: librarians and fellow educators, my bread and butter. (I trust in the educator, though, enough to know that if we are about anything we are about growth through honest self-reflection; it’s my hope that this piece will serve as a catalyst for such). Third reason: during my own reflection over the last couple of years, mulling over whether I should or shouldn’t put this observation to paper, one of the cons was that maybe it’s just sour grapes I’m dishing. Ultimately, it’s not. Not even just a little.

My sincere desire is to talk from the heart, to share this heavy load I’ve been carrying, and to reciprocate. I’ll do my part to take on the equally heavy burden librarians and educators have been carrying for far too long. To, arm in arm, move in a direction upward when we’re talking about race, in particular race in children’s and YA publishing, a hot topic to be sure.

8334361Let me tell you a story: I’m attending a librarians’ convention. I’ve been asked to sit on a panel or two, and at this point in my story I’ve met those obligations. Like happens at these functions, as a writer with a new book under my belt (best I can remember it’s A Good Long Way published by Piñata Books, an imprint of Arte Público Press), I’m also committed to sit for an hour at a table to sign copies of my latest. This is a very awkward thing for me to do. I really don’t like this part of my job. I mean, really, who am I? I’m not a top-tier author, and so I realize I won’t get the throngs of fans begging for my signature. (I found this out while sitting at another table, this one in D.C. at the National Book Festival in 2005, and I happened to be sitting next to Mary Pope Osborne, whose line was unimaginably long; I had to ask my wife, who was pushing our son in a stroller, and my sister-in-law to act as my line). Talk about eating humble pie. I get it. If a couple of teachers or librarians line up for my signature I count myself the most fortunate writer in the world. This time is no different from other times. I’m resolved to sit my time out, and if I get that librarian or two, I’ll make it a point to let them know how lucky I am to meet them.

I truly feel that way. My love for libraries and librarians goes back a long, long way. Back to when I was checking out the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Little House on the Prairie during my elementary school years, and later books on UFOs, lost treasures, and the book that kept me in the reading act, Piri Thomas’s Stories from El Barrio during middle school, and throughout high school and college, to this day even, visiting our public library with my children. Along with my parents and a small handful of teachers, I owe librarians the bulk of my reading life. This is why, in the end, I feel I need to write this essay: I owe librarians dearly.

So, back to the story: I’m sitting there with Arte Público’s representative, and I do get the one or two curious librarians who ask about my work. I could tell them that I’ve published three other books with Random House, that I’ve published several short stories in several anthologies edited by Gallo, Springer, and Scieszka, but I don’t. The only book that matters to me is the one I just published. It’s my favorite book. Not my favorite because it is my most recent. It’s really and truly my favorite of all the titles I’ve published to date. I love A Good Long Way for so many reasons, but that’s the stuff for another essay. These librarians are kind and buy a copy for their collections, are already thinking of which students will benefit from this book most (and it’s not just Latino kids they’re telling me about).

From the time I sat, I’ve taken notice of the author two tables down from me. I actually just presented with her. Undeniably a rock star in the field. The kind of author for whom I’d stand in line to get her autograph. I know her personally, too. She’s a genuinely awesome person. I’ve used her work in my graduate adolescent lit classes. My students love her. I understand why these librarians are in line to get her signature and for a chance at a word or two, maybe a picture if time allows.

What I don’t get, though, is that not a one of these librarians in this other author’s line chances to look up in my direction, not that I can tell from my time at the table, anyhow. Not a one notices that just two tables down is another writer, one of color, a conversation that has been pushed to the fore recently? The Myers’ father and son team each wrote brilliant editorials for the New York Times (in the middle of me writing and rewriting this piece, wouldn’t you know it? The world of children’s and YA writing is shaken to the foundation at the news of Walter Dean Myers’ death and among his last acts was to force us to have this difficult conversation, so thanks to him). Others like Monica Olivera have added to that conversation in a blogpost on NBC Latino, The folks over at Lee & Low have ably challenged us to consider the state of children’s and YA publishing regarding race. Lee & Low on Twitter, especially, has rocked that boat. But it was a discussion we were having back then, too. Albeit mostly amongst ourselves, we writers and publishers and teachers and librarians of color. So it’s been brewing a long enough time.

So, what I’ve heard librarians say over the last decade and a half on my visits is that there are so many Latino children, and how unfortunate that there are so few Latino authors publishing books for them. “Just look at how excited these kids get,” they tell me, “to find one of their own publishing books.” It’s true, they do get excited to meet writers of color; I’ve seen it with my own eyes, heard it with my own ears. As a side note: I’ve also seen kids jump for joy at meeting white authors.

Can you tell I’m purposely going off on rabbit trails? I’m avoiding getting to the point again.

But whatever. There’s an urgency. We need to get beyond this hurdle. We need to courageously speak about race. Confront it head on. We’re told this also by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in one of his early speeches at the outset of his work for the Obama administration. We must face our shortcomings if we are to get to that place Dr. King dared us to dream about alongside him.

Anyway, these librarians have told me that there is so little of this material, and what there is of it is so hard to find.

Okay, I’m jumping in, confronting, being courageous, mostly trusting my readers to know I’m out for all our best interests, and especially for those we serve, our students: so,

NO! this material is not hard to find.

Simply look up and two tables down from where you’re standing, there I am. At that point in my career I’ve got some six books to my name. There. I. Am.

And if you think I’m an idiot, especially now that I’m telling you this, then do this other thing and you’ll know I’m right: walk up and down those aisles that usually are nowhere near the major publishers, the ones relegated to the edges of the main floor. They’re the small, independent presses. The outliers, in so many ways. You’ll know them because they’re the ones who don’t give out ARCs or free copies of books. Not because they don’t want to but because it’s not in their budgets to do so. Take 20 minutes per stall, look through their catalogues, their titles. For goodness’ sakes, talk to the reps, who are usually the publishers and editors themselves (when it’s not both of them, it’s either Bobby or Lee Byrd of Cinco Puntos Press manning their booth), and these reps will explain clearly what they have for you and your readers. They’re eager, as eager as you and I, to help all children reach their reading potential. Next, buy from them directly. Come ready with cash, checks, or cards. They’ll take any method of payment.

I’m not saying that the Bigs don’t publish authors of color. They obviously do. Random House has me and several other Latinos on their list. So has Dial. Scholastic. Little, Brown. S&S. Etc. They publish Black writers, and Asian writers. The difference is, though, that the smaller presses focus all their attention on writers of color, so they are experts at it. Arte Público Press/Piñata Books is one. Another is Cinco Puntos Press out of El Paso (of Sammy and Juliana in Hollywood fame but before that a picture book titled The Story of Colors by Subcomandante Marcos with magnificent illustrations by Domitila Domínguez, a book I’ve yet to find shelved in the libraries I’ve visited, even in deep South Texas where the majority of the population is Latino, Mexican American, and Mexican to be exact). Lee & Low, that sometime ago acquired Children’s Book Press and that recently started Shen Books, a new imprint that “focuses on introducing young readers to the cultures of Asia,” is yet another. The list of them, admittedly short—nevertheless, these few presses publish nothing but books by and about people of color. For all readers, but in particular readers of color.

The books are there.

All you have to do is to look for them.

And when you think you’ve found them all, look again. Because we’re still writing the books, publishers big and small are still publishing them. All we need is for you to look and look and look again until you can’t look no more, which likely means you’ve retired and you’re no longer pushing books into kids hands formally. But a librarian is a librarian is a librarian. You’ll be giving books to kids any chance you get ’til the day you die.

This is why I know I can write a piece like this, harsh as it might seem: because you’re educators first and foremost. And you’ll forgive me my bluntness. But we are not the focal point of this conversation, our children are. So we are either proactive and talk and then do, or we stand in the way of the progress necessary. Let’s be the former.

Rene Saldana

René Saldaña, Jr., is the author of the bilingual picture book Dale, dale, dale: Una fiesta de números/Hit It, Hit It, Hit It: A Fiesta of Numbers. He’s an associate professor of Language and Literature in the College of Education at Texas Tech University in West Texas. He’s also the author of several books for young readers, among them The Jumping Tree, Finding Our Way: Stories, The Whole Sky Full of Stars, A Good Long Way, and the bilingual Mickey Rangel detective series. He can be reached at rene.saldana@sbcglobal.net.

Book Review: Moony Luna: Luna, Lunita Lunera by Jorge Argueta

1294182By Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez

DESCRIPTION FROM THE BOOK JACKET: Five-year-old Luna isn’t at all sure she wants to go to school. For all she knows, there might be monsters there. But when her loving parents assure her that she’ll have a wonderful time playing and learning, she agrees to give school a try. An understanding teacher and a group of friendly kids make Luna very, very glad she made the right decision. But what about the monsters?

MY TWO CENTS: Five year old Luna Lunita Lunera fears that she will meet monsters on her first day of school. Her adoring parents remind her that she is a big girl now, bigger than the moon, and that there is nothing to fear. She finds the courage she needs to get to school but decides that maybe school is not such a good idea after all. Again, her parents encourage her to find her big girl strength and take her to school. While there, Luna is still not convinced that there are no monsters at her school and hides under a table. Her fellow classmates look for her and ask her to come out and play. Luna joins them in all the singing and coloring and decides that maybe school is not so bad. At pick up, she tells her parents that there were no monsters at school and that tomorrow she will be bigger and stronger than the moon!

Author Jorge Argueta and illustrator Elizabeth Gomez give life to the most adorable character in Latin@ children’s literature. Together they have created an encouraging and loving story about a child’s fears about her first day of school. One of the fascinating aspects of this book is the multiple ways that Luna’s story is told. Because it’s a bilingual book, something that is very common among Latin@ children’s books, the story is told is Spanish and English. Simultaneously, Gomez’s illustration present an additional storyline–the “monster’s” first day of school. Gomez’s illustrations suggest that there is indeed a monster at school and that it is also afraid of its first day of school.

Another significant factor in this text is the positive representation of the parents. Luna’s mom and dad are present throughout this pivotal moment in her life. Her mother reads her a bed time story at night and her father braids her hair in the morning. And both of them go to pick her up. Their presence is extremely important because it challenges negative and harmful stereotypes about Latino parents taking a back seat in their child’s education. Such stereotypes are further challenged by allowing the character of the mother to be there to read Luna a bed time story.

Lastly, the promotion of bilingual education, seen through the offering of the story in Spanish and English and through the depiction of Luna’s classroom as a bilingual classroom with a Latina teacher, is extremely powerful. Given national attacks on bilingual education and budget cuts on such programs, Argueta and Gomez present a wonderful opportunity to advocate for bilingual and multicultural education. Overall, this book is a must read and must have because it’s way brilliant.

FOR MORE INFORMATION about Moony Luna: Luna, Lunita Lunervisit your local library or bookstore. Also check out worldcat.org, indiebound.org, goodreads.com, amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and Children’s Book Press/Lee & Low Books.

headshotSonia Alejandra Rodríguez has been an avid reader since childhood. Her literary world was first transformed when she read Rudolfo Anaya’s Bless me, Última as a high school student and then again as a college freshman when she was given a copy of Sandra Cisneros’s The House on Mango Street. Sonia’s academic life and activism are committed to making diverse literature available to children and youth of color. Sonia received her B.A. in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of California, Riverside, where she focuses her dissertation on healing processes in Latina/o Children’s and Young Adult Literature.

The Américas Book Award Winners, Honors, and Commendable Titles

Congratulations to the 2014 Américas Book Award Winner, Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore, published by Lee & Low Books. Below are also the Honor Books and Commendable Titles. Congratulations to all!!

17398961

 

Honorable mentions:

 14952858  15842628

 

Commended titles:

16280082  15814459  15937128  15791044  17270515  15818046  15798660

 

Book Review: Yum! ¡MmMm! ¡Qué Rico!: Americas’ Sproutings by Pat Mora

largeBy Sujei Lugo

DESCRIPTION FROM THE BOOK JACKET: Peanuts, blueberries, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, and more—here is a luscious collection of haiku celebrating foods native to the Americas. Brimming with imagination and fun, these poems capture the tasty essence of foods that have delighted, united, and enriched our lives for centuries. Exuberant illustrations bring to life the delicious spirit of the haiku, making Yum! ¡MmMm! ¡Qué Rico! an eye-popping, mouth-watering treat.

MY TWO CENTS: Beware: This book will make you feel hungry!

Through Pat Mora’s wonderful haikus (a traditional and very popular form of Japanese poetry) and Rafael López’s vivid illustrations, we are introduced to a wide variety of foods from the Americas. From blueberries and papaya, to pumpkin and vanilla, readers will have the opportunity to discover and learn about crops that have been growing in our lands for centuries.

Mora uses this opportunity to present us with 14 different types of foods accompanied by a haiku, an illustration, and an informational paragraph for each. This combination effectively makes this book a fun, poetic, and informational read. Mora’s short poems strive to capture the various feelings and sensory experiences we encounter when we eat and enjoy these foods. The informational paragraph provides us with the etymology, origin and uses for each food, and some of them even include national holidays across the region that celebrate them.

Even though food is the main character of the book, children and nature are presented throughout each page, as they interact with the food that is being discussed. Through cheerful and colorful illustrations, López supports Mora’s words with lively anthropomorphic foods, suns and moons, friendly animals, and picturesque landscapes. The book also embraces the real diversity of the Americas, giving us multiethnic and multiracial children and their families enjoying and being part of this magic realism journey of foods and words.

Among the food, colors, and haikus there is an important aspect that is constant throughout Yum! ¡Mmmm! ¡Qué rico!, although featured discreetly: a strong sense of how vital sharing is–sharing the land with nature, humans, and animals, as well as sharing the products of our land with others. It stresses the need to understand the importance of a non-exploitative relationship with nature and our role in taking care of our land. We can see this aspect clearly with López’s constant use of images of children and families, seen either eating or preparing food together, planting seeds, and picking crops, as well as images of nature watering our soil. There’s no doubt that this book will encourage children to eat fruit, vegetables, and other natural foods. At the same time, it will help them to recognize the work that needs to happen to enjoy those foods.

Yum! ¡Mmm! ¡Qué Rico! America’s Sproutings was the first collaboration between Pat Mora and Rafael López. Published in 2007, the book won several awards such as Bank Street Children’s Books of the Year (2008), Américas Award (2007) and American Library Association (ALA) Notable Books (2008). It was also included in the Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List (2008-2009), Great Lakes Great Books Award Master List (2008-2009) and ALA’s Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. 

TEACHING TIPS: The book works well for children in grades K-6. At home, kids can read it with adults and learn about haikus and how to incorporate some of the foods into their diet. They can do fun cooking activities, such as making fruit faces or fruit kabobs, and even make ice cream, like in this activity shared by the book’s publisher Lee and Low Books.

The content of the book provides librarians, teachers and educators the opportunity to create cross-curricular activities in subjects such as language arts, social studies, art, and health. Students may even become inspired by Pat Mora’s haikus and write their own pieces about the foods they’ve just learned about, and how they feel by eating them or sharing them. The book incorporates a few words in Spanish, such as luna and dulces, teaching children new words as well as showing them they can incorporate words in other languages in their writing. For activities related to social students, art, and health, Lee and Low Books provides a great classroom guide.

LEXILE: AD970L

AUTHOR & ILLUSTRATOR: Pat Mora (author) is a writer, speaker, multicultural literacy advocate, and founder of Día de los Niños/Día de los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day). A former teacher, university administrator and consultant, Mora has dedicated her life to spread her “bookjoy” to children and adults. She is the recipient of various awards and honors such as Honorary Doctorates from North Carolina State University and SUNY Buffalo, Kellogg National Leadership Fellowship, National Endowment of the Arts Poetry Fellowship, Civitella Ranieri Fellowship, Honorary Membership in the American Library Association, Lifetime Membership in the United States Board on Books for Young People and several Southwest Book Awards.

She was written books of poetry, fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. Some of her children’s books are: Listen to the Desert/Oye al Desierto (1994); Tomás and the Library Lady (1997), winner of the 1998 Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award; The Bakery Lady (2001); Doña Flor: A Tall Tale about a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart (2005), winner of the Pura Belpré Author Honor and Illustrator Awards (2006) and Golden Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators; Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day/Celebremos El Día de los Niños/El Día de Los Libros (2009), a Junior Library Guild selection and Pura Belpré Illustrator Award (2010) winner; Gracias/Thanks (2009), recipient of the Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor (2010); A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas (2009), Dizzy in Your Eyes: Poems about Love (2010) and The Beautiful Lady: Our Lady of Guadalupe (2012).

Rafael López (illustrator): Rafael López is a Mexican award-winning illustrator and artist, whose work is influenced by his cultural heritage, colors of Mexican street life, and Mexican surrealism. In addition to children’s books, Rafael López has created illustrated posters and United States Postal Service stamps such as the Latin Music Legends series. He also launched street art projects to revitalize urban neighborhoods such as the Urban Art Trail Project.

He is the recipient of various Pura Belpré Honor for Illustration awards, for books such as: My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz/Me Llamo Celia: La Vida de Celia Cruz (2006), Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day/ Celebremos El Día de los Niños/El Día de Los Libros (2010), The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred (2012) and Tito Puente: Mambo King/Rey del Mambo (2013). He also received two Américas Awards for Children’s and Young Adult Literature for My Name is Celia (2006) and Yum! ¡Mmmm! ¡Qué Rico! Americas’ Sproutings (2007).

FOR MORE INFORMATION about Yum! ¡MmMm! ¡Qué Rico!: Americas’ Sproutings (2007) visit your local library or bookstore. Also, check out worldcat.orgindiebound.orggoodreads.comamazon.comleeandlow.com.