Celebrating 25 Years of the Pura Belpré Award: Book Talk About Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

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We are an affiliate with Indiebound and Bookshop. If If you make a purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission.

The Pura Belpré Award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latinx writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

We have been marking the award’s 25th anniversary in different ways on the blog. Today, Dr. Sonia Rodriguez and Dora M. Guzmán talk about Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh. The book won the 2015 Pura Belpré Illustration Honor Award.

Cover for Separate Is Never Equal

ABOUT THE BOOK: When her family moved to the town of Westminster, California, young Sylvia Mendez was excited about enrolling in her neighborhood school. But she and her brothers were turned away and told they had to attend the Mexican school instead. Sylvia could not understand why—she was an American citizen who spoke perfect English. Why were the children of Mexican families forced to attend a separate school? Unable to get a satisfactory answer from the school board, the Mendez family decided to take matters into its own hands and organize a lawsuit.
 
In the end, the Mendez family’s efforts helped bring an end to segregated schooling in California in 1947, seven years before the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education ended segregation in schools across America.
 
Using his signature illustration style and incorporating his interviews with Sylvia Mendez, as well as information from court files and news accounts, award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the inspiring story of the Mendez family’s fight for justice and equality.

You can find our book talks on our new YouTube channel!

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Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez, PhD is an Associate Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) where she teaches composition, literature, and creative writing. Her academic research focuses on decolonial healing in Latinx children’s and young adult literature. Sonia is a Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader.

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Dora M. Guzmán is a bilingual reading specialist for grades K-5 and also teaches college courses in Children’s Literature and Teaching Beginning Literacy. She is currently a doctoral student with a major in Reading, Language, and Literacy. When she is not sharing her love of reading with her students, you can find her in the nearest library, bookstore, or online, finding more great reads to add to her never-ending “to read” pile!

Celebrating 25 Years of the Pura Belpré Award: Book Talk About The Bossy Gallito by Lucia Gonzalez, illus. by Lulu Delacre

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We are an affiliate with Indiebound and Bookshop. If If you make a purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission.

The Pura Belpré Award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latinx writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

Cover for The Bossy Gallito / El gallo de bodas (Bilingual): A Traditional Cuban Folktale

We have been marking the award’s 25th anniversary in different ways on the blog. Today, Dr. Sonia Rodriguez and Dora M. Guzmán talk about The Bossy Gallito / El Gallo De Bodas by Lucía M. Gonzálezillustrated by Lulu Delacre. The book won honors in 1996 for both narrative and illustration.

You can find our book talks on our new YouTube channel!

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Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez, PhD is an Associate Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) where she teaches composition, literature, and creative writing. Her academic research focuses on decolonial healing in Latinx children’s and young adult literature. Sonia is a Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader.

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Dora M. Guzmán is a bilingual reading specialist for grades K-5 and also teaches college courses in Children’s Literature and Teaching Beginning Literacy. She is currently a doctoral student with a major in Reading, Language, and Literacy. When she is not sharing her love of reading with her students, you can find her in the nearest library, bookstore, or online, finding more great reads to add to her never-ending “to read” pile!

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Celebrating 25 Years of the Pura Belpré Award: Book Talk About Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales

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We are an affiliate with Indiebound and Bookshop. If If you make a purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission.

The Pura Belpré Award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latinx writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

We have been marking the award’s 25th anniversary in different ways on the blog. Today, Dr. Sonia Rodriguez and Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez talk about Viva Frida by Yuyi Morales. The book won the 2015 Pura Belpré Illustration Award.

Cover for Viva Frida

ABOUT THE BOOK: Frida Kahlo, one of the world’s most famous and unusual artists is revered around the world. Her life was filled with laughter, love, and tragedy, all of which influenced what she painted on her canvases.

Distinguished author/illustrator Yuyi Morales illuminates Frida’s life and work in this elegant and fascinating book.

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You can find our book talks on our new YouTube channel!

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Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez, PhD is an Associate Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) where she teaches composition, literature, and creative writing. Her academic research focuses on decolonial healing in Latinx children’s and young adult literature. Sonia is a Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader.

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Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez is an Assistant Professor of English (Children’s Literature) at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.  Her teaching and research are in the areas of children’s literature (particularly Latinx literature), girlhood studies, and children’s cultures. Her published work has focused on girlhood as represented in literature and Puerto Rican girls’ identity formation with Barbie dolls. She has presented research on Latinx children’s books at various conferences and has served on children’s book award committees such as the 2017 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and the 2018 Pura Belpré Award. Currently, she is part of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s “A Baker’s Dozen” committee.

Celebrating 25 Years of the Pura Belpré Award: Book Talk About Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

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We are an affiliate with Indiebound and Bookshop. If If you make a purchase through these links, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a small commission.

The Pura Belpré Award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latinx writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

We have been marking the award’s 25th anniversary in different ways on the blog. Today, Dr. Sonia Rodriguez and Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez talk about Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh. The book won the 2017 Pura Belpré Illustration Honor Award.

Cover for Esquivel!  Space-Age Sound Artist

ABOUT THE BOOK: Gorgeously illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh, this lively biography follows Juan Garcia Esquivel from Mexico to New York City. Juan grew up to the sounds of mariachi bands; he loved music and became a musical explorer. Defying convention, he created music that made people laugh and planted images in their minds. His musical dreams brought him from Mexico to America and gained him worldwide renown. Juan’s space-age lounge music—popular in the fifties and sixties—has found a new generation of listeners. This account honors Esquivel as one of the great composers of the 20th century.

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You can find our book talks on our new YouTube channel!

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Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez, PhD is an Associate Professor of English at LaGuardia Community College (CUNY) where she teaches composition, literature, and creative writing. Her academic research focuses on decolonial healing in Latinx children’s and young adult literature. Sonia is a Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader.

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Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez is an Assistant Professor of English (Children’s Literature) at West Chester University of Pennsylvania.  Her teaching and research are in the areas of children’s literature (particularly Latinx literature), girlhood studies, and children’s cultures. Her published work has focused on girlhood as represented in literature and Puerto Rican girls’ identity formation with Barbie dolls. She has presented research on Latinx children’s books at various conferences and has served on children’s book award committees such as the 2017 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and the 2018 Pura Belpré Award. Currently, she is part of the Pennsylvania Center for the Book’s “A Baker’s Dozen” committee.

Cover Reveal: Three Pockets Full: A story of love, family, and tradition by Cindy L. Rodriguez, illustrated by Begoña Fernández Corbalán

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Today, we’re excited to host the cover reveal for Cindy L. Rodriguez’s debut picture book, Three Pockets Full: A story of love, family, and tradition, which will be published by Cardinal Rule press on July 1, 2022.

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First, here’s a description of the book:

Beto won’t wear a guayabera to the wedding. Nope! Nunca! Not going to happen! Beto tries his best to rid himself of the traditional Mexican wedding shirt his Mami gave him. He even gets help from his dog Lupe, but the shirt ends up back on his bed each time with notes from Mami, who becomes increasingly frustrated with Beto. Mami insists that Beto attend the wedding, and wear the shirt, because—after all—it’s her wedding! Beto has to accept the fact that Mami is getting remarried and that she wants him to wear the shirt, which is part of his heritage.

Three Pockets Full by Cindy L. Rodriguez carries key concepts of family, love, and tradition and explores change and new experiences. This book comes with a Reader’s Guide for children, a free download from the publisher website. Lesson plans, activities, and discussion questions allow parents, teachers, and caregivers to explore the topics further and deepen comprehension.

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Now, here is some information about the creators:

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Cindy L. Rodriguez is the author of the YA novel When Reason Breaks and has contributed to the anthology Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles. She has also written the text for three Jake Maddox books: Volleyball Ace, Drill Team Determination, and Gymnastics Payback. Upcoming titles include Three Pockets Full: A story of love, family, and tradition and The Doomed Search for the Lost City of Z. Before becoming a teacher in 2000, she was an award-winning reporter for The Hartford Courant and a researcher for The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team. She is a founder of Latinxs in Kid Lit, a blog that celebrates children’s literature by/for/about Latinxs. Cindy is currently a middle school reading specialist in Connecticut, where she lives with her family.

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Begoña Fernández Corbalán was born and raised in a small town in Spain. As a child she loved to draw, so when she grew up she knew that she wanted to get a degree in Fine Arts. After finishing her degree, she specialized in illustration, and since then has dedicated herself to it. In her free time she likes to sit in the sun in the garden and observe how the light changes at different times of the day, something that she tries to reflect in her work. She has worked with techniques such as watercolor, gouache and colored pencil, but she sticks to digital illustration because of the great advantages it offers when working.

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And, here are some comments from the author about the seeing the artwork:

I’m in love with the cover that Begoña created! I especially love that the reader can see a wedding ring in each of the pockets and the picture in the third. These important items play a role in the story, so–here goes my teacher brain kicking in–educators and parents can ask young readers to look at these details on the cover and make predictions about what the story will be about. I also love the dog, Lupe, who takes part in the action of story. Quite honestly, Lupe kind of steals the show in Begoña’s interior illustrations, and, as a dog lover, I am entirely fine with that!

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Finally, here is the cover of Three Pockets Full: A story of love, family, and tradition:

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Ta-da!

ISN’T IT GORGEOUS?!

Three Pockets Full: A story of love, family, and tradition is now available for pre-order. Click on any of the title links in this post to go to Indiebound.org.

A Conversation with the Creators of Alejandria Fights Back! / ¡La Lucha de Alejandria!

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Today, we have the creators of Alejandria Fights Back! / ¡La Lucha de Alejandria!, a picture book released earlier this year as part of the Rise-Home Stories Project by The Feminist Press. The Rise-Home Stories Project is an innovative collaboration between multimedia storytellers and social justice advocates from several grassroots organizations who work at the nexus of housing, land, and racial justice in the US. The creators, in conversation through the link below, are Leticia Hernández-Linares and Robert LiuTrujillo.

Interview with author and editor Leticia Hernández-Linares

LETICIA HERNÁNDEZ-LINARES is a bilingual, interdisciplinary writer, artist, and racial justice educator. The first-generation US-born daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, she is the author of Mucha Muchacha, Too Much Girl (Tía Chucha Press).

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ROBERT LIU-TRUJILLO is a life long Bay Area resident. Born in Oakland California, he’s the child of student activists who watched lots of science fiction and took him to many demonstrations. Always drawing, Rob grew up to be an artist falling in love with graffiti, fine art, illustration, murals, and children’s books. In that order, sort of. Through storytelling he’s been able to scratch the surface of so many untold stories. Rob is the author and illustrator of Furqan’s First Flat Top. He’s a dad of a teenage boy and a brand new baby girl. He loves ice cream and his wife who laughs big and corrects his grammar every chance she gets. Down with the system and soggy french fries!

Rob is a co-founder of The Trust Your Struggle Collective, a contributor to The Social Justice Childrens Bk Holiday Fair, The Bull Horn BlogRad Dad,  Muphoric Sounds, and the founder of Come Bien Books.

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Before we get to the conversation between the creators, here is the book’s description:

For nine-year-old Alejandria, home isn’t just the apartment she shares with Mami and her abuela, Tita, but rather the whole neighborhood. Home is the bakery where Ms. Beatrice makes yummy picos; the sidewalk where Ms. Alicia sells flowers with her little dog, Duende; and the corner store with friendly Mr. Amir. But lately the city has been changing, and rent prices are going up. Many people in el barrio are leaving because they can no longer afford their homes, and For Sale signs are popping up everywhere. Then the worst thing happens: Mami receives a letter saying they’ll have to move out too. Alejandria knows it isn’t fair, but she’s not about to give up and leave. Join Alejandria as she brings her community together to fight and save their neighborhood from gentrification!

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Now, check out the the book trailer:

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Finally, click on the play button below to listen to the creators discuss their book, Latinx representation in children’s literature, bilingual books, and youth activism.

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Alejandria Fights Back! / ¡La Lucha de Alejandria! is available wherever books are sold. Check it out at The Feminist Press and Indiebound.

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