December 25, 2008

Voces, a new blog

Dear fellow book lovers,

Greetings from cold Santa Fe. Yes, temperatures can get much too cold in the high desert. The hills outside my window dusted with snow are beautiful though.

I am so excited that my friend, Adriana Dominguez, an expert on Latino children’s books, a talented translator, and the wonderful editor of my new bilingual book, Book Fiesta! Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day, Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros illustrated by Rafael López is launching a new blog for and about Latino authors and their books. Adriana is knowledgeable, committed and enthusiastic. She has been a Día fan since she first heard about the family literacy concept. Visit this wonderful resource

Wishing you good holidays, a Happy New Year and a year of savoring and sharing bookjoy,


December 17, 2008

Críticas Interview with Rose Treviño

You can read an excellent interview with the remarkable Rose Treviño in Críticas,"Serving Spanish-Language Patrons -- A Q & A with Rose Treviño." Rose is the Youth Services Coordinator for the Houston Public Library, a library system that serves one of the biggest Spanish-speaking populations in the country. She is a passionate advocate for Latino children's literature and library services to Latinos.
Here's what she has to say about her new book:
You edited The Pura Belpré Awards: Celebrating Latino Authors and Illustrators (ALA Editions, 2006). What motivated you to create this wonderful resource for libraries and educators?

This was actually an invitation made to me by the staff at ALSC. I was immediately excited about the possibility, and knew that with the right team in place, the book could certainly be written. The book would not have been what it is without the help of Oralia Garza de Cortés, Sandra Balderrama, Ana-Elba Pavón, and Jean Hatfield. Having Oralia and Sandra on the team provided us with the award’s vision, background, and history. Ana and Jean brought their experience of working on the award committee and the promotional efforts they put together in their communities.

December 11, 2008

Bilingual Holiday Titles

Looking for bilingual holiday titles that celebrate Latino culture? Pat has two backlist titles that are wonderful for gifts or use for holiday programming in libraries or bookstores.
Gift of the Poinsettia/ El regalo de la flor de nochebuena , written by Pat Mora with Charles Ramírez Berg and illustrated by Daniel Lechon, "introduces readers to Mexican traditions and inspires them to think about gift-giving in a different way. The authors take children through each of the days of the posada ("inn") celebration, in which celebrants take figurines representing the Virgin Mary and Joseph from one inn to another as they look for a place to rest. Carlos worries that he has no money to buy a special gift to offer the Christ child, but his grandmother urges him to pick a flower along the way. This humble flower blossoms into a glorious poinsettia on Christmas Eve. An enjoyable selection for readers of any age." Criticas

In the colorful picture book, The Bakery Lady/La señora de la panadería written by Pat Mora and illustrated by Pablo Torrecilla, Mónica yearns to be a baker like her grand-parents. Her first real test comes as she and her be- loved grandparents prepare for the coming celebration of January sixth, Feast of the Three Kings, el Día de los Reyes Magos. When Mónica finds the traditional baby figure in the round bread ring that shines with cherries and pecans, the rosca de reyes, it becomes her responsibility to plan the celebration: invitations, decorations, and most important of all, the lemon cookies that Mónica will bake especially for her family and friends. And although she wants to do it all herself, she discovers that the love and help of family can make any job a joy.
Click here for a recipe for delicious rosca de reyes. Enjoy!

New 2009 Día Brochure

The latest ALSC newsletter shared this news:
ALSC is revising its El día de los niños/El día de los libros Children's Day/Book Day) bilingual brochure. The updated material will feature newrecommended book titles and resource Web sites, as well as an eye-catching
new design. Print copies of the brochure will be available right after the ALA Midwinter Meeting in January by signing up on the Día Web site; click on Día Celebrations. A PDF version of the brochure will be available to download free of charge at

December 10, 2008

Our World of Books

I’m excited to have agreed to serve on the USBBY Board. I have always admired the history and work of this organization which is the United States section of IBBY, the International Board on Books for Young People. Just recently, Betsy Bird of Fuse#8 fame, interviewed the President-elect of USBBY,John Mason, Scholastic's Director of Library and Educational Marketing. It's a great interview with lots of information including how members can be involved with various book committees like the Hans Christian Andersen Awards.

Tempted to join? A brochure and membership form is right here.

December 1, 2008

Busy Holidays

EEK! Are we all feeling: how can it be December, 2008? I hope that you enjoyed a happy weekend with family and friends. I am so grateful for the pleasure I find in being a writer and speaker. Next year at this time, two new picture books will be out: Gracias/Thanks (a boy reflecting on what he’s grateful for), illustrated by John Parra, and then Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Christmas (a Latino version of the popular “Twelve Days of Christmas,”) by first-time illustrator Magaly Morales. Both illustrators are new for me, and I’m excited about their work. Grateful too.

Sorry to have been so silent. I’ve been finishing a book of teen love poems due out for Valentine’s Day 2010, enduring a kitchen renovation :0, and I spoke at NCTE on, “Our Community: Creative, Connected, Committed.” Inspiring attendees.

My wonderful web managers, Bobbie Combs and Laurina Cashin, nudged me to start this blog because they knew I wanted to promote excitement about sharing bookjoy. I share bookjoy at this time of the year by giving books, of course, and trying to find the right book for the recipient. How do you share bookjoy as holiday sounds and thoughts of the coming year swirl in the air?

Wishing you happy holidays,