As book editor, reviewer, translator, and now literary agent, one of my career goals has always been clear: to promote Latino and Spanish language literature in the US, and to help Latino authors in particular get published. That is what this blog is about, and the reason why we all gather here; to learn more about this portion of the book publishing industry, and to find ways to promote it, and make it grow.
So imagine my delight when I received a call from a former colleague at HarperCollins Children's Books informing me that one of the books I edited during my time at HCC received the American Library Association's (ALA) 2010 Pura Belpré Medal for Illustration! The book is Pat Mora's bilingual BOOK FIESTA!, illustrated by the brilliant Rafaél López. Working on Pat's poetic text was a joy that could only be matched by seeing the original art pieces submitted by Rafael. I remember the thrill of holding the explosively colorful wooden boards and the feeling that we were putting together something truly special. Part of what made the book special was the fact that it is the first to celebrate Pat Mora's Día de los niños/Día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), a celebration that she founded some 14 years ago, with the noble aim to simply unite all children and books. I encourage you to pick up BOOK FIESTA! and to share it with the children around you; it is truly a work of art, and like all great works of art, it aspires to a greater purpose and does so beautifully.
Visit the ALA website for the full list of the 2010 Pura Belpré winners, which includes yet another book authored by Pat Mora, which I had the honor of translating. GRACIAS/THANKS serves as another example of a beautiful marriage between (Pat Mora's) poetic text, and images. I am so proud to have been involved in two of this year's winners. I so enjoy seeing our amazing Latino literature being celebrated!