Monday, December 31, 2012

A fruitful year

 This was such a busy and fruitful year that I had very few opportunities to write about it. Here a brief look back at what made it wonderful:

The Mexican sun in the mornings

Yotopia, its people, and the best frozen yogurt in town

Mi sisters
Tamarindo with lemon at the park in Xalapa
My brother (and the painting of his house)
Xico, where I will live some day
The publication of Gerogia in Hawaii

The last of Soli's days
Embroidering venaditos
Miguel, Sita, and my Bay Area family
El Son and zapateado in my garden
Fogo and SF Carnaval!


Kelly's graduation
Kelly's wisdom teeth extraction
Nest in unexpected places in my garden
Participating in America the Beautiful book
the arrival of Tigerand mojo

Visitors I love
Making Frida
Painting venadito
Becoming a citizen

Painting Jose's face for Dia de los Muertos celebration
planning tattoos

Getting my tattoo inked

My tattoo oulined

Voting (with my son Kelly) for the first time in our lives

Painting Frida

Making papel picado


PBS testimonial and strangers telling me they have seen me.   

Planning Kelly's tattoo
Inked tattoo

Mojo, who never left

Tim and I

May new jouneys welcome all of us. My path takes me now back to Mexico where I will live part-time huging my family, making my books, and helping Kelly to forge his own path. Much love for everybody

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why I love picture books

Candlewick Press is celebrating its 20th anniversary and to add to the festivities they asked many authors, illustrators, book makers, and book lovers to tell about their love for picture books in videos. These videos are part of a year-long celebration and are being posted one per day.

When I began thinking about the video I would made I was highly inspired. Picture books are very important to me because they changed the course of my life, and they gave me direction as an immigrant in this country and a as creator in this world. I wanted to make something special! So, how could I tell about my love for picture books? To me the best way is always through storytelling and, of course, pictures.

With the help of my Friend Miguelito Martinez , whose talent for music measures to his talent for love and friendship, here is the video I created to celebrate:

Author and illustrator Yuyi Morales tells her story of falling in love with picture books from Candlewick Press on Vimeo.

I hope you all like it.

P.S. Yes, those are my real pen drawings from when I was about four years old.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Talking for PBS

Last year PBS came to my house to film a testimonial about the influence of public television in my life. This is what they have released just recently:

Hermosa Gente.

Reading my readers

Thank YOU for the conversation

Monday, April 23, 2012

8 ways to join the World Book and Copyright day celebration (recommended by the UNESCO):

1. Download books published over 100 years ago on Kindle, they’re free.
2. Share your passion for an author and offer his book to people around you.
3. Take this opportunity to discover something new from what you're used to read.
4. Leave a book on a park bench or a metro seat with a note saying “Happy Book and Copyright Day!”
5. Find out how to send your old books to schools and libraries in countries facing a post-disaster situation.
6. Educate yourself on books pirating: respect for copyright encourages the dissemination of knowledge and rewards their creators and publishers.
7. Never throw away your books, get involved in local community or online book swapping and donation campaigns and initiatives.
8. Plan local reading events in schools and libraries and encourage famous guest readers to get involved.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Books by Latinos: predicting the Pura Belpre

I regularly visit bookstores looking for the new published books; among those I also look for those written or illustrated by or about Latinos. Unfortunately, these are not usually easy come about; unless you know the specific titles to look for, these books might not even be found in the stores at all.

So, when the time for the ALA children's book awards comes, while I might have my favorites to win awards such as the Caldecott, I find it difficult to have an opinion of the strongest contenders to win the Pura Belpre Medal.
(From the Pura Belpre Award site: "The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.")

However, not been able to find these books easily, doesn't stop me from becoming the fan of some I have managed to find during the year. And so, this time, these three are my favorites for the 2012 Pura Belpre illustrator Award Winner:

Waiting for Biblio Burro, written by Monica Brown, and illustrated by John Parra

John has an illustration style that feels nostalgic and earthy, that seems filled with memories and colors from the past. I have always loved everyone of his books. This one is not an exception. Here is John's site.

The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred, written by Samanthat R. Vamos, and illustrated by Rafael Lopez.

About a year ago, in one of my trips to Mexico, I was able to visit Rafael at his studio in San Miguel de Allende, and see some of his work in progress for a book about Tito Puente. Rafael never ceases to amaze me with his work.

Diego Rivera: His Wold and Ours, by Duncan Tonatiuh.

Ok, tell me, who can resist illustrations such as these ones?

When trying to find more titles written and /or illustrated by Latinos in the last year, I finally found a good list of books (both picture books and chapter books) at the REFORMA mock Pura Belpre.

Here, the titles:

• 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente - Santiago, Wilfred
• Alicia Alonso: Prima Ballerina - Bernier-Grand, Carmen T.
• Clara and the Curandera/Clara y la curandera - Brown, Monica
• The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred - Vamos, Samantha R.; illus by López, Rafael
• Dancing Home - Ada, Alma Flor & Gabriel M. Zubizarreta
• Diego Rivera: His World and Ours - Tonatiuh, Duncan
• Good-bye Havana! Hola New York - Colón, Edie
• Hey, 13! - Soto, Gary
• How Tía Lola Ended Up Starting Over - Alvarez, Julia
• How Tía Lola Saved the Summer - Alvarez, Julia
• Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck - Engle, Margarita
• I Kick the Ball/Pateo el balón - Zepeda, Gwendolyn
• If I Could Fly - Cofer, Judith Ortiz
• Illegal - Restrepo, Bettina
• The Land of Lost Things/El país de las cosas perdidas - Bursztyn, Dina
• Ladder to the Moon - Soetoro-Ng, Maya; illus by Morales, Yuyi
• Let's Dance!/¡A Bailar! - Cofer, Judith Ortiz
• Mamá and Me - Dorros, Arthur; illus by Gutierrez, Rudy
• A Mango in the Hand: A Story Told through Proverbs - Sacre, Antonio
• Marisol MacDonald Doesn't Match/Marisol McDonald no combina - Brown, Monica
• Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel - Garza, Xavier
• Milagro of the Spanish Bean Pot - Romero-Anderson, Emerita
• The Monster in the Mattress and Other Stories/El monstruo en el colchón y otros cuentos - De Anda, Diane
• Pepita and the Bully/Pepita y la peleonera - Lachtman, Ofelia Dumas
• SkateFate - Herrera, Juan Felipe
• Ten Little Puppies/Diez perritos - Ada, Alma Flor
• Tía Isa Wants a Car - Medina, Meg
• Under the Mesquite - McCall, Guadalupe Garcia
• Waiting for the Biblioburro - Brown, Monica

If you know of other books that could be included in this list, please, let me know. In the mean time, I'll be getting ready to watch the webcast anouncement of the ALA Media Awards this Monday Jan. 23, 2012 - 7:45 CT.