Gracias to ALA (The American Library Association) and ALSC (Association for Library Services for Children) for this post about the 2012 Pura Belpré Awards Winners.
The 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 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. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.
2012 Author Award Winner
Under the Mesquite, by Guadalupe Garcia McCall, published by Lee and Low Books Inc.
In “Under the Mesquite,” Garcia McCall, writing in emotionally riveting free verse, gracefully manages to convey the experience of growing up in a bicultural community in Texas with geographical accuracy and a radiating authentic voice for its main protagonist fourteen-year-old Lupita, the oldest of eight children who is dealing with her mother’s terminal illness.
“Garcia McCall deftly communicates not only the experience of a youth losing her mother to cancer but that of a child surrounded by siblings embracing and discarding their Mexican roots in various degrees,” said Naidoo.
2012 Illustrator Award Winner
Diego Rivera: His World and Ours, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh, published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS
Diego Rivera: His World and Ours highlights the accomplishments of Mexican painter, activist, and muralist Diego Rivera. Tonatiuh’s stylized illustrations include elements of Mayan artwork and represent his interpretation of Diego’s original artwork, answering the question: what would Diego paint today? Through eye-catching digital collage, Tonatiuh juxtaposes contemporary Mexican life with the past.
“Tonatiuh’s visually appealing, layered artwork rendered in a mural style pays homage to Diego’s paintings while balancing traditional images with modern twists,” said Pura Belpré Award Committee Chair Jamie Campbell Naidoo.
2012 Author Honor Books
Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck by Margarita Engle, published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
Engle’s beautifully written poetic narrative cuts to the heart of an untold story in Latin American history and describes the enslavement of the native peoples of the Caribbean by the Spanish along with the mixing of Spanish and native blood that now forms the vast majority of Latin America. Told from several points of view, the story captures the rhythm and sounds from a time long ago and encourages readers to explore Latino culture on their own.
Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller written by Xavier Garza, published by Cinco Puntos Press.
Xavier Garza successfully captures the excitement that Max, an eleven-year-old Mexican-American boy, displays when he discovers that his favorite Lucha Libre wrestler is coming to town and might have a strange connection with his own family! This action packed bilingual mystery novel uses playful language that reinforces elements of Mexican-American culture and overflows with almost unbridled excitement for Lucha wrestling.
2012 Illustrator Honor Books
The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred illustrated by Rafael López, written by Samantha R. Vamos, and published by Charlesbridge.
Nothing is better than a delicious bowl of arroz con leche unless, of course, a host of farm animals have a hand in the preparation! Lopez’s blazing illustrations for the rhythmic, rollicking cumulative tale, “The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred” radiate a cheerful exuberance and are peppered with Latino cultural details that extend Vamos’ perky narrative.
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match /Marisol McDonald no combina illustrated by Sara Palacios, written by Monica, and published by Children’s Book Press, an imprint of Lee and Low Books Inc.
Bright and vivacious Marisol, a young Peruvian-Scottish-American girl, loves peanut butter and jelly burritos and speaks both English and Spanish. Unfortunately, her teacher and classmates do not appreciate Marisol’s mashing of cultures. Using mixed media techniques, Palacios’ illustrations exude child appeal and biculturalism, allowing astute visual readers to identify the blending of cultures.