Tania Gilinksi has always admired children’s picture books. “They seem easy to create because they’re short, but it’s actually very hard to make these books,” she said. “The authors are communicating with an audience that doesn’t read yet. They have to be very creative in what they say and what they show.” Gilinski is one of the creators of Juana La Iguana, a friendly cartoon which began as a live-action video program, and is now an animated Spanish/English bilingual character featured in books, apps, online programming, and more.
‘Grow, Florecita, Grow’ is a poem that compares the growth of a flower to the personal growth that humans can experience. The poem reminds readers that with patience, care, and gratitude, their lives will blossom, just like a flower. The book’s bright illustrations reinforce this positive message and inspire hope.
Naibe Reynoso is a multi-Emmy award winning journalist, producer, and host who launched her own publishing company, Con Todo Press, when she decided to write children’s books. Reynoso, who is Mexican-American, was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, and lives there today with her husband and children. We caught up with her to speak to her about the books and what motivated her to write.
When author Jesse Byrd Jr. launched his own publishing company in 2017, he aimed to amplify voices that are often excluded in the book industry. “We wanted to offer diverse storytelling for young audiences,” he said. “We wanted the stories we publish to be a reflection of the world that children have inherited; a reflection of different communities and environments. We want to share the non-dominant culture, including kids who are people of color, immigrants, and differently abled. It’s about adding more colors to the rainbow.”
To honor and celebrate the literary achievements of indigenous authors, I interviewed Richard Van Camp, an accomplished Dogrib Tłı̨chǫ author of the Dene nation from Fort Smith, Northwest Territories. Richard Van Camp’s beautifully written and illustrated books “Kiss by Kiss,” “We Sang You Home,” “Little You,” and “Welcome Song for Baby,” written in both English and Plains Cree, can now be found in the Caribu library.