The picture book biography José! Born to Dance, which I reviewed forThe Edge of the Forest last winter, won some cool honors recently: the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Award (see the article in the Texas State University Star) and the International Latino Book Award. Congratulations to author Susanna Reich and illustrator Raul Colón!
A group of professors at Texas State created the annual Rivera prizes eleven years ago to highlight children's books that accurately portray the lives of Mexican-Americans, with the thought that the group was under-represented in literature for kids. Rivera himself, a university chancellor and an author, was the subject of Tomás and the Library Lady, a wonderful picture book by Pat Mora; Raul Colón did the art for that one, too.
The International Latino Book Award is sponsored by Latino Literacy Now. That group also presents the Latino Book & Family Festival at various cities; the next one takes place October 14-15 at the Fairplex in Pomona, California; there's one in Cicero, Illinois, in November. (Aside: that festival web site needs some updating; always call ahead for details.) Ximena Diego rounds up all of the ILBA winners at Criticas.