PaperTigers 10th Anniversary Extra! Top 10 Multi-Cultural Picture Books by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Just when we thought the party was over, hooray, thanks to a computer glitch (and with sincere apologies to Cynthia that her wonderful list got caught up in a computer saga too long to go into here), we are more than delighted to bring you a Top Ten of Favorite multicultural picture books from acclaimed author and blogger extraordinaire Cynthia Leitich Smith – and we know you’ll love it too.

Cynthia’s most recent YA book is Diabolical (Candlewick Press, 2012), the fourth novel in her best-selling “Tantalize” gothic fantasy series that also includes the graphic novel Tantalize: Kieren’s Story illustrated by Ming Doyle (Candlewick Press, 2011).  Cynthia’s first YA novel was Rain is Not My Indian Name (HarperCollins, 2001), and her picture books include Jingle Dancer (HarperCollins, 2000) and  Indian Shoes (HarperCollins, 2002), which like PaperTigers celebrates its 10th Anniversary this year. She has also co-authored the hilarious Santa Knows with her husband Greg Leitich Smith (illustrated by Steve Bjorkman; Dutton, 2006).

Cynthia has a vibrant website where you can find out all about her own writing and also explore invaluable resources about children’s and YA literature, including  a comprehensive celebration of diversity – and this is complimented by her sensational Cynsations blog, jam-pack full of kidlit news, author interviews, giveaways and more.

So on this day of Thanksgiving in the US, let’s say a big thank you to all those who enrich the lives of young people and the young at heart through their books; and a special thank you to Cynthia, alongside my apologies, for enabling us to continue our 10th Anniversary celebrations a little longer…

10 Favorite Multi-Cultural Picture Books by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship by Tim Tingle, illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridges (Cinco Puntos Press, 2006)

Dona Flor: A Tall Tale About a Giant Woman with a Big Heart by Pat Mora, illustrated by Raul Colon (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2005)

~ Dumpling Soup by Jama Kim Rattigan, illustrated by Lillian Hsu-Flanders (Little, Brown, 1998)

~ Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes, illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Henry Holt, 2006)

~ Mama’s Saris by Pooja Makhijani, illustrated by Elena Gomez (Little, Brown, 2007)

~ Monsoon by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Jamel Akib (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2003)

~ Muskrat Will Be Swimming by Cheryl Savageau, illustrated by Robert Hynes, featuring Joseph Bruchac (Rising Moon, 1996)

~ The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis (Putnam, 2001)

~ Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden, illustrated by Don Tate (Dutton, 2009)

~ Yo? Yes! by Chris Raschka (Scholastic, 2007)

2008 Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award Winner: Los Gatos Black on Halloween

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

In 1995 the Texas State University College of Education honored distinguished alumnus Dr. Tomas Rivera, by developing the Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award. This award honors authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience. It helps keep alive Dr. Rivera’s legacy in literature and works towards sustaining the vision he saw for the education of Mexican Americans in the United States. In addition it raises conscious awareness among parents, teachers, and librarians of this distinguished literature so these books can inspire, entertain, and educate all children both at home and at school.

The 2008 winner of the award is Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes and illustrated by Yuyi Morales. Written for children in grades K -5, Montes weaves Spanish words into the rhyming text and tells the story of black cats, witches, skeletons and other spooky creatures that march to a haunted casa on Halloween night. Once there the creatures enjoy a fiesta with music and dancing until there is a “RAP! RAP! RAP!” at the door. This causes the frightened spooks to hide, for “The thing that monsters most abhor/Are human niños at the door! Of all the horrors they have seen/ The WORST are kids on Halloween!”

Marisa and Yuyi were kept busy last week with Tomas Rivera Book Award ceremonies and book signings! On Thursday, October 30th, they were honored at a special luncheon held at the university president’s home where they received their award prize and plaque. Later in the day, accompanied by a mariachi band, they attended the Author/Illustrator Presentation on campus.

The next day, as part of the Texas Book Festival Reading Rock Stars Program, the Tomás Rivera Committee selected a public school in Austin and bought every student a copy of Los Gatos Black on Halloween with the award seal on the cover. Yuyi and Marisa did a presentation at the school and the students were thrilled to get their books signed.

The whirlwind weekend of festivities continued on Nov 1st, when Montes and Morales participated in the Texas Book Festival by giving the Tomás Rivera Award reading session and then signing books for festival attendees.

Philips Mp3 Player Amazon New Best Android Phone New Best iPhone Sale Android Windows Phone Sale Buy Cheap New Best iPad Sale Best Cheap Laptop

PaperTigers will continue to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month until mid November.

2008 ALA Award Winners Announced: black cats, colorful world and more

Monday, January 14th, 2008

I woke up early this morning, excited to check my computer for the winners of the 2008 ALA Awards. It’s always an exciting moment to find out who the winners are, after all the guessing games that surround the occasion, with books lovers of all ages making their own predictions for the medals. You can see the complete list of winners here.

My Colors, My WorldWe congratulate the authors and illustrators of all winning and honor books and, in particular, Yuyi Morales, for the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award she received for Los Gatos Black on Halloween, written by Marisa Montes (Holt) – Los Gatos Black was also a Belpré Author Honor book; and Maya Christina Gonzalez, for the Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor captured by My Colors, My World/Mis colores, mi mundo (Children’s Book Press), which she also wrote. My Name Is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel García Márquez/Me llamo Gabito: la vida de Gabriel García Márquez, illustrated by Raul Colón, written by Monica Brown (Luna Rising) has also received the Pura Belpré Honor, and deservedly so.

Keep your eyes peeled: Maya Christina Gonzalez’s gallery will be featured on the PaperTigers website as part of an upcoming update focusing on illustrators. Make sure to check the website tomorrow to see a sample of her award-winning work, including images from My Colors, My World.