book´ · joy
noun,  a love of books and the pleasure of reading. 
In This Issue
Celebrate the holidays with new books
New titles for spring
Interview with John Parra
Mora Award winners
Where is Pat?
Quick Links
Join Pat's Mailing List
Fall 2009
Dear E-friends,
      As 2009 ends, I'm delighted to share our new bookjoy logo.     
      It's hard to believe that this year is ending, isn't it?  Didn't it just begin a few months ago?  I'm reveling in Santa Fe's autumn as I write you: blue sky, gold trees and lovely weather, certainly puts me in the mood to give thanks.
      I'm grateful to the publishers of Wiggling Pockets/Los bolsillos saltarines (Harper), Gracias~Thanks, (Lee & Low) A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas, (Clarion); and grateful to the illustrators: Mirabel Suárez, John Parra, and Magaly Morales for the varying ways each interpreted my words. 
     I'm grateful for the monolingual English teacher who in 2009 reminded me that bilingual books can be intimidating to teachers and librarians who don't speak Spanish.  How do those of us committed to sharing bookjoy work together to address this challenge since most educators aren't bilingual English/Spanish and so many students are?
     I'm grateful for all who worked to share bookjoy through Día in 2009 and who are now beginning to plan for Día 2010, Día's fourteenth anniversary.
      Laurina Cashin, newsletter and blog editor, and Bobbie Combs, our web site wizard, and I hope that you find these electronic communications helpful.  2009 was our first blog and newsletter
year, and we're still assessing if we're meeting your needs.  Let us know.
      We wish you and yours happy and healthy holidays and a wonderful 2010 - a year in which I hope you enjoy developing your many creative talents.
                                                       Joy! Pat

Celebrate the holidays with these books!

graciasA lighthearted bilingual celebration of family, friendship, and fun flows straight from the heart of a child. Come share the joy, and think about all the things for which you can say, "¡Gracias! Thanks!"

Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of ChristmasA festive Latino twist on "The Twelve Days of Christmas" populated with piñatas in place of partridges, as well as burritos bailando (dancing donkeys), lunitas cantando (singing moons) and much more, all displayed in the most vivid colors imaginable. Every page includes treats for children to find and count in Spanish, with pronunciations incorporated into the lavish illustrations. A glossary and music follow the story. 

New Titles for Spring

Looking forward to 2010, I'm excited about sharing Dizzy in Your Eyes, Love Poems (Knopf).  I'm grateful to Pat Strawn, the Texas librarian who said, "I know the next book you should write.  A book of teen love poems."  Me?  Write a book of teen love poems?  As I chatted with teachers and librarians on my travels, though, they said, "Yes!"  I had a grand time writing the collection in the voices of teens.  We all still have that teen part of ourselves, so I hope educators and parents enjoy the poems too. 

Look for ZING! Seven Creativity Practices for Educators and Students (Corwin) in the spring.  It's a book of fourteen letters in response to teachers and librarians who through the years have said, "I want to write too.  Tell me how you do it."  The book isn't only about writing but about developing our creative talents.  We all have them.  
       dizzy                 zing

An Interview with John Parra

We were thrilled when John Parra, the illustrator of Gracias/Thanks, said yes to an interview.  John is an award-winning illustrator and designer. His artwork has been showcased and displayed in numerous gallery shows in New York, Los Angeles and throughout the United States. He has illustrated two other books for children.
LC: Tell us how you got started as an artist. What drew you to painting?
JP: I always loved drawing and creating art as a child growing up. An early influence for me was my father who was an artist. He would draw for my brothers and me while telling us stories. My mom also influenced and inspired me through weekly trips to the local museums and galleries. As I got older I began to take my art more seriously and soon realized: This is what I need to pursue in life. 
LC: You had a flourishing art career before you illustrated your first children's book in 2005. How did you get involved illustrating children's books?  Did a publisher approach you?
JP: For my first book, I was approached by the publisher Luna Rising to see if I would be interested in doing a bilingual children's book. I jumped at the chance, especially after reading the beautiful story about Gabriela Mistral, a Noble Prize winning poet from Chile.
LC: Reviewing My Name is Gabriela, a reviewer observed "The illustrator's portfolio seems a cross between Diego Rivera, Marc Chagall, and your child's best refrigerator art." What do you think of this description? How would you describe your style?
I had read this review before and liked it very much. It struck me as quite accurate. Both Rivera's and Chagall's work are big inspirations to me. I also love the refrigerator art reference which I think represents that childlike optimism and view of the world which is so unique. As for my perspective, I would like to add that my art has a heavy Latin folk art design with influences of family stories, philosophy, surrealism and scientific exploration all added to the mix.
LC: What medium do you work in?
JP: Acrylic on illustration, masonite, or wood boards. I also occasionally work in oils and pastels. 
LC: You've taught art at the primary level. Do you have a favorite story from when teaching art with children?
JP: I don't really have a specific story about teaching art to kids, just a general and wonderful observation that kids never suffer from artist block. They are so free with their inventiveness and creativity. It's amazing. 
LC: Besides children's books you've created paintings, posters, CD covers, and editorial illustration. What's your favorite?
JP: I love them all, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be posters. I just love seeing a poster or print of something I worked on framed and hanging on the wall. 
LC: We're interested in your upcoming projects. What are you working on?
JP: Right now, I just finished a big art show/event at the  Indianapolis Art Center for a Day of the Dead celebration that happened at the end of October. There were workshops, lectures, music and art throughout. It was an amazing experience. As for the next project, I have another children's book to begin at the start of the new year with author Monica Brown.
LC: I always ask this question when interviewing for Pat. What's your most memorable Bookjoy experience as a child or adult?
JP: When I was young, story time at my house was special to me. Just before heading to bed my mom would call my brothers and I into her room to read us a book. It was usually an old classic novel, yet nothing too heavy. She would read out loud with a great voice, always describing the people and events from the story so well.


 reprinted with permission from Lee & Low Books 
Mora AwardCongratulations to the 2009 Mora Award Winners!
The San Francisco Public Library and the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library are this year's winners of the Mora Award in recognition of their commendable efforts promoting El dia de los ninos/El dia de los libros. Congratulations to the winners and to all the libraries who applied for the award and who celebrated Día!
Members of REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking, Pat's partner throughout Día's history, serve as judges for the Award which consists of a check for $1,000 and a plaque donated by the Mora grandchildren.   

 Where is Pat?

Pat may be presenting a workshop or speaking at an event close to you. Click here for a schedule.

Past issues of Bookjoy! are archived on Pat's website. 
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Newsletter editor:  Laurina Cashin, We Love Children's Books