Celebrating Latino Children’s Literacy for Día de Los Niños with John Parra

by Melanie Edwards on April 15, 2014 · 4 comments

in Kids, Latino Culture

Green is a Chile Pepper Book Illustration

I’m very excited to share with you that I’m participating in Latinas for Latino Lit (L4LL)’s 2nd annual Día Blog Hop! This year, the blog hop has paired up 24 authors and illustrators with 24 Latina bloggers to support and encourage Latino children’s literacy. You can find the full schedule of all participating bloggers and the list of authors and illustrators that have submitted either a written piece or illustration on the L4LL site. Be sure to visit each blogger that has already published a guest piece on their site and continue to follow the blog hop through the 30th of this month!

Green is a Chile Pepper Book Illustration

Below is a guest article written by John Parra, children’s book illustrator, who shares illustrations from his newly illustrated book, Green is a Chile Pepper. Enjoy his words and beautiful illustrations and continue to support diversity in children’s books. Our children certainly deserve to see themselves and a variety of cultures represented in the books they read.

Green is a Chile Pepper Book Illustration

Green is a Chile Pepper Children's Book

By John Parra

In childhood I had many favorite books. I recognized that my fascinating pastime activity was reading. I saw myself in each and every book I read. Probably from within your own favorite book you will admit that it was like looking in a mirror and seeing your own reflection. We inevitably identify with the person described in the words on the page. The image is our image, the heroics are our heroics, and the dreams are our dreams. It is the author’s story but soon becomes our story too. It is a splendid feeling to connect and realize our reflection and imagination coming through that mental comprehension which then gives formation to infinite thoughts of possibilities. I remember my first introduction to the many wonderful stories I found at my local library, bookstore, or our home collection. I realize now that as a children’s book illustrator, it was there that my ideas and creativity blossomed into a rich diverse world of colors, images, and adventures that would provide a lifetime of inspiration and become a reflection of who I am today.

Green is a Chile Pepper Book Illustration

In a page from my newly illustrated children’s book, Green is a Chile Pepper, the author Roseanne Thong joyfully writes,

The world is a rainbow of wonder and fun. Ribbon of color rolled into one. In ponchos, serapes, and xylophones, too, these beautiful colors are waiting for you!

Green is a Chile Pepper Book Illustration

It is in this spirit, shown with all its diversity of people, color, and differences that we celebrate and rejoice, El Día de los Niños / El Día de los Libros (Children’s Day / Book Day). Certainly this celebration is a day when we honor all kids and bring them all to read and enjoy literature, together as one people, from all cultures, backgrounds, and languages. What our kids read today is important for in the stories and characters of our books will be their reflection for today and for their tomorrow. Through celebration of diverse books and culture we encourage all youth to open their imagination and understanding to see their world and their reflection in it as an unlimited potential for honor, for peace, for their future.

Green is a Chile Pepper Book Illustration

John ParraNote: You can see some of John Parra’s original artwork from his new book, Green is a Chile Pepper, at La Casa Azul Bookstore in NYC from March 8th to April 27th. For more images and info on John Parra’s art visit his website at: www.JohnParraArt.com

Green is a Chile Pepper, La Casa Azul Bookstore, NYC

Illustrations and photos used with permission from John Parra

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1 Wendy April 15, 2014 at 1:11 pm

It sounds like a great project to be involved in. Reading can open a lot of doors.

2 Melanie Edwards April 16, 2014 at 1:47 pm

It sure can! Thanks for your comment. 🙂

3 Jodi April 23, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Fabulous illustrations! Folksy the color is wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

4 Melanie Edwards April 23, 2014 at 3:12 pm

They’re beautiful, right?

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