Illustrator Rafael Lopez

Photo of Rafael LopezI love libraries. I've always loved libraries, I love libraries in particular because many of my closest friends are librarians, because they truly are our best supporters and they are champions for kids.

So they are the ones doing the best work to connect kids to books which is very important.

It's the best place to go place to go... and I just go through books, especially older books I find it very fascinating. Some of my best research comes when I go out of the ordinary resources to look for my inspiration. And sometimes I find it in very unexpected places at the library.

I believe that.. especially in today's economy there has been so many budget cuts in education, especially the school system that I think that the librarian's role has become even more important for our kids, and to continue this connection to books, because connecting to books is connecting kids to the love for curiosity in every area, whether it's sciences or biology or art or music or even drawing.

I mean many kids have different strengths and weaknesses, so librarians are the ones that are going to give them the opportunity to discover what are those weaknesses or those strengths and straighten them up.

I'm currently working my sixth book which is "The Life of Tito Puente." Tito Puente was a famous and well-known... regarded as the king of the timbales. He was also, I think, the kind of person that developed, was one of the developers, of the salsa style of music.