Yuyi Morales, Meg Medina win Pura Belpré Awards

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/27/2014

Contact:

Macey Morales
ALA Media Relations
Public Information Office (PIO)
312-280-4393
mmorales@ala.org

PHILADELPHIA — Yuyi Morales, illustrator of  “Niño Wrestles the World,” and Meg Medina, author of “Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass,” are the 2014 winners of the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award and Author Award, honoring Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children’s books. The awards were announced today by the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking (REFORMA), an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), and the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA during the ALA Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 24–28, in Philadelphia.

The awards are administered by the ALSC and the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-speaking, REFORMA.

Presenting Niño! Our underdressed lucha libre hero defeats almost all comers. Yuyi Morales’ clever use of fonts, text bubbles, word art and vibrant illustrations energizes this world-class wrestling match. The book was written by Yuyi Morales and published by Roaring Brook Press.

“Yuyi Morales does it again with the rollicking story of Niño, a boy who battles icons from Mexican popular culture in the lucha libre ring,” said Pura Belpré Award Committee Chair Ruth Tobar.

Yuyi Morales is an author, artist and puppet maker. Her books have won numerous awards and citations including the Américas Award, the Jane Addams Award, the Christopher Award and the Pura Belpré Award and Honor.

The Belpré Committee selected three Honor Books for illustration.

Angela Dominguez for “Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía una Llamita,” written by Angela Dominguez and published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.

Maria and her llamita will delight young audiences in this adaptation of the traditional rhyme. Angela Dominguez’s exciting use of perspective, line, color and Peruvian-inspired details adds interest and humor to each page.

Angela Dominguez was born in Mexico City, grew up in Texas and now resides in San Francisco. She has illustrated four previous books for children. This is her first Pura Belpré honor.

Rafael López for “Tito Puente: Mambo King / Rey del Mambo,” written by Monica Brown and published by Rayo, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

In this vibrant, bilingual portrayal of Tito Puente, the King of Mambo, Rafael López conveys the rhythm and movement of this musical legend through the use of bold colors, swirly lines, and carefully placed word art.

Rafael López, the award-winning children’s book illustrator, splits his time between San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico and San Diego, where he lives with his wife and son. He has been previously recognized by the Pura Belpré Committee.

Duncan Tonatiuh for “Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale,” written by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Using Meso-American-inspired art and collage, Duncan Tonatiuh takes readers on a journey through the textured landscapes of the Mexico-United States border as Pancho Rabbit searches for his father. Vivid hues reflect the changing emotional tone of the story.

Duncan Tonatiuh was born in Mexico City. He attended high school and college in the United States. He currently divides his time between New York City and San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. He has been previously recognized by the Pura Belpré Committee.

In “Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass,” published by Candlewick Press,

Piedad “Piddy” Sanchez’s life is turned upside down when she finds out that Yaqui Delgado wants to kick her ass. While struggling to deal with the threat on her own, Piddy is forced to explore her identity, her culture and the role of others in her life. Meg Medina writes a powerful story about bullying and resilience.

“Meg Medina tackles the delicate subject of bullying with a masterful skill that uses the perfect combination of strong characters, suspense and vivid imagery,” said Tobar.

Meg Medina is the author of several books for young readers. She is a 2012 recipient of the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. She currently resides in Richmond, Virginia.

 

The Belpré Committee selected three Honor Books for narration.

Margarita Engle for “The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist,” published by Harcourt, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Tula fights for freedom and education for herself, and ultimatelyfor women, slaves and dissenters, in Margarita Engle’s poetic story of the nineteenth-century Cuban abolitionist and writer, Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda.

Margarita Engle is a Cuban-American poet and novelist. Her books have received the Newbery Honor and the Pura Belpré Award among numerous other honors.

Matt de la Peña for “The Living,” published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

In a thrilling survival story, Shy’s summer job on a cruise ship becomes a fight for his life. This page-turner adventure also raises important cultural and sociological issues.

Matt de la Peña lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he teaches creative writing. “The Living” is his first Pura Belpré honor.

Duncan Tonatiuh for “Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale,” illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Duncan Tonatiuh has written the emotional story of the effects of undocumented immigration on those who leave and those who stay behind. Through traditional folk elements, readers follow young Pancho Rabbit in his arduous journey across the border in search of his father as he tries to keep his family together.

Duncan Tonatiuh was born in Mexico City. He attended high school and college in the United States. He currently divides his time between New York City and San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. He has been previously recognized by the Pura Belpré Committee.

 

Members of the 2014 Pura Belpré Award Committee are: Chair C. Ruth Tobar, Plaza Comunitaria, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Mary Clark, Young Critics Club, Perrot Memorial Library, Old Greenwich, Conn.; Paula M. Gonzales, Harris County Public Library, Lone Star College-CyFair Branch, Cypress, Texas; Alicia K. Long, State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, Bradenton, Fla.; Celia C. Pérez, Harold Washington College, City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago; Maria X. Peterson, Thomas Hughes Children's Library, Chicago Public Library, Chicago, and Armando Ramírez, Redwood City (Calif.) Public Library.

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their website at www.ala.org/alsc.

Founded in 1971, REFORMA is committed to promoting the development of library collections that include Spanish language and Latino oriented collections; advocating for library services and programs that meet the needs of the Latino community; educating the Latino population of the availability of library resources; and the recruitment of bilingual and bicultural library professionals and support staff. For more information on REFORMA, visit www.reforma.org.

For information on the Pura Belpré Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.

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