Yuyi Morales, Marjorie Agosín win Pura Belpré Awards

Macey Morales
Media Relations Manager
mmorales@ala.org

CHICAGO – Yuyi Morales, illustrator of “Viva Frida,” and Marjorie Agosín, author of “I Lived on Butterfly Hill,” are the 2015 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. 30 – Feb. 3, in Chicago.

The awards are administered by ALSC and  REFORMA.

“Viva Frida” uses rich, vibrant color photographs and minimal evocative text to beautifully portray the unique imagination and creativity of an iconic Latina artist. Morales blends a wide variety of mediums - stop-motion puppets, acrylic paints and digital manipulation - to create a whimsical picture book that will inspire your artistic sensibilities.  The book was written by Yuyi Morales and published by Roaring Brook Press, a Neal Porter Book.

“It’s Yuyi, what more can you say?” said Pura Belpré Award Committee Chair Tim Wadham.  “Her multi-media illustrations take the reader on a journey straight into Frida Kahlo’s artist’s heart and creative soul.

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 multiple Pura Belpré Awards and Honors.  Essentially, she rules.

The Belpré Committee selected three Honor Books for illustration.

Susan Guevara for “Little Roja Riding Hood,” written by Susan Middleton Elya and published by G. P. Putnam’s Son’s, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Susan Guevara’s illustrations are a visual treat full of suspense and humor adding a spin to the classic fairy tale. Her use of details, such as the three blind mice and the little duendes, and the texture of warm colors give readers glimpses into a contemporary Hispanic family.

John Parra for “Green Is a Chile Pepper,” written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong and published by Chronicle Books LLC.

Parra's vibrant folk art is the perfect complement to the text. The images depict diverse characters of all ages. Parra's wonderful illustrations portray many Hispanic cultural traditions. They have a sense of energy and liveliness, which gives a feeling of being at a fiesta celebrating colors and culture.

Duncan Tonatiuh for “Separate Is Never Equal,” written by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Using his signature style of illustration, Duncan Tonatiuh tells the story of the Mendez family’s struggle for equal education. His digitally enhanced illustrations and his use of period detail convey the historical setting, linking this landmark case against injustice to a long campaign for human rights.  

When warships appear, in “I Lived on Butterfly Hill,” Celeste’s idyllic life is shattered. As people disappear, Celeste’s parents go into hiding, and she is sent into exile. When she returns home, she works to reunite people she loves and to move her country forward. Lyrically written by acclaimed poet, Marjorie Agosín, this Chilean story offers a refreshing perspective on resiliency. “I Lived on Butterfly Hill” was illustrated by Lee White and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

“With her poet’s eye, Marjorie Agosín gives this tale of exile and return an epic feel,” said Wadham. “Though she is a refugee, Celeste learns she belongs anywhere there are things she loves.”

Raised in Chile, Marjorie Agosín and her family left the country for the United States heeding rumors of the coup that would install Augusto Pinochet.  Agosín has a BA from the University of Georgia and an MA and a PhD from Indiana University. An acclaimed poet, Agosín has received numerous awards, including the Gabriela Mistral Medal for Lifetime Achievement awarded by the Chilean government. Agosín is the Luella LaMer Slaner Professor in Latin American studies and a professor of Spanish at Wellesley College.

Marjorie Agosín was raised in Chile, the daughter of Jewish parents. Heeding rumors of the coup that would install Augusto Pinochet, Agosín’s family left the country for the United States, where Agosín earned a BA from the University of Georgia and an MA and a PhD from Indiana University. In both her scholarship and her creative work, she focuses on social justice, feminism, and remembrance. Agosín is the author of numerous works of poetry, fiction, and literary criticism. Her collections include The Angel of Memory (2001), The Alphabet in My Hands: A Writing Life (2000), Always from Somewhere Else: A Memoir of my Chilean Jewish Father (1998), An Absence of Shadows (1998), Melodious Women (1997), Starry Night: Poems (1996), and A Cross and a Star: Memoirs of a Jewish Girl in Chile (1995).
 
Agosín has received numerous honors and awards for her writing and work as a human rights activist, including a Jeanette Rankin Award in Human Rights and a United Nations Leadership Award for Human Rights. The Chilean government honored her with a Gabriela Mistral Medal for Lifetime Achievement. Agosín is the Luella LaMer Slaner Professor in Latin American studies and a professor of Spanish at Wellesley College. Marjorie Agosín was raised in Chile, the daughter of Jewish parents. Heeding rumors of the coup that would install Augusto Pinochet, Agosín’s family left the country for the United States, where Agosín earned a BA from the University of Georgia and an MA and a PhD from Indiana University. In both her scholarship and her creative work, she focuses on social justice, feminism, and remembrance. Agosín is the author of numerous works of poetry, fiction, and literary criticism. Her collections include The Angel of Memory (2001), The Alphabet in My Hands: A Writing Life (2000), Always from Somewhere Else: A Memoir of my Chilean Jewish Father (1998), An Absence of Shadows (1998), Melodious Women (1997), Starry Night: Poems (1996), and A Cross and a Star: Memoirs of a Jewish Girl in Chile (1995).
 
Agosín has received numerous honors and awards for her writing and work as a human rights activist, including a Jeanette Rankin Award in Human Rights and a United Nations Leadership Award for Human Rights. The Chilean government honored her with a Gabriela Mistral Medal for Lifetime Achievement. Agosín is the Luella LaMer Slaner Professor in Latin American studies and a professor of Spanish at Wellesley College.

Marjorie Agosín was raised in Chile, the daughter of Jewish parents. Heeding rumors of the coup that would install Augusto Pinochet, Agosín’s family left the country for the United States, where Agosín earned a BA from the University of Georgia and an MA and a PhD from Indiana University. In both her scholarship and her creative work, she focuses on social justice, feminism, and remembrance. Agosín is the author of numerous works of poetry, fiction, and literary criticism. Her collections include The Angel of Memory (2001), The Alphabet in My Hands: A Writing Life (2000), Always from Somewhere Else: A Memoir of my Chilean Jewish Father (1998), An Absence of Shadows (1998), Melodious Women (1997), Starry Night: Poems (1996), and A Cross and a Star: Memoirs of a Jewish Girl in Chile (1995).
 
Agosín has received numerous honors and awards for her writing and work as a human rights activist, including a Jeanette Rankin Award in Human Rights and a United Nations Leadership Award for Human Rights. The Chilean government honored her with a Gabriela Mistral Medal for Lifetime Achievement. Agosín is the Luella LaMer Slaner Professor in Latin American studies and a professor of Spanish at Wellesley College

The Belpré Committee selected one Honor Book for narration.

Juan Felipe Herrera for “Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes,” illustrated by Raúl Colón and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.

Juan Felipe Herrera celebrates the lives of 20 Hispanic people who up to now have been in the shadows to many despite their significant contributions to American society. These poignant biographical sketches succinctly present the essence of each hero’s life and legacy to the future generations of their culture.

Members of the 2015 Pura Belpré Award Committee are: Chair Tim Wadham, Puyallup (Wash.) Public Library; Dr. Ramona Caponegro, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Mich.; Maria Cotto, Pawtucket (R.I.) Public Library; Iris N. Ilagan, La Canada Flintridge (Calif.) Public Library; Louise Lareau, New York Public Library; Maria E. Rodriguez, Dallas (Texas) Independent School District; and Victor Lynn Schill, Fairbanks Branch Library, Houston, Texas.

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.

Contact:

Macey Morales
Media Relations Manager
312-280-4393
mmorales@ala.org

Heather Cho
Media Relations Specialist
312-280-4020
hcho@ala.org

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American Library Association
312-280-4393