For immediate release | June 15, 2010

Latino authors and illustrators honored for outstanding works in children’s literature

Recipients of prestigious Pura Belpré Medal accept awards, sign winning books

CHICAGO – Hundreds will gather for an event that celebrates the most influential Latino authors and illustrators of children’s literature. The Pura Belpré Celebración will serve as a national backdrop for the presentation of the coveted Pura Belpré Medal, an award that recognizes Latino authors and illustrators of children’s literature. The event, open to registered conference-goers, will take place from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 27, 2010 at the Mayflower Renaissance Hotel/East State Ballrooms, during the American Library Association (ALA) Annual conference taking place from June 24 to June 29 in Washington, D.C.

Given annually, the Pura Belpré Medal is awarded to a Latino writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. The award is known worldwide for the high quality it represents and serves as a guideline for educators, parents and bookstores for the best of the best in Latino-themed children’s literature.

The event will honor the following 2010 Belpré Medal winners and honorees:

  • Julia Alvarez, author of “Return to Sender,” published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.
  • Rafael López, illustrator of “Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros,” written by Pat Mora and published by Rayo, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
  • Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and David Diaz, author and illustrator of “Diego: Bigger Than Life,” published by Marshall Cavendish Children.
  • Georgina Lázaro, author of “Federico Garcia Lorca,” illustrated by Enrique S. Moreiro and published by Lectorum Publications Inc., a subsidiary of Scholastic Inc.
  • Yuyi Morales, illustrator of “My Abuelita,” written by Tony Johnston and published by Harcourt Children’s Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  • John Parra, illustrator of “Gracias. Thanks,” written by Pat Mora and published by Lee & Low Books Inc.

Event highlights include a performance by Los Quetzales Mexican Dance Ensemble under the direction of Laura Ortiz. Participating authors will sign copies of their award-winning books.

Read this press release in Spanish.

The Pura Belpré Medal is named in honor of Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian from the New York Public Library. As a children's librarian, storyteller and author, she enriched the lives of Latino children through her pioneering work of preserving and disseminating Puerto Rican folklore. The award is given by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and co-sponsored by the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking (REFORMA).

For more information regarding the Pura Belpré Medal please visitémedal.

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 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 Web site at

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