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2012 Pura Belpre Award Winners

Honors Latino and Latina Writers and Illustrators


Cover of Diego Rivera His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh
The 2012 Latino and Latina Pura Belpré Award winners were announced on January 23, 2012 at the America Library Association's Midwinter Meeting.

The 2012 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award

Duncan Tonatiuh, the illustrator of Diego Rivera: His World and Ours, is the winner of the 2012 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award. Duncan Tonatiuh is also the author of the picture book. (Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS, 2011. ISBN: 9780810997318) Compare prices.

According to the official announcement from the American Library Association (ALA), "Tonatiuh’s stylized illustrations include elements of Mayan artwork and represent his interpretation of Diego’s original artwork, answering the question: what would Diego paint today?" (Source: 1/23/12 ALA Award press release)

Duncan Tonatiuh's Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin, which he also wrote and illustrated, was a 2011 Pura Belpré Award Honor Book for illustration.

I would recommend Diego Rivera: His World and Ours for children 5 and older. Younger childen will enjoy the story while older children who are familiar with Diego Rivera's work will enjoy seeing what one artist believes Rivera would paint if he were alive today.

The additional information at the end of the book provides valuable information for the adults sharing the book with younger children, as well as for older independent readers (including teens) interested in learning more about the artist and his work. These resources include a full-page Glossary of Words and References in Story Sequence, including art terms and Spanish words. The full-page Author's Note includes a brief biography of Diego Rivera's life as an artist plus an explanation by Duncan Tonatiuh of how he came to do the book.

There is also a list of museums and galleries where Diego Rivera's work can be found and a bibliography that includes Web sites. Finally, there is an annotated list of the Diego Rivera paintings that inspired Tonatiuh's illustrations. All of this information provides excellent background material and context for Diego Rivera: His World and Ours.

The 2012 Pura Belpré Author Award

Guadalupe Garcia McCall, the author of Under the Mesquite, is the 2012 Pura Belpré Author Award winner. (Lee & Low Books, 2011. ISBN: 9781600604294) Compare prices.

According to the ALA's official announcement, "Guadalupe Garcia McCall, writing in emotionally riveting free verse, gracefully manages to convey the experience of growing up in a bicultural community in Texas with geographical accuracy and a radiating authentic voice for its main protagonist fourteen-year-old Lupita, the oldest of eight children who is dealing with her mother’s terminal illness." (Source: 1/23/12 ALA Award press release)

The 2012 Pura Belpré Honor Books for illustration

  • Rafael López for The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred, written by Samantha R. Vamos. (Charlesbridge, 2011. ISBN: 9781580892421) Compare prices.

  • Sara Palacios for Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match /Marisol McDonald no combina, written by Monica Brown. (Children’s Book Press, an imprint of Lee and Low Books, 2011. ISBN: 9780892392353) Compare prices.

2012 Pura Belpré Honor Books for Narration

  • Margarita Engle for Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck (Henry Holt and Company, 2011. ISBN: 9780805092400) Compare prices.

  • Xavier Garza for Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011. ISBN: 9781933693989) Compare prices.
To learn more about the Pura Belpré Award, see my articles about the Pura Belpré Award and some of the previous annual winners, including the 2011 Pura Belpré Award winners and Honor books and the 2010 Pura Belpré Award winners and Honor books.

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