Little Bee Books
August 25, 2020
8.2 X 9.8 X 0.5 inches | 0.88 pounds
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About the Author
Silvia López, a Cuban native raised in Miami, Florida, served as a children's librarian at schools and public libraries for over three decades. She holds degrees in English, Library Science, and Educational Technology, and is a National Board-Certified Teacher. Her picture book, Just Right Family: An Adoption Story, was released in March 2018. She had previously published children's biographies, as well as award-winning bilingual digital books. Her book, Handimals: Animals in Art and Nature, a collaboration with Italian artist Guido Daniele, was published in April 2019. Another picture book, Pacho, is scheduled for release in 2020. Paola Escobar is a Colombian graphic designer and illustrator. She has worked for a variety of publishers, including Oxford University Press, Penguin Random House, Scholastic UK, Laurence King, HarperCollins, and Little, Brown Book Group; as well as a broad range of print and digital magazines. She currently works as a freelance illustrator and lives very happily in Bogota, Colombia, with her husband and dog, Flora.
Nearly 25 years after her death, the musical origin and cultural impact of Mexican American performer Selena Quintanilla are celebrated. The story of Selena, as the singer and songwriter is still known, has been told before but not for so young an audience. López splits the difference between a fawning tribute and a straightforward recounting of accomplishments by working hard to paint the picture of the artist's childhood and what led to her musical achievements. Amid Escobar's exceptionally detailed illustrative work, it's made clear how both the Quintanilla family's immersion in music and Selena's enduring work ethic led to her band's success. There's a lot of text in the book, but it's smartly framed within two-page spreads, and very little of it feels extraneous. Fans new to Selena's work may be surprised to learn that she was not a native speaker when she began performing in Spanish and that early in her career, sexism within the Tejano tradition was an issue. The artwork captures clothing and home furnishings of the time, such as Selena's cassette tapes, her father's guayabera shirts, and the singer's iconic stage costumes. Not surprisingly, there's not much dwelling on the circumstances of the singer's murder other than an explainer page and a mention in a timeline in the backmatter, which also offers other cultural context.A worthy picture-book primer on the Queen of Tejano music. (Picture book/biography. 6-9)--Kirkus Reviews