I’ve always been a writer, but I just didn’t know it. I really loved writing poems in elementary school. It was my good fortune to have the most talented and creative teacher from grades four through six, Mrs. Thompson. Art and poetry were always a part of the curriculum. It was then that I developed my love for drawing.
Later, I was gifted a journal as a tween. And I wrote and wrote and wrote. There was, however, a 15 year gap in my writing. I was busy rebelling and having experiences, and I just stopped journaling.
Now, with children of my own, reading is our favorite pastime, and writing has become my full time career. As we are a bilingual household, codeswitching and all, I’ve been on a years long search for books that feature Latinx culture or experiences.
I don’t remember ever having read a book as a child with either Latinx characters in it, much less other diverse characters, and certainly not any bilingual books.
I’ve always been a creative person, and after I wrote the first story based on my daughter’s cute catch phrase, well, the stories just started to kind of pour out. Not all at once, but there were definite inspirational moments happening more frequently.
As both my children grow their interests, so does the need for our home library to expand. And so, I write books for kids like mine, kids like I once was, and for those kids who more often than not, don’t see their neighborhoods, their experiences or the people in their life in the pages of their books. Representation matters!
I also think it is super important for the adults to enjoy reading picture books. I can confess, I have convinced my children more than once to get a book that they didn’t necessarily want! There are picture books I have read when I need to motivate and believe in myself or when I just need a good laugh. That is the power of picture books!