children’s book Tag

Storytime Friends


Hey yall, I’m happy to be a part of a new crew called STORYTIME FRIENDS w/ Peter Limata, Angela Dalton, Michael Genhart, Meera Sriram, and Alex Giardino, a community-centered project that brings the joy of picture books to children’s hospitals. STORYTIME FRIENDS features a video-recorded read-aloud series, related art activities, and book give-aways. For its inaugural year, the project has partnered with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital and more than forty authors and illustrators. The series host Mr. Peter Limata kicks everything off on November 4 with a video read-aloud of Dr. Rachel Remen’s The Birthday of the World, which will be aired at the hospital for the children. My book “Alejandria Fights Back” will be featured later in the series along with 40 author/illustrators across the Bay Area!! 

More info at OR you can follow their IG at @storytimefriendsseries

Stay tuned for more info!

Video: Book trailer – Alejandria Fights back!


If you missed it this is the book trailer for Alejandria Fights Back/ La Lucha de Alejandria which came out last summer. This is a book published by Feminist Press in NYC and written by Leticia Hernandez-Linares and the Rise Home Stories Project; and illustrated by me. 
Please watch the trailer and check out the other projects from this team such as a video game, animated short, podcast, and more HERE
If you’re an educator and you’d like to get a copy of the book there are limited free copies here.

Campaign worth supporting-They Call Me Mix (kids book)

Hey folks! Ok all my children’s book lovers, authors, illustrators, librarians, bk sellers, advocates….come closer. This book is at 202 backers. We need to get it to 250. Doesn’t matter if you donate $1 or $500. Let’s get this book by a two POC authors made. Not only is it written and illustrated by them, it focuses on gender and what it means-especially for young students preschool to elementary school age. Put this on your networks and follow the page  and 

here is a link to the kickstarter

Author: Lourdes

Illustrator: Breena Nunez

Furqan’s First Flat Top UPDATE 4

Peace everyone, this is for folks who supported my kickstarter campaign for “Furqan’s Furst Flat Top” back in the summer of 2014. If you check your kickstarter emails regularly you already know I got the proofs back from the printer, but if you have not received the messages here is a quick update. I just got the actual book (YES, the real book) in the mail and it looks incredible. The printer will let me know shortly when they arrive from Singapore to Oakland. I’m estimating 5 weeks but I will return with a definite date so you know when to expect yours in the mail. For now, thank you for your patience and support. This process has taken a lot longer than I thought it would and I can’t wait to share the book with you and the little ones in your life.

To purchase a copy before the shipment arrives GO HERE

Character collage (4) 2014-2015

Here is a collection of character designs from this past year. Although the year is not yet finished, it has been one year since last years collage, and the year before that. I started to practice character design to improve my ability four years ago and it is now an integral part of my practice when attempting to tell a story. To date my work has benefited my skills and has lead to work in children’s books, game design, animation, and more.

One thing I focus on greatly is freedom of expression and diversity. The representation of children who are mixed like me or come from some of the various backgrounds in my family is getting better, but we still have along way to go. That is why the characters you see are diverse in their race, size, and gender. I attempted to create a character that is transgender, do you see him/her?

If you would like to purchase this collage as a poster, please visit my store: LINK

Here is Character collage 2013-2014

ALA Conference in San Francisco 2015

The entrance where you need a badge
Ok, I’ve been meaning to write about the ALA (American
Library Association) since I went recently. I’ll try to keep this short. On a
sunny but brisk weekend in Frisco I went to the ALA and visited my TYS Crew and
friends painting a mural near by at the Ybca.

My crew mates and friends painting murals

 Awareness: Ok, first of all to even go to something like
this I had to be in the right state of mind. I mean it helps greatly that this
was near my city (Oakland) this year, because it travels to a different city
every year. But when I say awareness, I mean that it took me a while to even
see the value of going to any kind of conference. Especially one thrown by
librarians. But, now that I’m aware I want to share it with you in case
storytelling in books is of interest to you.

Getting IN: This is a barrier. Not as big of a wall as the
SCBWI, but its still a wall that some people cannot get through. I’m lucky that
I am doing well enough as a freelancer that I could afford to go. But more
importantly I understand the type of investment going is. So I paid. But, not
before trying to find a hook up. I mean, come on. Wouldn’t you try to get in
free if you could? No dice. But while asking about getting in from the women
selling tickets at the front kiosk, a brother from Georgia basically broke it
down to me. Pay for the minimum price. There are two types of attendance fees
that I knew of, probably more. 1- Get into the area where they sell shit-tons
of shit, mostly books, but a bunch of other shit. I’ll get to that. 2-Attend
the panels and discussions. This was important because some of the people you
want to meet are specifically at those.
Corporate central
Networking: This is important. I know, I know. Its not easy
to just go up to someone you don’t know and talk to them. But, if you want to
learn everything there is to know about any chosen field, or just know all the
tools in the box networking helps.
-And I honestly try to talk only to people who I actually
have a connection to. As it relates to children’s books, that could be an
author or illustrator who’s work I actually like. Not just a name, but someone
who I actively read, follow, or know something about. That way if I do talk to
them, I have something to actually talk about.
-Another important thing about networking. You never know
who you’ll meet, what you’ll learn, or who you’ll stumble upon. Case in point,
I was walking through what ALA calls “artist alley” a place where indie and
established illustrators/authors sell their book and talk to people face to
face. In the alley that day I met several people who I’d been following like
Gene Luen Yang, Nathan Hale, John Hendrix, Erika Alexander and her husband TonyPuryear, and many more.
-Homework. Because I am learning about the field still (3
books in) I am constantly studying artists and writers who are doing stuff that
I like visually or creatively with the writing. I can’t stress how important it
is to do the work, look for the work, and ultimately improve your work.
-Connection, homework, and stumble! Now combine all three of
those. I just happen to see John Hendrix. Didn’t know he’d be there at all.
Love his illustrations for “John Brown” and immediately walked up to him ask
him about his work. Guess what? He wasn’t a jerk, he was quite nice and because
I was familiar with his work it made the conversation free of creepy or
awkwardness. We talked about technique, I showed him my work (not because I
expected anything, just because I dig his work) and Howard Reeves  comes up to talk to me about my work. I
talk to him just like I was talking to John (natural). Turns out this guy is an
editor at a press I’m familiar with. Why? Because a fellow classmate from
college Duncan Tonatiuh is published his company. I ask him if he knows him. Of
course! He’s his editor. Wow, connection however small made.
It was a always a rush of people

The enormity of the big 5 companies
 Knowledge/Learning: Although I am now 3 books into the
children’s book game, it is a lifelong journey and I will forever be a student.
On the one hand I’m quick to say #$%& the industry! Do it yourself! Some
days I’m like I need to begetting that Scholastic money, I’m trying to own a
house, lol. But to be real with you as an artist, as an entrepreneur, and as a
human I am learning and pulling from many sources. I believe the big companies
have some things to teach. I believe that to really learn how to be a
children’s book creator I must investigate whoever is out there creating dope
shit. By that I mean beautiful artwork, good quality printing, and stories that
are from the heart that represent some of the cultures I come from. I believe
that there is no waiting for larger companies to “find you” or for a company or
person to validate you. It’s really about doing it.
panel on diversity

Don Tomas Moniz reading from a zine

Nia King reading from a zine
Future: In conclusion, if you are an illustrator or writer
interested in children’s books and the ALA is in your city. I’d say go. Check
it out, see what they’re talking about at least. The ALA did a way better job
at promoting diversity and bringing not only a wide array of speakers/companies
in-they had a much more diverse in attendance than I expected. I could have
dealt with out all the corporate companies selling sinks, book shelves, filing
systems, etc but hey I went and found what I was looking for.
Zines: They had an awesome zine pavilion where I got to see
artists like Breena Nuñez, Avy Jetter, Liz Mayorga, and of course my Rad Dadfamilia. Lots of lefties there and anarchy in the corner which is just what
they need in my opinion.
The zine pavillion
 Friends: Aww man, 10 years ago, shit maybe even 5 years ago
I probably would not have known anyone there. But I was happy to see Amy Sonnie(Oakland librarian/Co-author of HillBilly NationalistsUrban Race Rebels, and Black Power ), Innosanto Nagarra (author/illustrator of A is for
Activist),  Duncan Tonatiuh ( Diego
Rivera, Separate is never equal ). I met some people from Chronicle who
recognized me after doing a talk with one of their illustrators on Latin@s for
Kid Lit, I saw John Jennings (Black Comix, Black Kirby), Nia King (Queer artists of color), and I met Cory
. I’m sure I’m forgetting some body else but it was nice to see
familiar faces.

ALA: Please include an intentional artists alley for more
independent publishers of color who are from the cities you are being hosted
in. You missed Reflection Press, Blood Orange Press and Marcus Books! But good job on including folks from #WeNeedDiverseBooks , i caught the tail end of the talk, but was glad they were there.

Whaleheart-Reflection Press Anthology

Yo , anyone who is checking for childrens books with an eye for diveristy, inclusive, or pro lgbtq stories needs to check this Anthology out. Its a book of short stories featuring work by new writers and illustrators from diverse backgrounds. These are folks you’ll want to keep your eye on. 


Little Black Books Give away-Young, Black, Nappy

Hey all, please check out YOUNG BLACK & NAPPY! I ran into these folks at the Oakland Indie Fest and was delighted to find out that they were a family of naturals (afros, locks, etc). We got to talking and realized Furqans First would be a great fit for a contest they are running to give away children’s books featuring African American children. So please  go to their site and check them out. Even if you already got a copy coming through the kickstarter campaign, please check out the other books they’ll be giving away.