Unico como yo Tag

My Book in this VICE article


Here we go again, it seems that people just being who they are if that happens to be Gay, Lesbian, Queer, Trans, or gender non conforming seems to really piss White Christian families off. If not enrage them, it really fucking scares them. Check out this article about this town and how they handled books featuring queer children and Queer librarians trying to broaden the minds of local children and families. It was not cool how they essentially forced these librarians to quit. My book with. Laurin Mayeno happens to be the image featured here but really there are so many kids books featuring Black folks, people of color, queer or gender fluid characters that really scare just by existing. Smh
After reading a few more articles it seems that the heart of this issue is that they attacked queer librarians and made them (the key holders of a variety of information, stories, and resources) feel unwelcome; not only in their job but in their town.
Check out this good news pertaining to the book though: Gender Nation 

One of a Kind Like Me- Audio coverage


This is a short interview author Laurin Mayeno did recently to talk about our book “One of a kind, like me” or “Unico Como Yo” which Gender Nation bought along with tons of other Lgbtq / Gender fluid stories. While our book has been banned in some states, schools like Nystrom in Richmond California and in other cities are getting more thanks to Gender Nation; an organization dedicated to affirming queer kids by getting books like ours into schools.
Channel 7 article link 
If you’re new to the book this is the synopsis:

Tomorrow is the school parade, and Danny knows exactly what he will be: a princess. Mommy supports him 100%, and they race to the thrift store to find his costume. It’s almost closing time – will Danny find the costume of his dreams in time?

This is the last post I made about Gender Nation who you should support! If you want to buy the book, cop it here.

Pride & Less Prejudice -Feature


Shout out to these folks at Pride and Less Prejudice, they featured my book One of a Kind Like Me in their book bundle! This organization raises money to get queer books into the hands of educators looking for them. Salute to them for that and it looks like me, Blood Orange Press, and author Laurin Mayeno are in good company.
Check out the “Crayon Bundle” HERE
If you missed the last supportive post check it out. Gender Nation.

One of a kind, like me 7 – Latinxs in kid lit/ At home librarian

More reviews for One of a kind, like me”

Latinxs in Kid Lit 

is a book blog hat focusing on Latinx centered stories and bilingual books. Please check them out, they have YA, Middle grade, and picture books there. And this is the fourth or fifth time I’ve gotten to be featured in some way on their blog. Love them! Subscribe to their blog.

At Home librarian 
is an awesome blog run by one mom who is passionate about books in general and very passionate about diverse books coming from a lot of different backgrounds. Please check out her review and all the other books she talks about.

For those of you new to the book, One of a kind like me is a picture book written by Laurin Mayeno and illustrated by me Robert Liu-Trujillo. Here is the synopsis of the story: Tomorrow is the school parade, and Danny knows exactly what he will be: a princess. Mommy supports him 100%, and they race to the thrift store to find his costume. It’s almost closing time. Will Danny find the costume of his dreams in time? One of A Kind, Like Me / Unico como yo is a sweet story about unconditional love and the beauty of individuality. It’s a unique book that lifts up children who don’t fit gender stereotypes, and reflects the power of a loving and supportive community. The book is written by Laurin Mayeno, illustrated by Robert Liu-Trujillo, and translated by Teresa Mlawer.

And you can purchase it here at Blood Orange Press

One of a kind, like me 6 – Boston Public + Teachers for Change

“One of a kind, like me” the book I illustrated for author Laurin Mayeno was featured in the Boston Public Library’s “2017 We are Pride” booklist for children’s literature. Check it out and look at some of the other books on the lists.

The book was also featured on “Teaching for Social Change” list of books for activism. Check it out here We got featured alongside Zetta Elliott, Innosanto Nagara, Laura Atkins, Stan Yogi, Yutaka Haulette, Miriam Klein Stahl & Kate Schatz, John Jennings, and more!

If you still haven’t gotten the book, you can purchase it here.

One of a kind, like me 4 – Illustration process

This project is part of a much larger project by Blood Orange Press to bring more diverse books to the forefront, please visit bit.ly/ReadInColor and share, share, share it.

Ok, so I began work on Laurin Mayeno’s (right) book over a year ago with publisher Janine Macbeth (middle) of Blood Orange Press. It has been a true joy and honor to work with both of them on this story and I am so proud to be a part of it. Laurin and I met up, she broke down the story for me and immediately I knew I wanted to illustrate this story. Why? I’d never seen a book like it as a child or as a parent. And although its just starting to reach people it is already getting tons of good reviews and responses from people. And the fact that it is bilingual means that it will reach even more families. Janine Macbeth was just starting to look for the next book that would come out of Blood Orange Press, a new home in the publishing industry for diverse books. But, lets talk about art process.

I generally start my work with a few pencils.

The first thing I do when imagining my own project or illustrating a story for someone else is make a set of very rough thumbnails. For BIG ideas like these it can be kind of daunting to start so its better to draw something really tiny just to get an idea for “placement”. That means, where does a person stand, sit, talk, run, or yell in the frame? If there is a car, is it to their right, left, or directly behind them.

Next, after Ive done quite a few little doodles or thumbnails I ask the AD (art director), in this case author/illustrator Janine Macbeth and founder of Blood Orange Press to choose two of the 3 or 4 choices I’ve given her. This is the rough sketch phase.

She gives me feed back and i take four little ideas and condense them into one with little elements from the previous ones all in one usually. This is what I call the almost final phase because i’ll need some feedback from the AD and sometimes the author to judge whether this is working or not. Then, i may even go back and redo something to make it fit better with the whole story over all.

Then i provide some color ideas for where I’d like to go with my reds, blues, yellows, etc. the AD gives me some notes and then.

I get my sketch ready on my light table/box to redraw it on water color paper. I generally use paper.
these are some of the different paints and I use when painting a spread.

Then I paint! Usually for several hours on one spread. Sometimes it takes me more than a day to paint one page or spread. Here’s my palette on wax paper and cardboard.

Then I have the artwork scanned by a local printer or company. I adjust the brightness, saturation, and contrast and I send both the original and my adjustments to the AD. Then that is it for most pages.

After that you’ll see it in the final book!

This is from the story “One of a kind like me/Unico como yo”. It was written by Laurin Mayeno about her experience as a parent with her son Danny. She wrote about what that was like for her as a parent and I know it will resonate with a lot of families because it not only hints at children who may be gay, lesbian, or queer. It celebrates being yourself and loving who you are. And its in spanish too! Here’s the cover of the book, which is starting to get a great response.

 If you enjoyed this and wish to support this book and other books like it please check out the kickstarter our publisher Blood Orange Press just launched to help create other new books and to help print, market, and promote this one. You can also learn more about the true story behind the book and how Laurin Mayeno is making a space for more parents to support their children HERE.