Friday, November 20, 2009

Apres Texas Book Fair with Shelf Awareness

José Lozano after reading from his new ABC book
Once Around the Block / Una vuelta a la manzana.
Besides performing at the TBF José, Reading Rock Stars
invited him to read from his book in area schools.

Shelf Awareness published a nice piece about the Texas-based cutting-edge literacy project READING ROCK STARS. Cinco Puntos has been honored to have a number of our authors perform for the program throughout the state of Texas. The week before the Texas Book Festival, the RRS invited artist and writer José Lozano to perform and talk about his work for Austin area kids. José joined us for the book festival and performed again in the Children's tent. Besides being a children's book writer and illustrator, José is in the vanguard of the L.A. Latino arts scene. Shelf Awareness, by the way, is rapidly becoming an important venue for reviews in the book industry, creating an on-line model to rival traditional review media in printed form. Please visit the Shelf Awareness website and subscribe. Below is a portion of the article about Reading Rock Stars. You can follow the link for the complete piece. And at the bottom are more photos from the Texas Book Festival.
The "Keep Austin Weird" movement in Texas may have been at the forefront of the nationwide "Shop Local" campaign, but now another Austin-based initiative could well be a blueprint from which other states can benefit: the Reading Rock Stars program.

Launched 10 years ago as "Author! Author!," the program began in conjunction with the Texas Book Festival in Austin to bring children's book creators to underserved schools in the area. "We had all these authors coming into town for the festival that we could also invite into the schools," said Blair Newberry, director of outreach for the Texas Book Festival, which was held October 31-November 1. "A few years ago, we changed the name to Reading Rock Stars--that's what authors are to the kids."

The authors read to the children, then sign copies of their books, which are donated by local foundations such as One Sky, ECG, the Meadows and Wright Family Foundations, as well as corporate sponsors like HEB (a grocery chain) and Scholastic, which has donated the books for its featured authors. More than 100 authors have participated so far, and books have been given to more than 25,000 students. For some of them, it's the first book they've ever owned. [TO READ THE COMPLETE POST AND TO SIGN UP FOR SHELF AWARENESS, GO HERE.]

Ben Saenz in our booth at the TBF.
Photo by Cynthia Leitich Smith from her blog.

Ben was in Austin to receive the Tomas Rivera Mexican-American Children's Book Award
for his YA novel He Forgot to Say Goodbye (Simon & Schuster). There were two winners this year, Ben and Carmen Tafolla for her book The Holy Tortilla and a Pot of Beans (Wings Press). Ben was delighted, of course, to spend much time with us celebrating his new YA novel from Cinco Puntos Last Night I Sang to the Monster and his new illustrated book for young readers
The Dog Who Loved Tortillas / La perrita que le encantaban tortillas.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cinco Puntos at NCTE in Philly

The National Council of Teachers of English (aka NCTE) is gathering this weekend in Philadelphia. We're delighted. Philly is one of our favorite convention cities. It's a great walking city and the Reading Terminal Market is just across the street from the Convention Center. Good books and Philly cheesesteaks and Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. Life is good. The NCTE is separated into two parts--the regular convention which is from Friday, Nov 20 to Sunday Nov 22. Cinco Puntos will be displaying our books in the exhibit area at booth 641. And Sunday evening the convention separates into a number of different parts, with aficionados of different disciplines going their separate ways. Cinco Puntos follows the ALAN Strand, teachers of YA fiction. This year's theme is Scattering Light on Our Freedom to Think, See, Imagine, very apropos to being in historic Philadelphia. This is a two day gathering of passionate readers, literature teachers, fans and writers talking together about YA fiction, their favorite books. Lots of panels, lots of face to face talk, lots of free books, lots of books to buy. It's exciting.

Eve Tal is in-country from Israel and she will be in Philly to help us celebrate her new book Cursing Columbus. The novel is the much anticipated sequel to Double Crossing, both novels tracing the life of Raizel, a Jewish girl who with her family immigrates from Russia and settles in the Lower East Side of New York City. Eve will be on the panel New Voices: Spreading Light, Sharing their Work at 8:55am Tuesday.

And Benjamin Alire Sáenz will be there too, signing books at our booth all day Sunday. He has two new books from Cinco Puntos: his newest YA novel Last Night I Sang to the Monster and his illustrated bilingual children's book The Dog Who Loved Tortillas / La perrita que le encantaban tortillas. Ben will be on a 11am panel on Monday morning--Splintered Lights of War and Strife in YA Literature.

Representing Cinco Puntos will be the old folks, Lee and Bobby Byrd.

Monday, November 16, 2009

La Cosecha 2009: Tim Tingle and Cactus Mary Fountaine

Cinco Puntos Press is delighted to be sponsoring Tim Tingle this week at the 14th Annual La Cosecha Dual Language Conference (11/18-11/21) in Albuquerque. Tim's performance will be 11:10 to 12-30 Friday November 20th in the Cochiti room of the Albuquerque Convention Center. The tentative for his talk and performances is "Indians Do Walk on Water," a reference to his award-winning Crossing Bok Chitto. He will be signing books at our booth before and after his performance. Our representative this year will be the one and only Cactus Mary Fountaine, who not only works at CPP but also finds time to run her own hand-made soap-making business.

Other speakers at the event will be Alma Flor Alda, Isabel Campoy, Stanley and Yolanda Lucero and many others. There will also be a special showing of the award-winning film Speaking in Tongues. If you are an educator in the area, please drop by and see what's happening in education as we learn to enjoy our diverse world of peoples and languages.

Friday, November 13, 2009


SPANGLISH BABY: Raising Bilingual Kids has a great interview of Benjamin Alire Saenz talking about his new bilingual book The Dog Who Loved Tortillas / La perrita que le encantaban las tortillas. They also are offering a free book as part of their READ ME program. To win a book you need to share with them what you do to promote bilingual literacy in your home and school. Hurry. Deadline is Sunday evening, November 15.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Congratulations to Jeanne Rorex Bridges

Congratulations to Jeanne Rorex Bridges! Ms. Martha Griffin-White, an Oklahoma patron of the arts, has purchased all eighteen of the paintings that illustrate Tim Tingle's story Crossing Bok Chitto, and she donated the complete collection to the Five Civilized Tribes Museum in Muskogee, Oklahoma. The museum, which is known throughout the world for its outstanding collection of Native American Art, will make the paintings available to other museums and institutions for future exhibitions. This has been exactly what Jeanne had wanted. She has in the past refused to sell the illustrations separately. She felt that the paintings tell a complete story about Choctaw history and she did not want to see the collection divided into pieces. We at Cinco Puntos wholeheartedly agree. Besides being one of the most successful of our books, we believe that Crossing Bok Chitto is one of the most important books that we have published. It tells an important and long-forgotten piece of American history for our young people.

Below is Jeanne's "Artist's Statement" that she prepared for our website. And below that is a brief description of, and some images depicting, the style of "The Kiowa Five," the work of whom she first encountered as a student at Bacone College in Muskogee.

I am of Cherokee Indian descent and I have been a professional artist for 25 years. I am best known by collectors of Native American Art and most of my awards were in Native American Art competitions. My art education began at age 28 when I attended Bacone College in Muskogee, Oklahoma; a private junior college known as the Indian College. My classes included courses in Indian Art. This flat style (see the info quoted below about the Kiowa Five) of painting was immediately natural for me. To produce Indian Art, you should understand the human anatomy, the tradition and history of Indian people, and be able to portray your feelings in the work. Indian Art is not just a "pretty picture."

The Oklahoma Flat Style is simply that you apply solid color in the shape of, for example, a woman in a blanket. To create that initial shape, you must understand the position of her shoulders, arms and back under the blanket. Pure Indian Art would only allow fine lines of another color and/or gradual changes of flat colors to "shade" the blanket. Over the years, I have developed my own style by keeping the basic Flat Style but adding background work and shading. I have always mixed my own colors from tube paints because I like lots of color but muted, softer colors.
Tim Tingle's story of Crossing Bok Chitto was inspiring to portray. The relationships of kindness and protection, the strength of the women, the shared history of Native and African Americans, and Faith were all in this story. Please refer to my website and see my five paintings of Native and African American women together.

If you would like more information or have any specific questions for me, please call my studio 1-800-681-9366.
--Jeanne Rorex Bridges

The artwork of the Kiowa Five is well known for its representational, narrative style with ceremonial and social scenes of Kiowa life as their subject matter. Many of the oral traditions in the Kiowa culture express the purity and distinct colors of their native landscape. In many colorful paintings, using flat planes of color in bold and direct figures, the Kiowa Five developed a distinctive cultural style, still emulated today. As students of the University of Oklahoma, they received formal art training and wide national and international exhibitions of their artistic skill and finesse with paint, pottery and dance. Travel in the 20’s and 30’s was a unique opportunity for them to follow the age--old Kiowa tradition, to “journey to the four corners of the Earth.”