Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Which Side Are You On? Christopher Cardinale in Santa Fe Tomorrow

CHRISTOPHER CARDINALE, the illustrator of the newly release
written by George Ella Lyon, will be presenting his new title and signing copies on

Thursday, December 29
376 Garcia St # B  Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 986-0151
4:30 pm to 6 pm.

Please join us!
Age Level: 9 and up | Grade Level: 4 and up
WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? tells the story of the classic union song that was written in 1931 by Florence Reece in a rain of bullets. It has been sung by people fighting for their rights all over the world. Florence's husband Sam was a coal miner in Kentucky. Many of the coal mines were owned by big companies, who kept wages low and spent as little money on safety as possible. Miners lived in company houses on company land and were paid in scrip, good only at the company store. The company owned the miners sure as sunrise. That's why they had to have a union. Miners went on strike until they could get better pay, safer working conditions, and health care. The company hired thugs to attack union organizers like Sam Reece.

George Ella Lyon tells this hair-raising story through the eyes of one of Florence's daughters, a dry-witted, pig-tailed gal whose vantage point is from under the bed with her six brothers and sisters. The thugs' bullets hit the thin doors and windows of the company house and the kids lying low wonder whether they're going to make it out of this alive; wonder exactly if this strike will make their lives better or end them, but their mother keeps scribbling and singing. "We need a song," she tells her kids. That's not at all what they think they need. Graphic novelist Christopher Cardinale brings Florence's triumphant story to life in true rip-roaring union style.
" A good and important story, well-told for an elementary-school audience. Cardinale’s folksy, woodcut-style paintings include several memorable images. The family’s home – “a coal company house” – is cradled in the hand of a gold-buttoned executive. A lineup of coal miners emphasizes, appropriately, the miners’ muscular arms, work boots and dirt-encrusted pants. An aerial view of the parents’ bedroom, the children crouched under the bed, the mother standing defiant by the bullet-ridden wall, is especially effective. "
—The New York Times
"What a perfect time for this picture book’s arrival...“Which Side Are You On?" is an old song with new relevance for a generation facing a dubious future."
—NY Journal of Books
"It’s a high-stakes account of grace under pressure."
Publisher's Weekly
"Cardinale's digitally colored scratchboard art is dynamic...Given that many of the same [labor] conditions exist today, only changed by mechanization, the music and lyrics included may well find use in the current generation. Lyon has given today's readers a stirring story."
—Kirkus Reviews
"Lyon and Cardinale make a perfect match for this picture-book homage to a 1931 rallying cry born under duress in Harlan County, Ky... Although this book describes a historical event, it can open a gateway to understanding terms such as "collective bargaining," what that right has meant, and to consider what it means today."
—Shelf Awareness

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Yes, Johnny Byrd did get married!

Cinco Puntos Puntos is delighted to announce that, Yes, the rumor is true. Johnny Byrd married the truly wonderful Ailbhe Cormack. It was a truly marvelous three-day event, and it's taken Lee and me this whole last week to begin to recuperate. Meanwhile, Ailbhe and Johnny are honeymooning in Spain. Last word from them is that they walk around Barcelona holding hands and drinking cafe con leche. Many thanks to all well-wishers. Meanwhile, the business runs along without him, although we miss him greatly. He'll be back in the office and jet-legged the end of October. --Bobby

[Note: the photos below are by our close friend, the artist Jill Somoza.]

Ailbhe and Johnny: The first dance as husband and wife

Lee, the very happy mother of the groom, immediately after the ceremony

And Bobby, the equally happy father of the groom

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Blood Lie Book Trailer

It's 1928.

It's Jack's 16th birthday.

And he's about to be accused of murder.

Want to learn more about the real-life Massena, NY blood libel? Click here to buy the book, read reiews and discover resources on the little-known event.

Monday, August 29, 2011

From Laos, With Love

We just received a wonderful and touching note from a CP devotee about Youme Landowne's book Mali Under the Night Sky — A Lao Story of Home!

I have a four-year-old son who’s bi-racial (Lao-Ethiopian). I read him this book about Mali’s journey; and in a surprising & sweet, innocent way, my son started asking me about war, about why Mali had to leave her country. It was a special bonding moment for my son & me, for me to have the opportunity to educate/teach him about his daddy’s own journey to America. I was born in Vientiane, and spent 14 months in Nong Khai Refugee camp before coming to America.

Mali Under the Night Sky is the true story of Laotian-American artist Malichansouk Kouanchao, whose family was forced by civil war to flee Laos when she was five. Before the war began, Mali lived in a beautiful community where she felt safe and was much loved. But the coming war caused her family to flee to another country and a life that was less than ideal. What did she carry with her? She carried her memories. And they in turn carried her across the world, sharing where she is from and all that she loves with the people she meets.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Rick Riordan, James Patterson & Pamela Paul vs Reluctant Readers

Rick Riordan is granddaughter Emma Birdie Byrd's favorite, so we were delighted to see him talking with James Patterson and Pamela Paul about reluctant readers, especially boys. Good stuff.

Crowdsourcing the Kentucky Club

Have you ever been to the Kentucky Club on Avenida Juarez?

We are looking for images of the world famous bar to use as the cover for Benjamin Alire Saenz' latest collection of short stories about what else... The Kentucky Club.

Photo contest ends Friday, September 16! Send photos to

[Image via Daniel Huggard]

Monday, August 8, 2011

Publishing Workshops for Kids

A Workshop and Field Trip for Students of All Ages

Teachers, Librarians, Parents--school is about to start again. If you're in El Paso or the surrounding area, remember that Lee Byrd, the co-publisher of Cinco Puntos, gives a wonderful workshop for kids of all ages during the school year and the summer too. It's a great field trip for kids. Below is our description of the workshop.

A group of kids from El Paso Northeast 
sponsored by the Girl Scouts
Thanks to Sandra Iturbe and her team!

El Paso’s Cinco Puntos Press presents a Publishing Workshop and Field Trip that will introduce students to the world of publishing. The hour-long workshop includes a tour of Cinco Puntos offices at 701 Texas Avenue. Students will find out that a book doesn’t just get written (that might even be the easy part!): it needs to be edited, translated, designed, illustrated, shipped and distributed, advertised and marketed. And they’ll get to meet the people who actually do these jobs.

After the tour, we’ll show them how a book goes from manuscript to final copy, using samples of the beautiful bilingual children’s books that we have produced ourselves. These questions and more will be answered:

•    How do we decide what books to publish?
•    How do we pick an illustrator?
•    How much do writers make for a published book?
•    Who puts the illustration and the text together?
•    Where do the books get printed?
•    What happens once the book is finished?
•    How do we decide what a book costs?

Students will then have an opportunity to ask their own questions. We can talk about the publishing business and the business of writing from almost any perspective—we’ve been publishing books for the last 18 years.

After this, we’ll have a story time, using a book appropriate for the age of the students. And then—at the end of the question-and-answer period, every student will be able to choose a book to take home!
Workshop costs: $20 per student. Minimum number of students is 25; maximum is 40. We can customize the workshop for a variety of different needs—elementary, middle school, high school, creative writing students, students of the border, newcomers who speak very little English, and more. Call Lee Byrd at 915-838-1625 or email Lee at to book your publishing workshop.

For adults--especially teachers and librarians--we do the workshop free of charge. It's our way to saying hello and introducing our books to future customers. We think you'll like what you see!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hello New Orleans

Bobby and Lee

It was hot and muggy in the Big Easy for the ALA Annual— weather for morning mimosas, Po' Boys for lunch, and the hotel swimming pool in the afternoon. (We had to skip the mimosas but it *sounded* like a good idea). Cinco Puntos shared a booth with Fulcrum Publishing out of Colorado, publishers of Trickster, a graphic collection of Native American tales, including one by CPP's own Tim Tingle. J.L. Powers signed copies of This Thing Called the Future in the booth and Cinco Puntos hosted its first ALA Giveaway. Five librarians received a collection of three books (Colores de la Vida, This Thing Called the Future, and Walking Home to Rosie Lee).

Author Alan Cumyn with Groundwoods's Patsy Aldana and librarian Martha Walke 

On Saturday morning, Cinco Puntos and Groundwood Books hosted a breakfast at The Columns Hotel, an historic hotel built in 1883 and located in New Orleans' upper Garden District. We invited eighteen librarians to meet Groundwood's Alan Cumyn and Cinco Puntos' J.L. Powers.

 A Tim Tingle fan, Lee Byrd and Tim Tingle at the Cinco Puntos table

J.L. Powers with Groundwood's Fred Horler

Jessica (J.L.) talked about how she fell in love with Africa— there's a romantic version and a "real" version of how that happened— and why she wrote This Thing Called the Future, while Alan talked about his latest young adult novel, TILT, a wry coming-of-age story where the main character obsesses about basketball and, well, sex, even as his home life deteriorates around him. (It's a great read, by the way. Think wet dreams; dads who disappear and then reappear with half-brothers they've apparently kidnapped; and the shifting, awkward, sexy relationship between two teenagers trying to figure life out.)

Food was great, company was even better, and we hope to do it all again at a future ALA!

Click here and here to see more ALA photos on Facebook.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Get 'Em While They're Hot!

Our good friend Dennis Maloney of the inimitable White Pine Press is selling his massive forty year collection full of autographed and first edition books from the likes of Robert Bly, Pablo Neruda and Michael McClure. Poetry, prose—even some magazines!— Maloney's personal bookshelves include collections from Gary Snyder, various Native American poets, Robert Creeley and so many others.

Dennis Maloney, like me, came to poetry and publishing through following those rabbit trails of poetics laid out for us by the New American Poets (and others) canonized by Donald Allen. Dennis also wandered off on his own into the Japanese and Chinese poets as a translator and a scholar. His library will be full of beautiful and important and collectable books. Besides, White Pine Press deserves our support. It's done the work, it's walked the walk, and our home libraries are peppered with that good work.
—Bobby Byrd

Click here to browse through the list of titles. Proceeds go to support White Pine Press.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Joe Hayes tells the Very Tall Tale of THE LOVESICK SKUNK

Oh, the Zoological Garden of Tall Tales became a lonely place for Joe Hayes' The Gum Chewing Rattler, so he decided to tell the tale of the Lovesick Skunk to keep that rattlesnake happy!

Joe sure must have had a singular growing up in the Arizona desert because he sure loves to write stories about it. And he tells those stories of his so much to audiences all over the United States that it seems like the stories just get more and more fantastic. I bet you've already heard the first tall tale he wrote—The Gum-Chewing Rattler—about a rattlesnake who chewed bubblegum. Yes, it's true. That scary snake even blew huuuuuge bubbles.

Now Joe has written a new story about his early years in Arizona. Joe, the kid, was a creature of habit. If he decided he liked to do something, he would do it over and over again. Like wear the same T-shirt until it nearly fell apart or use the same pencil until he'd sharpened it down to a nub. He also had a pair of black-and-white high-top sneakers that he loved to wear. He wore them every day. "Get rid of those shoes," his mother told him one morning. "They smell terrible!"

Did Joe listen? Not until he met the back end of a skunk.

And this wasn't just an ordinary skunk, but one who was lovesick.

But I'm not going to tell you who she was in love with. You'll have to find that out for yourself.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Come meet Christopher Cardinale, Matt Dembicki, Michael Auger and members of the DC Conspiracy
Tuesday evening, 6:30pm @ Busboys and Poets, 14th & V (2021 14th St).

Teaching for Change is hosting Christopher Cardinale (graphic artist: Mr. Mendoza’s Paintbrush and the forthcoming Which Side are You On?) and Matt Dembicki, editor of, and Michael Auger, contributor to, Trickster: Native American Tales: A Graphic Collection. Auger is also a member of DC Conspiracy, an artist activist collective. Meet the artists, talk comic and graphic novels, eat some food, have a beer.

The cherry blossoms must be blooming.

Besides, Teaching for Change (“Teaching for Change provides teachers and parents with the tools to transform schools into centers of justice where students learn to read, write and change the world”) and Busboys and Poets (“a restaurant, bookstore, fair trade market and gathering place where people can discuss issues of social justice and peace) are both great organizations, a true collaboration between a very hip and fun for-profit restaurant and a non-profit bookstore.

Mr. Mendoza’s Paintbrush graphically depicts the small town of Rosario, where dead corpses rise up out of the cathedral when it floods; where vast silver mines beneath the town occasionally collapse, causing a whole section of the village to drop out of sight; and where the town’s walls are decorated with cryptic messages painted by Mr. Mendoza, self-proclaimed graffiti king of all Mexico. He paints the town's ugly truths…and there's nothing his paintbrush hasn't touched, from a dead monk to a peeping Tom! According to Publisher’s Weekly, Mr. Mendoza’s Paintbrush, written by acclaimed Latino writer Luis Alberto Urrea and illustrated by Christopher Cardinale, is “the ideal way to present magical realism graphically,” while The Bloomsbury Review says “Mr. Mendoza’s Paintbrush is a rich gift…Urrea and Cardinale are a match made in heaven.”

Trickster: Native American Tales, A Graphic Collection is the first graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales. Over twenty Native storytellers and carefully selected illustrators cleverly tell the tales of the trickster—a crafty creature who uses cunning to get food, steals precious possessions, or simply causes mischief—in the hijinks of “How Wildcat Caught a Turkey,” an ego-driven social misstep in “Coyote and the Pebbles,” the hilarity of “Rabbit’s Choctaw Tail Tale,” and many more. Each tale has a unique and powerful voice and look, from serious and dramatic to funny and sometimes downright fiendish and is wonderfully entertaining for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Library Journal said, “[Trickster is] done in such a way that kids will find themselves enthralled. When was the last time a book of folktales enthralled one of your kids anyway? It’s remarkable.” Editor Matt Dembicki is the founder of DC Conspiracy, a comic creators’ collaborative in DC, and Mr. Big fame, his nature graphic novel. Visit his author blog at

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cinco Puntos: East Coast, West Coast, Babies Everywhere

Please welcome to the world Esme Kingston Frame, baby daughter of Elena Marinaccio and Andy Frame. Elena worked for Cinco Puntos for several months, end of 2010, but alas, husband Andy left the army and the family moved back to New York so Elena could have this marvelous baby. Not to worry, Elena did so well, we opened up our East Coast office where Elena works for us in her home, Baby Esme at her side. Elena is our IT Administrator and Assistant Editor. Baby Esme is simply happy.

Which reminded us: Cinco Puntos never announced our West Coast office, likewise staffed by an in-house CPP alum with baby, Jessica Powers (aka J.L. Powers, her nom de plume, a phrase I’ve never used). Jessica worked for us several years in the early 2000s, helping us wander into the strange territory of Young Adult literature. She went off to Stanford to study for her PhD in African studies, went to Africa pursuing her studies living with a family there and getting a foothold in the Zulu language, decided what she really wanted to do was to be a writer for young adults. She wrote The Confessional (Knoph, 2007). Her next novel came to us. We loved it. This Thing Called the Future--a coming of age story of a young woman growing up in South Africa is being shipped to book stores right now. In the process, Jessica fell in love with publishing again, and she’s working as Senior Editor for Cinco Puntos in the Bay Area. Thus, our West Coast Office! Technology is so cool. Jessica and her husband Chris Gibson are the proud parents of Nesta, a baby boy, now six months old. They named him Nesta to honor Bob Marley, a hero of husband Chris and to many others the world round. Nesta was Marley’s first original name. Don’t worry about a thing cause every little thing is going to be alright. That's what Nesta says. He's got those big brown eyes.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tucson Book Festival This Weekend!

Saturday and Sunday, March 12th & 13th, 2011
Joe Hayes, Ben Saenz, JL Powers, 
Luis Alberto Urrea, Tom Miller and Others
Including Johnny Byrd and Bobby Byrd!!


Signing @ Booth 446 @ 10:00 am - Noon, 1:30 - 1:45 & 3:15 - 5 pm

Southwest Story Fiesta
Entertainment / Sat 12:30 PM - 01:00 PM
Story Telling Stage
La Llorona, El Cucuy, Y Mas! Mexican-American Ghost Stories and Folklore

Panel / Sat 2:30 PM - 03:30 PM
Student Union - Tucson Room
Joe Hayes
Solo Presentation / Sun 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Story Blanket

Signing @ Booth 446 @ 10:30 to 11 am & 11:30 to 2 pm

Joe Hayes
Solo Presentation / Sun 2:30 PM - 03:00 PM
Story Blanket

Pass It On: Creating Community Through Storytelling
Two Joes: Joe Hayes and Joe Bruchac. Three things are needed to build a community: a teller, a listener and a story. Children are hungry for a sense of belonging, and they feel held and comforted by the flow of a well-told tale. Participants in this session will explore the power of storytelling and build greater confidence in their own skill as tellers.
Panel / Sun 4:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Education Building - Room 353


Signing @ booth 446 @ 12:45 - 2 pm

Benjamin Aire Sáenz 
Solo Presentation / Sat 4:00 PM - 04:30 PM
Teen Authors Lounge

Kids in the Crossfire: Border Politics in Literature
Two authors discuss the cultural traditions and languages of our “border” relationships with Mexico, Latin America, and Native American tribes as reflected in the stories, poems, songs and plays that communicate historical and present-day knowledge that helps us appreciate each others' communities.
Panel / Sat 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Education Building - Room 349

Signing @ Booth 446 @ 10am to 11am

Becoming Unstuck: Young Latinos Moving Forward

Poets Benjamin Aire Saenz, Sandra Lopez, Malin Alegria
Panel / Sun 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Student Union - Tucson Room

Poesía and Prose: The Spoken Palabras from Two Very Diverse Poets
Ben Saezn with Acoma Poet Simon Ortiz
Nuestras Raices
Workshop / Sun 1:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Integrated Learning Center - Room 119


Sunday Only

Signing @ Booth 446 @ 1pm to 2 and 4 to 5pm

Knowing the Ropes: Getting Your Young Adult Novels Published
Whether you are an experienced writer of young adult fiction or just getting started, this panel of successful YA authors will answer your questions about getting published. They will discuss current YA writing trends, how to attract the attention of agents and editors, and resources for younger writers.
Workshop / Sun 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Education Building - Room 333

Taking a Stance: Social Justice and Literature for Children and Teens
Two authors share how they explore social issues through their books for children and young adults. Whether you are a young adult who likes to read and has a passion for social justice, a parent or teacher concerned about introducing social issues, or a writer wondering how to be both substantive and entertaining, come participate in this interactive panel.
Panel / Sun 2:30 PM - 03:30 PM
Education Building - Room 349



A Conversation with Luis Alberto Urrea
Nuestras Raíces
Solo Presentation / Sat 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Nuestras Raíces Performance Stage

"Border Crossings": Luis Urrea and T. Jefferson Parker in Conversation with Scott Simon
Panel / Sat 4:00 PM - 05:00 PM
Student Union - South Ballroom


The Graphic Novel: Is a Picture Really Worth 1,000 Words?
Panel / Sun 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
UA Mall Tent


Signing and Event times to be announced.

Monday, January 24, 2011


J.L. Powers visited our booth at the Mid-Winter American Library Association Conference in San Diego earlier in January. It was a busy time, but we were able to talk about her new coming-of-age novel This Thing Called the Future about 14-year-old Khosi growing up in post-apartheid South Africa during the time of HIV. Good book, good interview, good person. You'll enjoy this little video.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

MidWinter ALA San Diego Roundup

CPP was proud to share a booth with Theatre Communications Group
Here we are with good friend Terry Nemuth, Publisher
Forgive how we look. We'd been on the concrete for three days.

Oh, wow, we came back from the Mid-Winter ALA in San Diego with good news, good memories and good feelings for the year in front of us. We hosted J.L. (aka Jessica) Powers whose new YA novel This Thing Called the Future we will be publishing in April; and the Mexican (Tijuana) artist Esau Andrade, the illustrator for Ben Saenz' Perfect Season for Dreaming. All of us had great talks with wonderful librarians. We also talked to distributors and other publishers, we ate good food and marveled at the San Diego Bay and we took copious notes of things to do in the year ahead. And we came home with some very good news, which may be old news to many of our fans, especially to those who get our emails--Cinco Puntos Press books received two prestigious awards:

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Saenz was honored by being named one of the Top Ten Books for Young Adults by the YALSA Committee; and Tim Tingle's Saltypie, A Choctaw Journey from Darkness into Light was honored as a ALSC Notable Book for Non-Fiction. Congratulations to both Ben and Tim and to Karen Clarkson, the wonderful illustrator of Saltypie.

Of course, we're never 100% happy. We expected the graphic novel collaboration Mr. Mendoza's Paintbrush (Luis Alberto Urrea and Christopher Cardinale) to receive equivalent recognition from the Graphic Novel committee. Already Kirkus Reviews had listed it in its 2010 Top Ten List of Graphic Novels, and it had been glowingly reviewed from Kirkus, PW, Library Journal and others, but, alas, the committee went in other directions. They had their own druthers. Oh well. The publishing animal, although luminous, is a peculiar and diverse beast. But we wouldn't trade Mr. Mendoza for the others. It's a remarkable and important graphic novel, the product of two wonderful artists.

Here are some more photographs.

JL Powers with Lee showing off the sampler
for Jessica's new young adult novel
a coming of age story of  Khosi,
a 14-year old girl in South Africa. 
Esau Andrade and Bobby in Little Italy, San Diego.
We'd just eaten too much Italian food and Byrd had two beers. Egad.
With our good friend Fred Horler of Groundwood Books. 
Great people, great books make for great friends!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Artemisa (Arte) Salinas, 1932-2011

Artemisa (Arte)  Salinas
September 25, 1932 – January 17, 2011

Arte, the beloved waitress at the legendary H&H Carwash on Yandell Street in El Paso, died in her sleep Monday morning. She was 79. She left behind three children, six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren. She bequeathed us the memory of her remarkable smile, a tough & wicked sense of humor, a pride in her work and a passion and joy in serving others. She had friends and admirers all across the city and the country who knew her as one of the brightest and most beautiful faces in that luminescent and beloved diner on Yandell that we all want to claim as if we’d discovered it ourselves. Before we opened our mouths, she knew what we were going to order. / Lee