This comes a week late, but it’s been a whirlwind of a week! My debut children’s picture book Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! illustrated by Addy Rivera Sonda, released on October 1st from Albert Whitman & Company–and the same day I received a beautiful review from School Library Journal. They wrote “This warm #OwnVoices look at Colombian traditions, including wearing yellow underwear and eating grapes for good luck, is both universal and deeply personal” and called my writing “atmospheric” and I pretty much died.
I didn’t have a formal launch, thanks to COVID, but I did get to do a Storytime launch through Books & Books on their Instagram Live! It was fun and I got to show off my own Año Viejo doll. Parents and teachers: Feliz New Year, Ava Gabriela! has a Teacher’s Guide & Activity PDF you can download here, which includes how to make an Año Viejo for the new year!
On Friday, I also went to Books & Books to sign preorders and copies, and it was a dream come true. Everyone there was just absolutely lovely! There might still be some signed copies left, if you’re looking for one.
One of the coolest things so far, though, has been seeing the pictures of kids with the books, or hearing stories of how kids are connecting to Ava Gabriela’s story. THIS is why I write–for them. My heart is full.