While I was in Texas a few weeks ago on book tour, I talked with the Houston Chronicle about Lucía, writing and why I made the leap from journalism to writing for children. You can read the story here. Here’s some of what we talked about:
Garza, who has a background in journalism and writing, said she wanted to write her first picture book for kids like her — and for kids like her daughters. “I was looking for something I wasn’t finding,” she said: picture books that featured kids who looked like her kids.
Just a few years ago, a study by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center study revealed that only about 3 percent of kids’ books are by or about Latinos. “Animals and trucks are more widely represented in children’s books than Latinos,” Garza said. So she wrote “Lucía the Luchadora,” hoping to make a small dent in that statistic.
Of course, that’s not the only reason I decided to write for children, but it’s the one that gives me the greatest feeling of urgency in doing so. Below is a graphic of that study referenced in the article. Looking at those figures should give everyone – parents, educators, writers, librarians, bookstore owners, book buyers, the publishing industry – a sense of urgency.