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A Celebration of Bilingual Books and Latinx Communities

March 6, 2018

Despite a nor’easter the day before our March 3rd conference, A Celebration of Bilingual Books and Latinx Communities was a great success!  KidLit Intro

The day started with an introduction by author, Emma Otheguy (Marti’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad, Lee and Low 2017).  Emma’s KidLit Interview


Emma offered some personal experiences about childhood reading growing up in a Latinx household and its impact.


Next, Boston Public Librarian, Sujei Lugo moderated a panel on “Bilingual, Board Books and Books for Young Children.”  Board book author, Susie Jaramillo, author/illustrator Cecilia Ruiz and bilingual author Emma Otheguy talked about what makes a great bilingual, board and young children’s picture book.  Sadly, author Angela Dominguez, because of the nor’easter was unable to get her flight and attend as planned. KidLit Video


Later, Sonia Rodriguez of LaGuardia Community College led a panel on “Diverse Voices in Latino Books.” Illustrator, Raúl Colón, author/illustrator Eric Velasquez, translator, Teresa Mlawer and Meg Medina spoke about diversity, hope, identity and the future of kid’s literature. KidLit Video


During the break, participants purchased bilingual, Spanish language and Latinx themed books to be signed by the authors from the wonderful selection provided by the Bank Street Bookstore.


After the panels, participants attended reading groups where they discussed all genres of Latinx themed work.  List of break out session leaders, topics and books read. 

DSC06389Finally, the wonderful Meg Medina, author of Mango, Abuela and Me (Candlewick) gave the keynote speech.

The ever thoughtful Meg started off her talk with the slide to the left.

Our planned keynote author/illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh’s flight was canceled the night before the conference. Although the audience was disappointed not to hear from Duncan, Meg wowed the crowd with a wonderful talk about her childhood, her writing, community and the importance of Latinx work. We are so very grateful to her for offering such a brillant and enjoyable talk at the last minute! KidLit Interview with Meg

We hope to have a similar conference again very soon.  The conference was initiated and organized by Dr. Cynthia Weill, Director of the  Center for Children’s Literature at Bank Street with the input of librarians from the New York Public Library, Bookops, Lehman College, Club Leo at Scholastic, author Emma Otheguy and School Library Journal.

Article about the event:

School Library Journal

Publishers Weekly, scroll down

A special thank you to Kid Lit TV for live streaming the day!






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