My books use folk arts from around the world to illustrate basic concepts for children. The current series employs handicrafts commissioned from artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico to teach children the alphabet, opposites, colors, numbers, jobs, animal sounds and modes of transport in Spanish and English.
It can take two to four years to create the artwork for each book. Each piece is hand made by artisanal families living in rural areas of the country. Because I end up spending so much time with the families, I'm invited to my fair share of weddings, baptisms, quinceañeras and other events. We get to know each other really well! The pieces are so unique that they are part of the permanent MesoAmerican collection at the Field Museum of Chicago.
My newest book, Vámonos was published by Lee & Low in the fall of 2002. The beautiful woodcarvings were hand made by Maximino Santiago, Avelino Pérez, Martín Melchor and Agustín Tinoco Cruz of Oaxaca, Mexico.