Not sweets, not toys, but literary treats are spilling out of the piñata to the delight of young readers across the country and to the critical acclaim of reviewers across the industry. Founded in 1994, Piñata Books, an imprint of Arte Público Press, is dedicated to the publication of children’s and young adult literature focusing on US Hispanic culture.
With its bilingual picture books for children, bilingual “flip” books for intermediate readers, informative non-fiction and entertaining novels for young adults, Piñata Books has made giant strides in filling the void that exists in American publishing and literature: books that accurately reflect themes, characters and customs unique to US Hispanic culture.
Books published under the Piñata Books imprint have been very well received, with many books receiving awards such as the Paterson Prize for Young Adult Literature and the Skipping Stones Award, and others being named to recommended reading lists like the American Library Association’s annual list of recommended reading for reluctant young adult readers, Quick Picks for Young Adults; The New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age; and the Texas Library Association’s Tejas Star Reading List.
Over the years, Arte Público Press had published several books for children and young adults; therefore, it was only a matter of time for the focus to take on greater definition. The seed for the imprint was planted by a deluge of parents, teachers and librarians asking for books that accurately portray US Hispanic culture. The need and the demand encouraged the notion of an imprint to take root while a grant from the Mellon Foundation allowed the idea to flourish into reality.
Committed to publishing 10 books each year, Piñata Books has had particular success with its bilingual Spanish/English picture books for young readers. The enchanting stories with their beautiful illustrations hold tremendous appeal for young and old alike. In addition, the imprint has impacted the industry with entertaining novels and short story collections for middle readers and young adults.
Arte Público Press is the oldest and largest publisher of contemporary and historical literature written by US Hispanics: Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans and others. Through its publication of thirty books per year, Arte Público Press showcases Hispanic literary creativity, arts and culture to facilitate entrance into mainstream publishing and media for Hispanic authors and the people they write about.
Piñata Books has received support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund and the National Endowment for the Arts.