“The realistic style and warm colors of the illustrations bring to life the loving relationship
between Bella and her grandmother. A warm family story.”—Kirkus Reviews
HOUSTON, TX April 2016— Pat Mora’s bilingual picture book for children, The Remembering Day / El día de los muertos, has won the Texas Institute of Letters’ 2016 Denton Record-Chronicle Award for Best Children’s Picture Book. In this special picture book, Mora introduces children to the idea that, even though we may lose a loved one, they remain with us forever in our memories.
The Texas Institute of Letters is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to stimulate interest in Texas letters and to recognize distinctive literary achievement. Each year the organization awards more than $20,000 to recognize outstanding literary works in several categories including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, children’s books, and translations. Eligibility for the awards requires that entrants be born in Texas or have lived in Texas for at least two consecutive years.
Book trade industry review media have praised the book. Publishers Weekly said, “an aging grandmother and her granddaughter work in a garden, reminiscing about their time together. Explaining how ‘our bodies do not live forever,’ Mama Alma urges Bella to plan a ‘remembering day’ each autumn, to honor her and other loved ones. Casilla sets the story against a lush landscape of green hills and thatched huts; his softly glowing portraits of grandmother and grandchild speak to the holiday’s quieter and more contemplative aspects.”
PAT MORA is a renowned writer of poetry, nonfiction and children’s books. She has written over 30 books for children and young adults, including I Pledge Allegiance (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2014), Bravo! Chico Canta! Bravo! (Groundwood Books, 2014), The Bakery Lady/La señora de la panadería (Arte Público Press, 2001), Tomás and the Library Lady (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 1997) and The Desert Is My Mother/El desierto es mi madre (Arte Público Press, 1994). An El Paso native and mother of three grown children, she lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
ROBERT CASILLA was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, to parents from Puerto Rico. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He has illustrated many multicultural children’s books, including Let’s Salsa / Bailemos salsa (Piñata Books, 2013), The Little Painter of Sabana Grande (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2014), Jalapeño Bagels (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1996) and First Day in Grapes (Lee & Low Books, 2002), which won a Pura Belpré Honor Award for illustration. He has also illustrated a number of biographies, including ones about Martin Luther King, Jr.; John F. Kennedy; Eleanor Roosevelt; Rosa Parks; Jackie Robinson; Jesse Owens and Simón Bolívar.
Arte Público Press is the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters, and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity.