Author Honored With Courage to Act Award

HOUSTON, TX March, 2018—Author Jorge Argueta has been named the recipient of the 2018 Courage to Act Board Award given by the California Association for Bilingual Education.

The California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote biliteracy, educational equity and 21st-century success for students with diverse cultural, racial and linguistic backgrounds. Its Board of Directors made the unanimous decision to recognize Jorge Argueta for his passionate poetry and writings for bilingual children’s books, his ongoing readings, teachings and storytellings and his effort to ensure that books are made available to children who may not otherwise have access to them through his Library of Dreams / La Biblioteca de los Sueños in El Salvador. The award will be presented at the Seal of Excellence Banquet in Sacramento, California on Friday, March 30, 2018, as part of the annual CABE Conference.

His new trilingual picture book, Agua, Agüita / Water, Little Water, has been named to the Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s annual best-of-the-year list, CCBC Choices 2018, and was the winner of the inaugural Campoy-Ada Award in Children’s Poetry given by the Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española.

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) was established in 1963 and is a library of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Created annually by the librarians, the Choices list seeks to present outstanding titles for youth that reflect our diverse country and world.

The Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española seeks to encourage the study and proper usage of Spanish in the United States. It created the Campoy-Ada award to honor renowned authors F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada for their contributions to the strengthening of the Spanish language and the dissemination of Latino culture in the United States. The award recognizes works that stand out for originality, literary and artistic execution and excellent use of the language.

With stunningly beautiful illustrations by Felipe Ugalde Alcántara, this picture book in English, Spanish, and Nahuat (the language of Argueta’s Pipil-Nahua ancestors in El Salvador) traces the life cycle of water from the perspective of one droplet and depicts the mountains, rocks, vegetation, and animals of the natural world.

A Junior Library Guild selection, Agua, Agüita / Water, Little Water has received rave reviews:

  • “Mixed-media full-page illustrations accompany the text, giving visual focus to Little Water’s cycle of life. Hopefully this poem will spark conversations not only about water, its cycle, and life-giving importance, but also about the different cultures in our hemisphere.”—Kirkus Reviews
  • “Alcántara’s vibrant stylized illustrations are especially effective in portraying the myriad forms, colors, and textures that water can take on—drops glistening on leaves; a blue-and-white river rolling forth from a mountain; and a purple, orange, and red ocean at sunset. A lyrical journey through the water cycle, sure to inspire the imaginations of young readers and listeners.”—School Library Journal, starred review
  • “Agüita is a water droplet that takes the reader on a journey of its life cycle. From its beginnings in the ocean and on the petals of plants, it lands into the rivers, lakes, and ponds it lives in, displaying how it nourishes and brings life to all living creatures. Agüita, it becomes clear, is everywhere and all around us, and is a thing of enigmatic contradictions.”—Booklist

JORGE ARGUETA is a prize-winning poet and author of more than twenty children’s picture books, including A Movie in My Pillow / Una película en mi almohada (Children’s Book Press, 2001), Guacamole: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem (Groundwood, 2016) and Somos como las nubes We Are Like the Clouds (Groundwood Books, 2016), which won the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award and was named to USBBY’s Outstanding International Book List, the ALA Notable Children’s Books and the Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choices. He lives and works in San Francisco, California.