Author on the Airwaves: Monica Brown

Brown chosen as July 2011’s “Author of the Month” on Houston Public Media

Houston Public Media radio host Eric Ladau interviewed Brown for its website’s “Arte Público Press Author of the Month” feature, and along with the transcript, their conversation is available to listeners on the station’s interactive site through on-demand audio streaming here.

Click here to see all Arte Público authors featured on Houston Public Media.

About the Author:

MONICA BROWN is the author of numerous award-winning books for children, including Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People (Henry Holt & Co., 2011), Side by Side: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez / Lado a lado: La historia de Dolores Huerta y César Chávez (Rayo/HarperCollins, 2010), Butterflies on Carmen Street / Mariposas en la calle Carmen (Piñata Books, 2007), and My Name Is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz / Me llamo Celia: La vida de Celia Cruz (Luna Rising, 2004), winner of the Américas Award for Children’s Literature and named a Pura Belpré Honor Book. When she is not writing, she teaches Latino/a literature at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.

About her latest book, Clara and the Curandera/Clara y la curandera

“Once there was a little girl named Clara, who was grumpy.” She was grumpy about having to take out the trash, having to share her toys with her seven brothers and sisters, and having to read one book a week for school.

And Mami is tired of Clara’s grumpy face, so she sends her daughter to the curandera—or healer—to ask for help. The curandera gives Clara a list of things to do in the coming week: take out her own trash and the neighbors’ as well; give all of her favorite toys to her brothers and sisters, and read five books instead of one!

It’s a difficult, busy week for Clara. But, her neighbors are grateful for her help, and give her hugs. Her siblings are so happy that they are extra nice to her and invite her to play with them. She has fun jumping rope, playing checkers and soccer. Her mother takes her to the library to check out books and she reads lots of interesting things. When the week is over, Clara realizes that she has not had time to feel grumpy. Could it be that helping others makes her feel … happy?

In this winning bilingual picture book written by award-winning author Monica Brown and vividly illustrated by Thelma Muraida, children ages 4 – 8 will cheer for Clara as she learns to focus on others rather than herself.