Picture Book Honored with Inaugural Award

HOUSTON, TX February, 2018—Jorge Argueta’s new trilingual picture book, Agua, Agüita / Water, Little Water, is the winner of the inaugural Campoy-Ada Award in Children’s Poetry given by the Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española.

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. The awards ceremony will be held during the National Latino Children’s Literature conference at The University of Texas-San Antonio Downtown (501 W César E Chávez Blvd, San Antonio, TX 78207) on Saturday, February 24, 2018.

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.

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.