Center for Children's Literature Blog

A Celebration of Bilingual Books and Latinx Communities

Despite a nor’easter the day before our March 3rd conference, A Celebration of Bilingual Books and Latinx Communities was a great success!  Watch the KidLit Intro

Emma Otheguy speakingThe day started with an introduction by author Emma Otheguy (Marti’s Song for Freedom/Martí y sus versos por la libertad, Lee and Low 2017).  Watch Emma’s KidLit Interview

Emma offered some personal experiences about childhood reading growing up in a Latinx household and its impact.




“Bilingual, Board Books and Books for Young Children” panel “Diverse Voices in Latino Books” panel
Next, Boston Public Librarian, Sujei Lugo moderated a panel on “Bilingual, Board Books and Books for Young Children.”  Board book author, Susie Jaramillo, author/illustrator Cecilia Ruiz and bilingual author Emma Otheguy talked about what makes a great bilingual, board and young children’s picture book.  Sadly, author Angela Dominguez, because of the nor’easter was unable to get her flight and attend as planned. Watch the KidLit Video Later, Sonia Rodriguez of LaGuardia Community College led a panel on “Diverse Voices in Latino Books.” Illustrator, Raúl Colón, author/illustrator Eric Velasquez, translator, Teresa Mlawer and Meg Medina spoke about diversity, hope, identity and the future of kid’s literature. Watch the KidLit Video
Spanish and Latinx books for sale Participants in a reading group
During the break, participants purchased bilingual, Spanish language and Latinx themed books to be signed by the authors from the wonderful selection provided by the Bank Street Bookstore. After the panels, participants attended reading groups where they discussed all genres of Latinx themed work.  List of break out session leaders, topics and books read.
Meg Medina speaking Meg Medina PowerPoint photo with Duncan Tonatiuh
Finally, the wonderful Meg Medina, author of Mango, Abuela and Me (Candlewick) gave the keynote speech. The ever thoughtful Meg started off her talk with the slide above.

Our planned keynote author/illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh’s flight was canceled the night before the conference. Although the audience was disappointed not to hear from Duncan, Meg wowed the crowd with a wonderful talk about her childhood, her writing, community and the importance of Latinx work. We are so very grateful to her for offering such a brillant and enjoyable talk at the last minute! Watch the KidLit Interview with Meg

We hope to have a similar conference again very soon.  The conference was initiated and organized by Dr. Cynthia Weill, Director of the  Center for Children’s Literature at Bank Street, with the input of librarians from the New York Public Library, Bookops, Lehman College, Club Leo at Scholastic, author Emma Otheguy, and School Library Journal.

Articles about the event:
School Library Journal
Publishers Weekly

A special thank you to KidLit TV for live streaming the day!