To celebrate Read Across America day, Parkplace Books sponsored a wonderful guest author visit by Samantha Vamos, author of Before You Were Here, Mi Amor and The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred.
Students in kindergarten through second grade came to the library to listen to Samantha read her books and talk about what her life is like now as a writer. After her presentation, Samantha autographed copies of her books, including two for our library.
The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred is Samantha’s latest book. It is illustrated by the Mexican artist Rafael Lopez. Together they have crafted a wonderful bilingual tale about five farm animals, their farmer and a farm girl who wants to make some Arroz con Leche.
Written in the style of “The House that Jack Built” Samantha’s book is already generating lots of positive press. A Kirkus Starred review and on Tuesday a rave raview from School Library Journal stating, “The artistry of this book makes it a must buy for all libraries.”
Many children had the chance to hold special Spanish word cards in front of the group as she read Cazuela.
The illustrator Rafael Lopez brings his Mexican surrealism to all his work. In 2010 he won the Pura Belpre Illustrator Award for his illustrations of Pat Mora’s Book Fiesta.
The United States Postal Service commissioned his work for a series of postal stamps on celebrated Latino music legends. Oprah Winfrey also hired him to paint three paintings for her school in South Africa.
Samantha’s first book, Before You Were Here, Mi Amor is a colorful bilingual children’s picture book about the family time before one is born and the baby’s arrival into their new family.
It won the 2010 Washington State Book Award and was featured as “Best for Babies” in the 2009 Parent’s Magazine. Animator and artist Santiago Cohen applies his brightly colored folk-art style to this Latino story.
Samantha’s website provides book trailers, activity pages for children and discussion guides as well as more information about her life. Visit http://samanthavamos.com