Encouraging Early Childhood Literacy in the Latino Household {guest post} #L4LL

We are so excited to be a part of Latinas 4 Latino Literature first Blog Hop and giveaway. My children have been lucky enough to have a grandmother who is an advocate for children literacy and reading aloud. This is why I felt it was important to be a part of Latinas for Latino Literature‘s El Dia celebration where 20 Latina Bloggers have been sharing guest posts by Latina/o authors/illustrators.

As you may recall, my children experienced military life only for a short time of their lives but I continue to share the memories we made during dad’s time as a U.S. Navy Sailor. This is why today I am happy to share a guest post from a talented Latina who is the proud daughter of a Military Veteran. I invite you to read the story of Christina Rodriguez, a Latina illustrator, on how she was encouraged to engage and love literature since her early childhood. 

Encouraging Early Childhood Literacy in the Latino Household

My mother and father’s influence was vital to my lifelong love of books. Books were a special treasure in our multiethnic household growing up, which was integral to my early childhood literacy and eventual career as a children’s book illustrator.
Before I could even walk, my mother worked hard to strengthen my vision so that I could enjoy reading. I have impaired vision due to extreme prematurity at birth, and Mom started with simple games exploring colors and shapes before moving on to brightly illustrated board books. Later, my Mexican father would tell bedtime stories to me and my siblings from our collection of fairy tales and Little Golden Books. Dad also got me started drawing my own versions of the stories, which helped my hand-eye coordination and lit the spark of my illustration career.

As I grew older, my parents indulged my allowance-blowing trips to Air Force base bookstores and – most importantly – let me share my love of books by reading aloud to them. Looking back, I can’t stress enough that parents do this with their kids. I recited joke books, the hilarious works of Roald Dahl, and other funny favorites to my family while on road trips, our military moves, or just lounging around the house. Dad was an especially good sport and always laughed on cue. It still makes me smile to remember these experiences during all the trials of a military childhood.

I became a children’s book illustrator because of my love of reading and my hope to inspire other children to love books as well. One of my favorite illustrations that I completed for the bilingual picture book Somos primos / We are Cousins is of an abuelo reading a bedtime story to his nietos. Drawing upon my memories of childhood, it illustrates what I hope many adults are doing with my books: reading them to the children in their lives and starting them on their path to literacy and success.

The Illustrator

Christina Rodriguez is a Latina illustrator of over a dozen children’s picture books, including several titles with bilingual book publisher Arte Público Press. She lives and works in Providence, RI. You can find out more about Christina and her books at http://www.christinarodriguez.com

The Giveaway

L4LL has put together a wonderful collection of Latino children’s literature to be given to a school or public library. Many of the books were donated by the authors and illustrators participating in this blog hop. You can read a complete list of titles (as well as the blog hop SCHEDULE) here on the L4LL website.

To enter your school library or local library in the giveaway, simply leave a comment below.

The deadline to enter is 11:59 EST, Monday, April 29th. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and announced on the L4LL website on April 30th, Día de los Niños, Día de los Libros, and will be contacted via email – so be sure to leave a valid email address in your comment! (If we have no way to contact you, we’ll have to choose someone else!)

By entering this giveaway, you agree to the Official Sweepstakes Rules. No purchase required. Void where prohibited.

¡Buena suerte!

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