The latest children’s book by author Monica Brown, Waiting for the Biblioburro, delivers to readers a story about a librarian who brings books and ideas to rural Colombia.
Previous works also have earned Brown an Americas Award for Children’s Literature and a Pura Belpré Honor.Brown, professor of English at Northern Arizona University, is an award-winning author of bilingual children’s books with nine previous titles. Her most recent honor, a nomination for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, was received for Side by Side: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez/Lado A Lado: La Historia de Dolores Huerta y César Chávez.
In Brown’s latest book, the main character Ana is fictional, but the librarian in Waiting for the Biblioburro was inspired by the real-life efforts of Luis Soriano. The traveling librarian makes his way over the mountains and through the valleys to bring literacy and culture to rural Colombia.
“Luis shared with me his wish to sow the seeds of creativity,” Brown said,”and to cultivate dreams in the minds of children. I felt inspired to write an imaginitive rendering of his legacy—a legacy not only of literacy, but of sharing one’s own stories with the world.”
Award-winning illustrator John Parra joins Brown on their second bilingual children’s book together. Parra also illustrated My Name is Gabriela: The Life of Gabriela Mistral/Me llamo Gabriela: La vida de Gabriela Mistral.
Waiting for the Biblioburro will be released Aug. 9. A portion of the proceeds from book sales will benefit Luis Soriano’s Biblioburro program.