Maria and her llama smile out at us from the cover of this bilingual picture book, a riff on “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Maria’s tale, told in English and Spanish, is set in the Peruvian Alps. The bold ink and gouache illustrations include plentiful cultural clues: the market, the village, the traditional headwear, and the musical instruments all help to place readers in the setting. The text mirrors the traditional tale (“He followed her to school one day. / Un dia le siguio a la escuela”), and the limited amount of text allows both languages to appear on the same page or spread. Maria and her llama, though, are the stars of this book. Their personalities and their affection for each other shine through. As if to confirm it, the last spread opens to a scene of children, llamas, and local Peruvian musicians playing and waving as they encircle our two stars dancing in the center. This is a scene young children will return to again and again. jim st. clair
In other news, I'm participating in ABFFE Holiday Children's Art Auction. This illustration from Santiago Stays will be up for auction.
Lastly, I'm happy to be working with the people at 826 Valencia again. I'm illustrating their Winter Mailer. Final artwork soon.