The danger of the single story

The single story refers to the notion that there is only one story that children hear about regarding a group of people.

As a writer/poet I write from my own person experience as a first generation Chicana (a person of Mexican descent). I want to write many diverse stories with different settings, characters, plots that many different types of Latino children can relate too. I want to write the stories that are missing from the single story from a child’s perspective. Stories about a recent home-owning Latina girl, who is becoming a terrific pet owner. An ant whose parents were deported and is walking to find them and his new home. The single Latino father making pancakes. All of these voices are not mine, they represent children, families I’ve met in the last twenty years since HS working as a social worker in the Mid-West. Wish me luck on my new adventure as a Children’s book author! Uno, Dos, Tres, Dimelo Otra Vez!


Got really excited to see five comments on my blog only

to find out they were spam! Urg! thank you wordpress for blocking them…. now back to creating worlds for children to hang out in and learn from. Today I’m working on a picture book about a little walking ant. I’m meeting with the illustrator! Fingers crossed! Every day I have to show and not tell my story-when I’m writing. This has to be the biggest challenge in writing a picture book!

PS I going to the local show of Listen to Your Mother!

Not sure why this doesn’t show up like a link!



My Bibliography for my critical presentation (the picture at the end is my alter ego)



Ada, Alma Flor. I love Saturdays y Domingos. Ilus. Elivia Savadier. Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition, 2004.

Anzaldua, Gloria. Friends for the Other Side, Amigos del Otro Lado. Illus. Consuelo Mendez. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 1993.

Anzaldua, Gloria. Prietita and the Ghost Woman. Illus. Christina Gonzalez.  San Francisco: Children’s Book Press; Bilingual edition, 2001.

Campos, Tito. Muffler Man, El Hombre Mofle. Illus. Lamberto and Beto Alvarez. Houston: Arte Publico Press, 2001.

Castillo, Ana. So Far From God. W.W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition 2005.

Chapra, Mimi. Amelia’s Show and Tell fiesta, Amelia y la fiesta de “Muestra y Cuento” Illus. Martha Aviles. New York: HarperCollins Publications, Inc. 2004.

Cisneros, Sandra. My Wicked Wicked Ways. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1998.

Espada, Martin. Alabanzas, New and Selected Poems (1982-2002). New York: W.W. Norton & Company Inc., 2003.

Keating, Ana Louise. The Gloria Anzaldua Reader. Duke University Press Books, 2009.

Krull, Kathleen. Harvesting Hope, The Story of Cesar Chavez. Illus. Yuyi Morales. San Diego: Harcourt, Inc. 2003.

Laínez, Rene Colato. Waiting for Papá/Esperando a Papá. Illus. Anthony Accardo. Houston: Piñata Books. 2004.

Laínez, Rene Colato. The Tooth Fairy Meets El Raton Perez. Illus. Tom Lintern. Berkeley: Tricycle Press. 2010.

Lopez, Tiffany Ana. Growing up Chicana/o. New York: Harper Collins, 2003. Print.

Lopez, Tiffany A. Growing Up Chicana/o. New York: HarperCollins, 2003.

Lorca, Federico Garcia. Poet in New York. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013.

McNelly McCormack, Carmen. The Fiesta Dress, A Quinceanera Tale. Illus. Martha Aviles. New York: Scholastic, 2009.

Moraga, Cherrie, and Gloria Anzaldua. This Bridge Called My Back. Second. Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press, 1984. Print.

Perez, Amada Irma. My Diary from Here to There. Illus. May Christina Gonzalez. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press. 2002.

Perez, Amada Irma. My Very Own Room, Mi propio Cuartito, Illus. Maya Christina Gonzalez, San Francisco: Children’s Book Press, 2000.

Perez, Emma. Gulf Dreams. Berkeley: Third Woman Press, 1996.

Ponce-Meléndez, Carlos. “The New Latinos”. Huizache, the magazine of Latino Literature Fall 2012: 148-9. Print

Rebolledo, Tey Diana. Infinite Divisions, an Anthology of Chicana Literature. Eliana S. Rivero, The University of Arizona Press, 1993. Print.

Rodriguez, Luis J. The Republic East LA Stories. New York: Harper Perennial, 2003.

Rodriguez, Luis J. It Doesn’t have To Be This Way, A Barrio Story. Illus. Daniel Galvez. New York: Lee & Low Books Inc, 2004.


Online Sources:

Fry, Richard. “Hispanic Public School Enrollments.” Pew Research Hispanic Trends Project. (2012): August. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. <;.

Horning, Kathleen T. “A Few Observations on Publishing in 2012.” Cooperative Children’s Book Center. Merri V. Lindrgren and Megan Schliesman n. page. Web. 3 Dec. 2013. <;.

Silverberg, Chris. “Checking Boxes and Filling Blanks: Diversity and Inclusion in Children’s Literature.” CBC Diversity. Children’s Book Council, circa October 2013. Web. October 15, 2013.

U.S. Census Bureau. Department of Commerce . USA Quick Facts. U.S Census Bureau, 2012. Web. <;





My Presentation of Critical Race Theory in Chicano/Latino Picture Books

This is the presentation that I gave at the National Latino Children’s Literature Conference. I’m putting it up here so folks can see the critical work that I do and that I hope I will continue to do. I’m super interested in race, class, and gender in Latino/Chicano Pictures the roles they play how do author and illustrator make that second theme come alive through craft.  Always learning!


From a Joint Discussion, Belonging to Everyone: Diversity in Children’s and YA Literature

I really enjoyed the focus on MFA that are for children writers. Suggestions like: Toni Morrison’s book Playing in the Dark (and Zeta Elliott’s article “Decolonizing the Imagination”) on the reading list. I am sure to follow up on! Thank you!

Uma Krishnaswami

Thank you to CCBC-Net for hosting a month-long discussion on diversity. It was heated at times; it touched nerves. It also gave us the chance to discuss two amazing new titles by Native American writers: If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth, and How I Became a Ghost by Tim Tingle.

In the end, CCBC member Sarah Hamburg brought it all together by developing a list of personal and professional actions in the cause of diversity on the bookshelf. Asked if the list could be forwarded broadly, Sarah said: “It comes from a joint discussion. It belongs to everyone.” That seems a good way to send this list on its way. Here it is, reposted by permission of Sarah Hamburg and with thanks to CCBC-Net.

  • Many of the ideas focused on personal activism: actively buying books representing a diverse range of voices; committing to ongoing…

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