Friday, February 26, 2016

Santa Cat selected for the Picture This 2015 Award

The WSRA (The Wisconsin State Reading Association) Children's Literature Committee members dedicate themselves to reading widely in order to evaluate the newest books published each year. This is done to recommend the most interesting and valuable books for educators and children to read. The committee considers titles published during the 15 months prior to the convention calendar year and evaluates books based on the quality of the literature, the appeal for students, and the value for classroom use. The committee creates two lists to help educators select titles for use in their specific areas. The "Just One More Page" list highlights the committee's recommendations for the best of the newest chapter books through eighth grade, while "Picture This" highlights the recommendations for the best of the newest picture books.

More information about the award here

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Five books to celebrate Colombian human diversity

I was fortunate to participate in this committed project by the ICBF in coordination with Fundalectura. Five books in paper and digital format include play songs and lullabies from the diverse Colombian human map. THe project I illustrated included songs from the Nasa, Inga, SIkuani, Caacwa and Totoro communities, five of the one thousand and two indigenous people in Colombia. You can download the digital for your tablet here for free and be able to listen to the songs in their original language. It is a cultural treasure, ignored by our school's colonialist telescope.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Horn Book verdict on Valentine Cat

Review of Here Comes Valentine Cat

underwood_here comes valentine catHere Comes Valentine Cat
by Deborah Underwood; 
illus. by Claudia Rueda
Preschool   Dial   88 pp.
12/16   978-0-525-42915-9   $16.99   g
Valentine’s Day has its haters, and Cat (Here Comes the Easter Cat, rev. 3/14, and sequels) is one of them. Cat can’t think of anyone to grace with a Valentine, and new neighbor Dog doesn’t seem a likely candidate, what with all the bones he annoyingly keeps lobbing over the fence. Using this series’ trademark format — offstage narrator addresses nonverbal Cat, who responds with humorous placards and body language — the book shows Cat’s escalating plans against Dog (starting, but not ending, with a few not-so-sweet Valentines), and then shows that Dog may not deserve such poor treatment. Rueda’s ink and colored-pencil illustrations, surrounded by white space, once again convey lots of information via Cat’s facial expressions and other simple cues. Young listeners should enjoy the simply delivered misunderstandings, as well as the opportunities to yell emphatically at the main character (“You can’t send Dog to the moon!”).
From the January/February 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

CNN is fan of Valentine Cat !

"Using a grumpy cat and a new dog in town, it teaches kids to think about others' points of view."

Here is an excerpt from this great CNN Editor's note on love and sharing in this angry world we live in:

(CNN) The Valentine's Day frenzy is almost over.
Instead of ignoring all the lovey dovey stuff, let's expand the love we express at Valentine's Day to include ourselves, family, friends, community and the planet. Best of all, you don't need to shop today for most of these gifts. You can act on them anytime of year.
There's still a lot of anger in the world — and plenty of reason to be angry. But don't you feel better when you do good in the world? Here are a few ways to try.

Love for our children. It's a perfect day to remind our children of their love for humans and animals alike. My child's school allows children to hand out simple, homemade cards if they go to everyone in the class, no store-bought gifts and no exclusions. Handmade cards are wonderful.
We're also fans of "Here Comes Valentine Cat," with words by Deborah Underwood and illustrations by Claudia Rueda. Using a grumpy cat and a new dog in town, it teaches kids to think about others' points of view.

Link to CNN page

Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine Cat #10 on the Indie Bestsellers list

HERE COMES VALENTINE CAT debuted at #10 on the Indie Bestsellers Children's Illustrated list for last week!!!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Revista Semana on the Andersen Award nomination

 | 2016/02/05 16:13

Reconocimiento a la literatura infantil colombiana

Cuatro connacionales se consagraron entre los mejores exponentes de la literatura infantil del mundo.

Tres obras de autores colombianos fueron incluidas en la lista de honor de la International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY). La organización con sede en Suiza selecciona cada año los libros de mayor calidad en el mundo para niños y jóvenes.

Triunfo Arciniegas, Amalia Satizábal y María del Sol Peralta se consagraron entre los mejores exponentes de la literatura infantil del mundo, además de otros 170 seleccionados. La escritora Claudia Rueda, por su parte, fue postulada al Hans Cristian Andersen 2016. La IBBY no solo reconoce el trabajo de autores, ilustradores, traductores y sellos editoriales, sino que alienta la producción de nuevas obras y difunde entre los lectores del país títulos que "enriquecerán su experiencia vital".

Claudia Rueda, candidata al Hans Cristian Andersen 2016

A su vez, Fundalectura nominó a la colombiana Claudia Rueda al premio Hans Christian Andersen 2016, el reconocimiento internacional más importante a la literatura infantil y juvenil. Rueda es autora e ilustradora de más de veinte libros para niños. Su trabajo ha sido descrito como ingenioso, refinado y de permanente exploración gráfica. Sus libros, que se han publicado en México, Colombia, España, Asia y los Estados Unidos y se han traducido a diez idiomas, han recibido varios premios, entre los que sobresalen el Nati per Leggere de Italia, la selección del New York Society of illustrators Original Art Show y la Lista de Honor IBBY.

Tanto la Lista de Honor IBBY 2016 como el nombre de los ganadores del premio Hans Christian Andersen se revelarán el 4 de abril durante la Feria Internacional del Libro Infantil de Bolonia y los diplomas y medallas correspondientes se entregarán el 20 de agosto de 2016, en el 35º Congreso Internacional de IBBY, que tendrá lugar en Auckland, Nueva Zelandia

I love kids' reviews

PW Starred review of Valentine Cat

Underwood and Rueda clearly know how well sweet and salty go together. 

Given Cat’s previous attempts to stand in for the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy, readers might expect some Cupid-style matchmaking from the mischievous feline in his fourth outing. But Cat’s feelings toward the dog next door are far from loving: “Roses are Red/ Violets are Blue/ Who’s the Worst Neighbor?/ I think it’s you!” reads his proposed valentine. The interplay between the unseen narrator’s prompts and Cat’s sardonic, silent replies is as wickedly fun as ever—Underwood and Rueda clearly know how well sweet and salty go together. 

Link to PW page

Valentine Cat Kirkus Review

Rueda masterfully uses white space and Cat’s facial expressions and body language to play up the emotions, exploiting the expansive page count for beautifully pitched comic timing.

Underwood’s endearing, voiceless cat is back, this time getting a lesson in Valentine’s Day tact. Using signs and props to communicate with an off-page, unseen, seemingly adult figure, Cat first establishes that he doesn’t like Valentine’s Day. It gradually comes out that, other than his stuffed squid, he has no friends. Just then, the conversation is interrupted by a bone, thrown over the fence by Cat’s new neighbor, Dog, and it’s not the first bone he’s thrown, either. Cat, being Cat, jumps to conclusions, especially after a thrown ball clobbers him. “Cat, what are you up to? // You are going to give Dog a valentine? // Oh, dear.” That about sums it up. Needless to say, the Roses are Red… poems Cat comes up with are not very tactful. But his construction of a rocket (to send Dog to the moon, of course) is interrupted by a valentine that flutters down and lands on its tip. Perhaps Dog isn’t the mean, awful neighbor Cat took him to be? Maybe he’s even a potential friend. Rueda masterfully uses white space and Cat’s facial expressions and body language to play up the emotions, exploiting the expansive page count for beautifully pitched comic timing.

Cat hasn’t lost his ability to charm readers, if for no other reason than children are so able to see themselves in him.

Link to the Kirkus review page

Valentine Cat at The Washington Post

Valentine’s Day books for kids (and parents)
Wry humor and a twist ending make this book a charmer.
It’s almost time for kids to choose a box of valentines, address them to each classmate and deliver them into desktop mailboxes. Before the big day, though, grab one of these books and spend some heartfelt time reading together with your littlest loved ones.
Here Comes Valentine Cat, by Deborah Underwood, illustrated by Claudia Rueda
Cat isn’t in the mood for the fun of Valentine’s Day. For one, Cat doesn’t have a friend to make a card for. Making matters worse, a new neighbor has moved in: Dog. Soon, bones are flying over the fence and hitting Cat in the head. Can these two be friends? Throughout the story, a narrator converses with Cat and asks questions. Cat’s answers are sometimes revealed in signs he holds up, like a not-so-sweet valentine created by Cat for Dog: “Roses are Red/Violets are Blue/Who’s the Worst Neighbor?/I think it’s You!” Cat’s facial expressions perfectly mimic those of a toddler’s and are captured within a pleasing soft-palette of ink and color pencil drawings. Wry humor and a twist ending make this book a charmer.