By Kiera Parrott for School Library Journal
Mi papi tiene una moto/My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña, and translated by Andrea Montejo (Kokila, 2019), has won the first-ever gold medal for Best Spanish Language Picture Book from the Center for Children’s Literature at Bank Street College of Education.
The exuberant book, which was also named an SLJ Best Picture Book of 2019, centers on the story of a young girl and her papi as they zig and zag on his motorcycle, enjoying each other’s company and the vibrant sights and sounds of their California community.
Three titles were awarded silver medals: ¿De Dónde Eres?/ Where Are You From by Yamile Saied Méndez, illustrated by Jaime Kim (HarperCollins, 2019); Sembrando historias: Pura Belpré: bibliotecaria y narradora de cuentos/Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Paola Escobar and translated by Omayra Ortiz (HarperCollins, 2019); and Mario y el agujero en el cielo: Cómo un químico salvó nuestro planeta/Mario and the Hole in the Sky: How a Chemist Saved Our Planet by Elizabeth Rusch, illustrated by Teresa Martínez and translated by Carlos E. Calvo (Charlesbridge, 2019).
Two additional titles received honorable mentions: Soñadores/Dreamers by Yuyi Morales (Holiday House, 2018) and Alma y como obtuvo su nombre/Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez Neal (Candlewick, 2018).
For this first award, the Bank Street Children’s Book Committee’s considered titles published or translated in 2018 or 2019. The committee members evaluated the nominees across a wide array of criteria, including cultural authenticity and quality of language and illustration. Contenders for the award were selected from the Children’s Book Committee’s Best Spanish Language Picture Book of the year lists from 2018 and 2019.
“We are so proud to recognize these excellent works and through the prize to alert teachers, librarians, caregivers, and parents to the highest quality picture books in Spanish for children,” director of the Center for Children’s Literature, Cynthia Weill, says.
The jury was composed of Spanish-speaking members of Bank Street’s Children’s Book Committee, bilingual professors from Bank Street College and the City University of New York, Bank Street alumni, and librarians from the New York Public Library.
Author/illustrator Yuyi Morales will keynote an award ceremony in March.