Today I bring you the third installment in a series of four posts about publishing houses that publish children’s literature by and about people of color, with an emphasis devoted to Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino cultures in the U.S.. For the moment, we’re going to discuss Arte Público Press and their subset Piñata Books.
In their own words: “Arte Público Press [is] the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovery literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters, and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States.” Also, “Books published under this imprint include bilingual picture books in Spanish and English for children, bilingual flip books for intermediate readers, and entertaining novels and short-story collections for young adults by award-winning authors such as Pat Mora, Diane Gonzales Bertrand, Victor Villaseñor, Ofelia Dumas Lachtman, and many others.”
Some of their titles that have piqued our attention are The Poet Upstairs written by Judith Ortiz Cofer; La flor de oro: Un mito taíno de Puerto Rico written by Nina Jaffe, translated by Gabriela Baeza Ventura, and illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez; and Stranger and the Red Rooster / El forastero y el gallo rojo written by acclaimed author Victor Villaseñor.
Also noteworthy is Arte Público’s “Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literacy Heritage,” a national project to locate, preserve and disseminate Hispanic culture of the United States in its written form since colonial times until 1960. In addition to organizing conferences and publications, they’ve created a catalog of rare digitized books and a digital Hispanic photo archive.
Overall, Arte Público and their imprint, Piñata Books, offer a valuable resource in a time of scarcity for readers and teachers searching out the literary niche of children’s literature by and about people of Latino heritage. To find out more, visit the Arte Público website.