Columbia Heights welcomes renowned children’s book authors

Columbia Heights welcomes renowned children’s book authors
Posted on 02/01/2019

Three acclaimed children’s book authors visited Columbia Heights Elementary School on Jan. 28.

Pre-K to second grade students enjoyed a special reading of the bilingual book “The Amazing Watercolor Fish / El asombroso pez acuarela.” The book’s author and illustrator, Carolyn Dee Flores, read it in English while the book’s translator, Texas Poet Laureate Carmen Tafolla, read it in Spanish.

The children enjoyed Flores’ gorgeous illustrations from black and white to full color as the fish became friends. After the reading, the authors encouraged the kids to use their imagination and create their own book.

“The best books for children are really created in the minds of the children,” Tafolla said. “We encourage them to become authors and illustrators and to value their own work while showing them how to create visual characters and helping them appreciate the power of the books.”

Flores showed students the first book she ever wrote while she was just in second grade and encouraged them to do the same.

“The kids think it’s hilarious, but if you’re a kid, you can write for kids,” Flores said. “I want them to write down their ideas because they’ll never get them back. You can never regain that perspective, and they write the best stuff, they have the best ideas.”

Third to fifth grade students had the opportunity to hear from Author and Illustrator Xavier Garza, who talked about his exciting short novel “Vincent Ventura and the Mystery of the Chupacabras / Vincent Ventura y el misterio del chupacabras.”

Columbia Heights Elementary Librarian Cecilia Perfecto helped organize the event with the help of the Texas Book Festival.

“I think it’s really important for kids to see authors that look like them that tell stories from their neighborhood that they understand,” Perfecto said. “So, seeing people with their last names, people who know their stories, and reading their books in our library has been a very exciting experience for our kids.”

At the end of the book presentations, each student received a free, signed book to take home. They were also invited to attend the San Antonio Book Festival on April 6 at the Central Library and Southwest School of Art in downtown San Antonio.

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