jueves, 28 de febrero de 2013

Un elefante morado con motas rosas/A purple elephant with pink spots

Cuando voy a escuelas para platicar con los niños, les cuento que ellos tienen una magnífica imaginación y que pueden crear cuentos, igual que yo. Para probarlo, les digo que vamos a jugar el juego de "qué pasaría si...?" Es algo que yo juego constantemente pues de ahí salen muchas ideas para cuentos. Hay que tener a la mano papel y pluma o lápiz porque las ideas se las lleva el viento y, si no apunto las cosa inmediatemente, a veces después no me acuerdo de mi muy magnífica idea. No es nada raro que vaya en el coche y se me ocurra algo que me encanta y me pongo a buscar, como loca, el ticket del súper o un papelito cualquiera además de la pluma, que siempre se esconde en la parte más oscura de mi bolsa. Me he tenido que detener, cuando es posible, para buscar en dónde apuntar aunque sean unas cuantas palabras y, luego, ya que estoy frente a la computadora, empezar a desarrollar la idea. Con los niños hago lo siguiente: les preguntó que qué pasaría si un día, al salir de la escuela, se toparan con un elefante morado cubierto de motas rosas. Luego luego se ve que la idea les llama mucho la atención y ahí empieza la aventura pues una pregunta lleva a otra: ¿Por qué está ahí el paquidermo? ¿Por qué es de ese color tan raro? ¿Dónde vive y porque ya no está ahí? Los niños le entran al juego y me dan muchas respuestas muy divertidas y yo les digo que ya empezaron a crear un cuento. Así, además de todo, se dan cuenta que ellos también pueden contarlos y escribirlos. Y ustedes, ¿de dónde creen que salió ese elefante tan estrafalario?

When I go to schools to talk with kids, I tell them that they have a magnificent imagination and that they, too, can create stories just like I can. To prove it, I tell them that we're going to play the game of "What if...?" It's something I play all the time because I get many story ideas from it. You need to have paper and a pen or pencil on hand because ideas can be very fleeting and if I don't write them down immediately many times I forget my very magnificent idea. It's not rare that, when I'm in the car, I come up with something and, like crazy, I search for a supermarket receipt or a piece of paper as well as a pen, which usually hides in the darkest corner of my handbag. I've had to stop, when it's possible, to scribble at least a few words and then, when I'm in front of the computer, I begin to develop the idea. With kids I do the following: I ask them what would happen if, when they left the school that day, they found a purple elephant covered in pink polka dots. You can immediately see that the idea has caught their fancy and that's when the adventure begins because one question leads to another: Why is the elephant there? Why is it such a strange color? Where does it live and why isn't it there? The kids gladly play the game and give me many funny answers and I tell them that they have begun to create a story. In this way, they also realize that they, too, can tell them and write them. And you, where do you think that excentric elephant came from?

viernes, 1 de febrero de 2013

International Blog Event: The Next Big Thing #nextbigthing #literacy #mexico #folktales

The Next Big Thing is an awareness blog campaign that began in Australia and became international. It features authors and illustrators of books for kids and young adults and their recently published books and/or those that are slated to be released this year. Thank you to picture book author Patricia Newman (http://www.patricianewmanbooks.blogspot.com/2013/01/new-energy-books-for-next-big-thing.html) for the invitation to participate by answering the following questions:

1) What is the working title of your next book? My next book is called Whiskers, Tails and Wings-Animal Folktales from Mexico and it was illustrated by Fabricio VandenBroeck.

2) Where did the idea come from for the book? I've always loved folktales and I've published quite a few in Spanish and in Mexico. This is my first book with folktales in English that features five stories with animals as the main characters.

3) What genre does your book fall under? It's a picture book.

4) What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition? It would have to be an animated film!

5) What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Wh¡skers, Tails and Wings has five fun folktales from Mexico with information about each of the native groups that tell them: the Tarahumara, the Seri, the Huichol, the Triqui and the Tseltal.

6) Who is publishing your book? Charlesbridge is publishing the book and it has been delighful working with them.

7) How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript? A very long time since I wrote some of the stories years ago and others when I presented the project to the editors at Charlesbridge.

8) What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? Hmm, tough question but I'd say folktales written Alma Flor Ada and Isabel Campoy, Tomie DePaola, and Yuyi Morales, all whom I admire.

9) Who or what inspired you to write this book? There are over 60 native groups living in Mexico, each with their own language, traditions, songs, stories, and way of looking at life. I'm fascinated by the lovely stories they tell especially those about animals.

10) What else about the book might pique the reader's interest? Perhaps they might learn something more about Mexico, a lovely country with wonderful traditions, warm, friendly people, great folk art, and some of the best food in the world.

Visit Patricia Newman's blog to learn about her two new books  and, next week, visit Anna Levine's blog (http://www.annalevine.org/blog.htm ), Raquel Castro's blog (http://www.facebook.com/l/kAQHsLP3PAQEUfh0WWlvYst81ojofzS7ddJ4DCkmEECQrjw/www.raxxie.com   ) which is in Spanish, and Lawrence Schimel's blog (desayunoencama.livejournal.com).