LOCAL AUTHOR RECEIVES BOOK AWARD HONORS

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South Texas educational book publisher, Del Alma Publications, LLC, proudly announces that local author, Dr. María Alma González Pérez has won a coveted Purple Dragonfly book award and is selected as a top three finalist in the International Latino Book Awards (ILBA).
¡Todos a Comer! – A Mexican Food Alphabet Book, the latest bilingual children’s book by Dr. Pérez who is a former University of Texas Pan American (UTPA) Starr County Campus Director and bilingual education professor, was awarded 2nd place in the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards contest, Cultural Diversity category. The Dragonfly Book Awards recognizes excellence in children’s literature.
“Winning any place in the Purple Dragonfly Contest is a huge honor because in order to maintain the integrity of the Dragonfly Book Awards, a minimum score is required before a First or Second place or Honorable Mention will be awarded to the entrant – even if it is the sole entry in a category,” explains Linda F. Radke, president of Story Monsters LLC, the sponsor of the Dragonfly Book Awards. “Competition is steep, too, because there is no publication date limit as long as the book is still in print.”
¡Todos a Comer! – A Mexican Food Alphabet Book was also selected as a top three finalist for the 2017 ILBA in the Best Latino Focused Children’s Picture Book category. The ILBA awards are by far the largest Latino cultural awards in the USA. They have honored the greatness of 2,404 authors and publishers over the past two decades. These books are a great reflection that books by and about Latinos are in high demand.
“We’re still in awe…….To receive a book award is a great honor – literally “a big thing!” But, to receive notice of not one, but two awards for the same book on the same day IS surreal. That is precisely what happened. That’s why I say we’re still in awe,” said Dr. Pérez. She added, “This text is a resource for the classroom with a culturally regional focus aimed at addressing the needs of Hispanic children in the United States. These children are losing so much of their culture because of the English-only curriculum they are exposed to in this country. Instead, these children need to be made proud of their culture and their identity. It is our goal that this book will be of interest and use for bilingual/dual language and early childhood programs.”
In addition, Dr. Pérez’s very special Spanish poetry collection, Cantos del Alma y del Corazón – Poesía Original, received commendations as a finalist in the ILBA’s Book Design category for Best Use of Photos.
According to the Latino Book Awards director Kirk Whisler, “The 2017 Finalists for the 19th Annual Int’l Latino Book Awards are another refection of the growing quality of books by and about Latinos. In order to handle this large number of books, the Awards had 196 judges. The judges glowed more than ever about how hard the choices were. Judges shared how the books “Enriched my life” and how much they “Loved the books”. Another judge stated ‘This book appears as candy for the soul and senses’. Several dozen judges exclaimed ‘I could not put the book down until I finished.’ The Awards celebrates books in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Finalists are from across the USA and Puerto Rico, as well as from 20 countries outside the USA.
The Awards Ceremony will be held September 9, 2017 in Los Angeles at the Dominguez Ballroom at California State University Dominguez Hills. This is part of the Award Winning Author Recognition Weekend that also includes the Award Winning Author Celebration Night on Friday, September 8th and the Los Angeles Latino Book & Family Festival at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes on the 10th. The Awards are produced by Latino Literacy Now, an organization co-founded by Edward James Olmos and Kirk Whisler, and co-presented by Las Comadres de las Americas and the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA).