Surprise, surprise! It is with great joy that I introduce to you my new bilingual children’s book: “Sebastian’s Game Day Surprise/La Sorpresa de Sebastián el Día del Partido Final” that I wrote for Read Conmigo. With this, my second book, I hit a new milestone as a children’s author by bringing to life a character that positively represents AfroLatino children through one of my favorite topics: baseball.
Continuing with my mission as a children’s author of bringing authentic stories about American Latinos that are as diverse as our community, the launch of this new bilingual children’s book brings me great satisfaction as over 100 thousand Latino families across the United States will receive a hard copy, and hundreds of thousands more will have access to the electronic version.
My new bilingual children’s book is Read Conmigo’s 2019 Summer Printed Book and I’m glad they allowed me to write this sweet story with some of their awesome characters. I couldn’t be happier to have partnered with them to write a book about an Afro-Latino kid who has a supportive dad, amazing friends and loves baseball. I know that American Latino kids all over the United States will enjoy this story that celebrates perseverance and sportsmanship.
In creating the manuscript for ‘Sebastian’s Game Day Surprise’ I drew from the experiences I had as a kid playing in baseball and softball teams. My intention was to transmit the friendship that comes from practicing and uniting as a team. Also, to highlight the value of sportsmanship. I truly hope this new bilingual children’s book provides kids important lessons they can apply in their own lives.
The Story Behind My New Bilingual Children’s Book
As with all great things in life, there is a ‘behind the scenes’ on how this book came about and is one that I like to share with all of you. Last year, my dear friend and fellow author Maritere Rodríguez-Bellas introduced me to Frances Zazueta from Read Conmigo. As it is usual in this digital world it was an email introduction, but it happened at the right time since I already had plans to go to Los Angeles for a conference later in the year.
I met with Frances and one of her team members in October and we spoke about what kind of story they wanted from me. We talked about my passion for baseball and the need they had for an original story that covered the topic. We ended the conversation excited and I started envisioning new bilingual children’s book right then and there. Little over a month later I had the first draft of the manuscript and sent to Frances.
The rest of the ‘behind the scenes’ is the regular process for the making of a Read Conmigo book and they are detailed in the following video created by them. I encourage you to watch the video with your little ones as it presents a great opportunity for them to learn how a printed book is made; you just need to sign up for free on the Read Conmigo website to get access to the video.
About Read Conmigo And Its Mission
Read Conmigo is a free, award-winning program that encourages parents to read to their children in English and Spanish. Through their online platform, they provide a new bilingual children’s book in digital format three times a year. It was created out of the need of many American Latino households in which parents, grandparents, and caregivers weren’t able to read fluently in English and were hesitant to read to their children in Spanish, fearing that this may impair their ability to properly master the English language.
The program provides free bilingual children’s books, educational apps, and literacy resources for children in preschool through fifth grade. Read Conmigo was created by Infinity Insurance to provide parents and teachers free tools and resources to help them foster a love of reading among their children and students. Infinity and Read Conmigo have donated over one million Spanish-English new bilingual children’s books to families, schools and libraries nationwide since 2010. Today over 160,000 families and educators are part of Read Conmigo.
As explained on their website, “studies have shown that families play a vital role in childhood literacy. According to the National Education Association, 26% of children who were read to three or four times in the last week by a family member recognized all letters of the alphabet. This is compared to 14% of children who were read to less frequently.”
Statistics aside, we know how important it is to read to our children and nurture that bond and love of reading for them. I invite you to take advantage of this great program and register to Read Conmigo to gain access to my new bilingual children’s book “Sebastian’s Game Day Surprise” as well as all the other phenomenal books they have for Latino families.
My sincere gratitude…
Last, but not least, I want to express my gratitude to Maritere Rodríguez-Bellas who has given me her support. Amiga, having your friendship is a real treasure!
Also grateful to Frances Zazueta for her trust, support, and overall awesomeness throughout this process.
Big thanks to the amazing Justin Dial whose talent beautifully brought this story to life.
As always, my never-ending gratitude and love to Los Cools: my kids, my mother, and my husband who fuel and encourage my creativity, and support me every step of the way.
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