Saturday, June 25, 2016

Featured Illustrator: Duncan Tonatiuh, part 2: biographies

My first post about author-illustrated Duncan Tonatiuh shared about his fictional stories and a little of the behind-the-scenes of his artwork (and an example from one of my students, following his lead). This post will introduce several of his incredible picture book biographies.

Biographies Written and Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation [a Pura Belpré Honor book and a Siebert Honor book]. This is an important book that sheds light on a lesser known side of the Civil Rights Movement: the segregation of children of Mexican and Hispanic descent, especially on the West Coast. I think it is critical for kids today to understand that discrimination is not just a white/black issue and that many groups have been treated differently for many "reasons."

Diego Rivera His World and Ours. This book is an interesting mix of standard biography and asking questions. The first half details the life and influences of Diego Rivera, while the second half asks students to consider how Diego might interpret our modern world in his art. My students especially liked the depiction of a row of kids at their computers as an artistic statement. (We shared this book with others about Frida Khalo as well. You can read more about that here.

Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras [Sibert Award winner and a Pura Belpré Honor book]. Written in a similar style to Diego Rivera, this book combines biography with an interpretation of Posada's works and their application in a modern setting. Our Spanish students often do activities related to Day of the Dead, and this would be a great book to give them more background about how this artistic style developed.

I can't wait for more from this talented illustrator and storyteller!

Click here for part 1 about fictional stories by Duncan Tonatiuh or click the "Featured Illustrator" tag for more books by talented illustrators.


Shared with #DiverseKidLit

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