This past week I went to Chicago where I got to explore some of the same stomping grounds as the character Francisco in my new picture book Francisco’s Kites. I traveled to Pilsen, visited the National Museum of Mexican Art and then headed to a pupuseria to try El Salvador’s favorite snack food. I also noticed that there’s a kite festival in Chicago that I’d love to attend next year in conjunction with my book. So much inspiration!
This week I am visiting two different classes at Colgate University to share my book Francisco’s Kites with the students. One class, taught by Dr. Anna Rios, is focused on immigration issues. The other is an introductory Spanish class taught by Pilar Mejia Barrera. We are talking about the inspiration for the book, the research and writing process, and how picture books do or do not reflect different communities, such as the Salvadoran community in Chicago where Francisco lives. The Colgate students have asked many insightful questions and given me food for thought, to be sure. The visits reminded me how much I enjoy being in the classroom.