René Colato Laínez is a writer and teacher. In this guerrilla reading he reads from his most recent work, the award-winning bilingual children’s book, From North to South / Del norte al sur. Among the honors it has received are the 2011 International Latino Book Award for Best Bilingual Children’s Picture Book and 2011 California Book Award Finalist.
Illustrations in North to South are by another guerrilla reader, Joe Cepeda.
In an interview with Paper Tigers, Colato talked about the challenge of becoming a professional writer and the importance of persistence and hard work:
It was definitely rocky and challenging, but all the rejection letters that I received did help me to craft my stories and make them better. I did not give up: I went to Vermont College and got a masters in “Writing for Children and Young Adults.” I might not have had any of my books published if it weren’t for those letters, in a way.
In a recent interview, Cepeda talking about movement and action in children’s book illustrations:
Making a picture book is making a small movie. You need action scenes, as well as moments to introduce a character, close up shots, contemplative scenes, chase scenes, sad pictures.. etc. There’s some level of “action” in every image. Because a character is standing in the middle of an empty room, doesn’t mean there is no action there. Perhaps tilting the characters head to look over his shoulder offers a sense of fear, anxiety… tension. A clenched fists alludes to anger. There’s always action.
In this video, Cepeda does a guerrilla reading from a book he both wrote and illustrated, The Swing. You can see more of his work on his website.
In her article at The Atlantic, Taking Literature to the Streets, Katharine Schwab profiles a number of terrific ventures around the world that take literature out of bookstores and libraries and, well, into the streets. GuerrillaReads was included