• Apr 27, 2019 from 10:00am to 5:00pm
  • Location: New Mexico Hispanic Cultural Center
  • Latest Activity: Feb 23, 2019

 New Mexico Hispanic Cultural Center Bilingual Book Festival

On Saturday, April 27, 2019, the National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) will host its first annual NHCC Children’s Bilingual Book Festival. Coinciding with National Poetry Month, Dia de los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day), Arbor Day, and Semana Cervantina/Poesía eres tu, this festival will celebrate children’s books written in Spanish and English and Native languages and English.

The focus on Spanish-English and Native Language-English books and authors makes this festival particularly meaningful and vibrant, reflecting the identities of many children in New Mexico and the Southwest. We want to encourage children to see themselves in contemporary children’s literature as well as introduce a bilingual body of work to a wider audience.

The festival will also launch a wide range of efforts to support participation by children in summer programs, including connecting children struggling with reading with summer reading tutors who will provide one-on-one and group tutoring at the NHCC over the summer.


The one-day festival will feature:


  • “Read to Me” events featuring Native and Latinx authors
  • A keynote reading and Q & A with children’s author Pat Mora
  • Teachers workshop—“Innovations in Teaching Children to Read”
  • Parents workshop—“Encouraging Book Reading in the Smartphone Age”
  • An author and exhibitor book emporium (book and book-related sales)
  • Graphic novel workshops (Native Realities and Under the Cottonwood Tree)
  • Poesía eres tu and Un Poema: Tantas Voces student presentations
  • Drop-in art, book-making, and other creative activities
  • Food, music and more


For more information, please contact Valerie Martínez, Director of History and Literary Arts, National Hispanic Cultural Center: valerie.martinez@state.nm.us; 505-383-4724.







Featured authors will be announced in February, 2019.

Keynote Speaker Pat Mora is an award-winning poet and author of books for adults, teens, and children. Her awards include a Poetry Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Golden Kite Award, American Library Association Notable Book Awards, and honorary doctorates. A former teacher and university administrator, she is the founder of the family literacy initiative El día de los niños /El día de los libros, Children's Day /Book Day. The year-long commitment to linking all children to books, languages and cultures, and of sharing what Pat calls "bookjoy," culminates in celebrations across the country in April.

Native Realities books and comic books feature the incredible tales of Indigenous icons, First Nations freedom fighters, Aboriginal astronauts, and Native American superheroes whose stories have long been coopted, unheard or ignored. We strive to give you the most original and authentic representations of Native and Indigenous peoples through stories and texts that educate and entertain children, youth and adults.

Poesía eres tú has strengthened the learning and teaching of Spanish language and culture among elementary school students for nearly twenty years. Each spring, organizers invite elementary school students from grades first through fifth to recite a memorized, dramatized poem in Spanish. The students come from public, private, and charter schools. The day before the book festival children present an inspiring celebration of poetry en español at the NHCC—with prizes for the best recitations. Winners and/or runners-up will present at the book festival the next day.  Poesía eres tú, is a collaboration between the Spanish Resource Center of Albuquerque, Instituto Cervantes of Albuquerque, UNM Latin American and Iberian Institute and the National Hispanic Cultural Center. 

Scholarship Program: the 2019 festival will sponsor and support 20 children who live near the NHCC and are struggling with reading proficiency by giving them free books, free festival swag, and mentorship by summer reading tutors who will work with her/him individually and in small groups over the summer at the NHCC.

Under the Cottonwood Tree: El Susto de la Curandera is a New Mexico-based graphic novel following a curandera, Carlos, Amadeo and best friend Monree as they experience an adventure of a lifetime while unraveling the many secrets of the bosque. The novel was written by Paul and Carlos Meyer and illustrated by Margaret Hardy.

Un Poema: Tantas Voces/One Poem: Many Voces engages elementary, middle and high school students, as well as their teachers and families, in the translation of a single poem by a contemporary poet writing in Spanish. The goal of the project is to encourage children, youth and adults to learn a contemporary poem, experiment with translation, and share what they discover. Third-grade students translate 5-10 lines; 7th grade students translate a stanza; and 11-12 grade students translate the entire poem. The students’ families are encouraged to join the effort, collaborating and learning together at home. At a bilingual culminating event, the translators (young and old) will share their work with each other and the general public, celebrate the poem, and discuss the ways that different readers understand and interpret un poema.

 New Mexico Hispanic Cultural Center Bilingual Book Festival

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