Skip to Search Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content
Show/Hide University Links

National Latino Children's Literature Conference

El 22 – 24 de febrero, 2018

El 22 – 24 de febrero, 2018

Feb 22-24, 2018

Feb 22-24, 2018

   Contact Us

National Latino Children's Literature Conference

Conference Co-Directors
Dr. Jaime Campbell Naidoo
Dr. Howard Smith
Dr. Carmen Tafolla

Keynote Speakers

Rafael López

Rafael López is an internationally recognized illustrator and artist. A children’s book illustrator, he won the 2016 Pura Belpré medal from the American Library Association for his illustrations for Drum Dream Girl and the 2010 Pura Belpré medal for Book Fiesta. In 2012, he was selected by the Library of Congress to create the National Book Festival poster. He has been awarded the 2017 Tomás Rivera Children’s Book Award, three Pura Belpré honors and two Américas Book Awards. The illustrations created by López bring diverse characters to children’s books and he is driven to produce and promote books that reflect and honor the lives of all young people.

Born and raised in Mexico City to architect parents, Rafael López was immersed in the rich visual heritage, music and surrealism of his native culture.

His clients include Amnesty International, Apple, Charlesbridge Publishing, Chicago Tribune, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, IBM, Intel, Lee & Low books, Library of Congress, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, the Grammy Awards, United States Forest Service, United States Postal Service, The Washington Post and the World Wildlife Fund. His work has been selected into multiple juried shows with illustrations featured in publications like Communication Arts, the American Illustration Annual, Graphic Design USA and the Huffington Post.

He is a founder of the Urban Art Trail movement in San Diego’s East Village creating a series of large-scale murals that brought the community together. His murals can be found in urban areas, at children’s hospitals, public schools, under freeways and at farmer’s markets around the country. López’s community work with murals is the subject of the children’s book Maybe Something Beautiful, How Art Transformed a Neighborhood.

López was commissioned to create seven United States Postal Stamps including the Latin Music Legend Series. His stamps have been featured on the cover of the commemorative stamp yearbook and exhibited at the Smithsonian. In 2008 and 2012 he was asked to create official posters for the Obama/Biden campaign to win the pivotal Latino vote. The illustrator lives and works in an industrial loft in downtown San Diego and in the colonial town of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Biographical information from

Monica Brown

Monica Brown, Ph.D. is the author of many award-winning books for children, including Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People (Henry Holt), winner of the Américas Award for Children’s Literature and an Orbis Pictus Honor for Outstanding Nonfiction, and Waiting for the Biblioburro (Random House), a Christopher Award winner. Her picture book Side by Side: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez/Lado a lado: La historia de Dolores Huerta y Cesar Chavez (Rayo/HarperCollins) was an NAACP Image Award nominee and Tejas Star Book Award finalist. Monica’s books are inspired by her PeruvianAmerican heritage and desire to share Latino/a stories with children. “I write from a place of deep passion, joy, and commitment to producing the highest possible quality of literature for children. In my biographies, the lives of my subjects are so interesting and transformational that I am simply giving them voice for a young audience. I don’t think it is ever too early to introduce children to the concepts of magical realism, social justice, and dreaming big!”

Her other books include Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match/Marisol McDonald no combina (Lee & Low), winner of the International Latino Book Award and a Pura Belpré Honor for Illustration, Clara and the Curandera/Clara y la curandera (Piñata Books), Pelé, King of Soccer/Pelé, el rey del fútbol (Rayo/HarperCollins), and Chavela and the Magic Bubble (Clarion). Monica Brown is a Professor of English at Northern Arizona University, specializing in U.S. Latino Literature and Multicultural Literature.

She also writes and publishes scholarly work with a Latino/a focus, including Gang Nation: Delinquent Citizenship in Puerto Rican and Chicano and Chicana Literature; and numerous scholarly articles and chapters on Latino/a literature and cultural studies. She is a recipient of the prestigious Rockefeller Fellowship on Chicano Cultural Literacies from the Center for Chicano Studies at the University of California. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Biographical information from

Margarita Robleda Moguel

Author of over 30 Latino/a children’s books and winner of the Juanes de la Cabada Fine Art of Children’s Tale Award.

From Margarita: On the migration card, when I leave Mexico, I put in occupation: to be happy. In doing so I remember that everything I do has that goal. Happiness, not as a state of mind, but as realizing my sense of life: being a better person. I think the frog is my nagual. Through his eyes I see things that I have the impression that no one else sees, these discoveries I translate into songs and stories, articles for the newspaper, conference themes, and in recent times in poems and photographs, such as those of the Moon. For many years I have dedicated myself to sing and tell stories to children, now I have opened the age limit until the age of 112, because I consider that the 113 as that changes the character. I struggle day by day so as not to lose my temper.

Biographical information from

Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Ms. Mccall is the author of Under the Mesquite (Lee & Low Books), a novel in verse. Under the Mesquite received the prestigious Pura Belpre Author Award, was a William C. Morris Finalist, received the Lee Bennett Hopkins/International Literacy Promising Poet Award, the Tomas Rivera Children’s Book Award, and was included in Kirkus Review’s Best Teen Books of 2011, among many other accolades. 

Her second novel, Summer of the Mariposas (Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books), won a Westchester Young Adult Fiction award, was a finalist for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, was included in the 2013 Amelia Bloomer Project List, the Texas Lone Star Reading List, and the 2012 School Library Journal’s Best Books of the Year. Her poems for children have appeared in The Poetry Friday Anthology, The Poetry Friday Anthology for Middle School, and The Poetry Friday Anthology for Science. 

Ms. Garcia McCall was born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. She immigrated with her family to the United States when she was six years old and grew up in Eagle Pass, Texas (the setting of both her novels and most of her poems). She is currently a high school English teacher in San Antonio.