John Parra, children’s book illustrator, 2016 winner of the Golden Kite Award and two time winner of the Pura Belpre Award for his portrayal of the Latino cultural experience in outstanding literature, visited Southgate Elementary School on Nov. 1. He presented to students in grades K-3, and shared how his early family experiences inspire his work. Parra spoke about how he creates the rich folkart that accompanies stories of Hispanic life. In addition, he shared some of the books that he has illustrated, including Marvelous Cornelius, a book based on the life of a devoted and cheerful city worker in New Orleans pre and post Hurricane Katrina.
The third graders had an additional 90 minute workshop with John Parra and each created an illustrated story. Students were prepared for his visit with Mrs. Parmalee in the weeks leading up, and each class prepared some thoughtful questions for the illustrator.