Synopses & Reviews
A 2015 Pura Belprandeacute; Illustrator Honor Book and a 2015 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a andldquo;Whites onlyandrdquo; school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.
Praise for Separate is Never Equal
andquot;Tonatiuh masterfully combines text and folk-inspired art to add an important piece to the mosaic of U.S. civil rights history.andquot;
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review
andldquo;Younger children will be outraged by the injustice of the Mendez family story but pleased by its successful resolution. Older children will understand the importance of the 1947 ruling that desegregated California schools, paving the way for Brown v. Board of Education seven years later.andrdquo;
--School Library Journal, starred review
andquot;Tonatiuh (Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote) offers an illuminating account of a familyandrsquo;s hard-fought legal battle to desegregate California schools in the years before Brown v. Board of Education.andquot;
andquot;Pura Belprandeacute; Awardandndash;winning Tonatiuh makes excellent use of picture-book storytelling to bring attention to the 1947 California ruling against public-school segregation.andquot;
andquot;The straightforward narrative is well matched with the illustrations in Tonatiuhandrsquo;s signature style, their two-dimensional perspective reminiscent of the Mixtec codex but collaged with paper, wood, cloth, brick, and (Photoshopped) hair to provide textural variation. This story deserves to be more widely known, and now, thanks to this book, it will be.andquot;
--The Horn Book Magazine
Seven years before Brown v. Board of Education, the Mendez family fought to end segregation in California schools. Discover their incredible story in this picture book from award-winning creator Duncan Tonatiuh
A Pura Belpr Illustrator Honor Book and Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
When her family moved to the town of Westminster, California, young Sylvia Mendez was excited about enrolling in her neighborhood school. But she and her brothers were turned away and told they had to attend the Mexican school instead. Sylvia could not understand why--she was an American citizen who spoke perfect English. Why were the children of Mexican families forced to attend a separate school? Unable to get a satisfactory answer from the school board, the Mendez family decided to take matters into its own hands and organize a lawsuit.
In the end, the Mendez family's efforts helped bring an end to segregated schooling in California in 1947, seven years before the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education ended segregation in schools across America.
Using his signature illustration style and incorporating his interviews with Sylvia Mendez, as well as information from court files and news accounts, award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh tells the inspiring story of the Mendez family's fight for justice and equality.
From first-time Mexican author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh comes the story of two cousins, one in America and one in Mexico, and how their daily lives are different yet similar. Charlie takes the subway to school; Carlitos rides his bike. Charlie plays in fallen leaves; Carlitos plays among the local cacti. Dear Primo
covers the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of two very different childhoods, while also emphasizing how alike Charlie and Carlitos are at heart. Spanish words are scattered among the English text, providing a wonderful way to introduce the language and culture of Mexico to young children. Inspired by the ancient art of the Mixtecs and other cultures of Mexico, Tonatiuh incorporates their stylized forms into his own artwork.
About the Author
Duncan Tonatiuh was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He graduated from Parsons the New School for Design, where he studied writing and illustration. He divides his time between Mexico and New York City. This is his first picture book.