TEXANA READS: Beautiful illustrated hardcover book does justice to Selena's story
Proof of the enduring quality and impact of the story of Selena Quintanilla Perez, the slain Queen of Tejano Music, comes again in a beautifully designed hardcover book by Silvia López. Selena has become an iconic piece of American history and this beautifully designed and expertly written and researched book captures her story in a very special way.
Titled simply “Queen of Tejano Music – Selena,” the book is as inspiring as Selena’s life. It is poignant, moving, touching, happy and sad. It is, as they say in the industry, “a keeper.”
The book is expertly illustrated by Colombian designer Paola Escobar. Her illustrations are reminiscent of Chicana artist Carmen Lomas Garza. They are designed in sequential order to tell Selena’s story from birth to death.
At first glance, “Queen of Tejano Music – Selena” looks like a children’s book, but it is much more than that. This is an opportunity to keep the story of Selena alive in your family in a handsome and decorative hardcover book that condenses the memories of Selena’s illustrious career and the sad end of her story into a concise and accurate portrayal of her life.
The writing by Silvia López is mainly reportorial, but it is presented chronologically in one-to-four-page spreads that cover the breadth of Selena’s life. The spreads include:
1. Lake Jackson, Texas, 1977.
2. The Quintanillas.
3. A Family Band – “Southern Pearl.”
4. Corpus Christi, Texas, 1983 – “Selena y los Dinos.”
5. Touring the Countryside.
6. The Language Challenge.
7. No Place for a Girl.
8. Long-distance School.
9. Television Success.
11. A Rising Star’s Chance to Shine,
12. Chris Perez (Selena’s Husband).
13. Fans Across the Border.
14. Giving Back.
15. Singing in English.
16. Selena’s Gift.
The book also includes an accurate timeline and graphic of Selena’s life.
The end of the book is reserved for the controversial and sad part of Selena’s life. Here the author details the tragedy of her death. Finally, the author explains Selena’s legacy with a moving essay titled “Remembering Selena.”
This is an excellent book. It’s wonderful for children of all ages. It’s a great companion for parents to read or share with their children. It would be a good book for an elementary or middle school teacher to use and, finally, it is a historically accurate book.
This is the true story of Selena told in a decorative and marvelous little book you will want to keep to remember one of our country’s most-loved and enduring entertainers – Selena, the Queen of Tejano Music.
About the book
“Queen of Tejano Music – Selena”
By Silvia López
Illustrated by Paula Escobar
Little Bee Books, New York, New York (2020)
HC 100 pages
Available at: amazon.com – HC $16.80, Amazon Bookstores HC $18.99; barnesandnoble.com HC $18.99.
About the author and illustrator
A Cuban native raised in Miami, Silvia López holds degrees in English, library science and educational technology. Her career as a children’s librarian at schools and public libraries spans over three decades. She is a published author of books for children, including biographies and picture books such as “Just the Right Family: An Adoption Story.” Her digital book “Zunzuncito: Un Cuento del Pájaro Abeja Cubano” was named “Best Children’s Picture eBook of 2017.”
Paula Escobar is a Colombian graphic designer. She has illustrated books for a variety of publishers in Latin America, Europe and the United States. She also does work for digital and print magazines.
This weekly column focuses on new and old books about Texas or related to Texas. It includes fiction and nonfiction books, reports on political and sports books as well as cultural or historical works. The common thread among these books is their relationship to Texas, specifically South Texas.
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