Local author Lupe Ruiz-Flores has two books and one on the way. The bilingual picture books will no doubt inspire kids of all ages to become lifetime readers.
Lupita's Papalote is a story about a little girl and her magic kite. Ruiz-Flores said the idea comes from a childhood memory. One day she was upset she didn't have a kite like the other kids in the neighborhood. Her father told her he had a better idea and it didn't include a store-bought kite. That day they made their own kite out of comics and bamboo sticks and strips of rags for the tail.
"What I remember most about that day is the kite tugging and pulling with such force that I was terrified it would sweep me up into the sky because I was so small and skinny," said Ruiz-Flores. "My father sensed my anxiety. He never said a word but merely rested his hand on my shoulder in a reassuring way. All the fear oozed out of me and I felt safe."
This childhood experience is honored in the book, but Ruiz-Flores added some fantasy. In the book, Lupita is swept up into the sky.
The second book entitled The Woodcutter's Gift was inspired by two separate articles in a newspaper. One about a real woodcutter and the other about a Mexican folk artist. The story is about sharing and inner beauty.
The third book, The Battle of the Snow Cones is due out in 2010. The story is about two girls who set up competing raspa stands. The ending is quite a surprise.
Right now, Ruiz-Flores is working on a novel for middle school aged kids. For more information about this outstanding writer go to www.luperuiz-flores.com