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  • Writer's pictureMary Boone

Six Questions with Aixa Pérez-Prado


Aixa Pérez-Prado is a writer, illustrator, translator, sensitivity reader and university professor from Argentina. Aixa has lived in several different countries, and draws inspiration for her stories and illustrations from diverse locations. Her passion is writing and illustrating books that give diverse children a chance to see their multilayered identities represented through stories that resonate with heart and humor. Aixa writes in Spanish and English and enjoys mixing languages in her prose. Similarly, she loves illustrating by employing different techniques in a whimsical mixed media collage style.

 

Aixa is the author/ illustrator of City Feet (Reycraft, 2023), author of Our World: Agentina (Barefoot Books, 2023), and author/illustrator of Mercedes Sosa: The Voice of the People (Lee & Low 2024). Visit Aixa's website to learn more about her an her work.


Twitter: @professoraixa

Insta: @aixasdoodlesandbooks

TikTok: @aixasdoodlesandbooks

Facebook: @aixasdoodlesandbooks


1.What was your favorite book when you were a child? Why?

I loved Madeline when I was small because she was fierce, she scared adults, and she lived in Paris with lots of friends. I was born in Buenos Aires, a city that resembles Paris in many ways, and had left very young but always longed to return. Madeline and I shared far away fathers but hers sent her presents, and I liked that idea very much.

 

2. If you could be any character in a book, who would you be? Why?

 I would definitely be Harold of Harold and the Purple Crayon because I like the idea of creating my own reality. When I was a young immigrant child who didn’t speak English, my crayons were my primary means of expression and communication. Without siblings or friends, or anyone who spoke my language during the day, my art became my world and I would have loved to draw a plane and fly back home in it.

 

3. What are some of the best and hardest parts of creating books for kids?

For me the best thing about creating books is the joy I feel in the process. I often find myself smiling when I am making illustrations or when I think of something fun or funny to add to a story. On the flip side, the worst part of the process for me is that the stories that are closest to my heart, those that explore issues of belonging, identity and latinidad – the feelings and the issues I faced as a child – have not been picked up by publishers. It’s painful when the stories that are most authentic to me and that I feel are my strongest work do not find a home.


4. If you could tell readers one secret about this book, what would it be?

Oh, that’s a good one! I have lots of secrets that I like to add to illustrations. For example in City Feet every illustration in the book that includes a tiny heart integrated somewhere in it means that the character in question is someone in my family. I also hid initials and birthdays for my sons in the characters that represent them, and favorite things my daughters like in theirs (look for books, dogs, plants and a camera). The biggest secret in the book though is in the Undie, under the back cover. It’s the only place in the entire book that you can see a whole person, not just legs and feet. Don’t tell anyone but it’s the baby in the stroller sucking on her big toe!

 

5. If you read this book to a room filled with kids, what message would you want them to leave with?

City Feet is a rhyming picture book that uses eight languages in the rhyme scheme. It shows legs and feet moving through different cities of the world in fun and wacky ways. The message that I hope it gives readers is that cities are wonderfully diverse and interesting places to people watch and enjoy and that if you keep your eyes open you can find all kinds of wonders in the world.

 

 6. Who should read this book?

 Anybody can read City Feet, and it is especially nice for a read aloud because it has a rhythm. I like to teach kids to snap and clap along with the beat. They also have fun doing the movements of the characters in the book like gliding, sliding, hopping and shuffling. It’s always nice when one of the kids recognizes a word from their native language in the rhyme that in addition to the English, includes a word or two in Spanish, Portuguese, German, Arabic, French, Haitian Creole, and Quechua (an indigenous language of South America).


If you're a traditionally published picture book or middle-grade book creator and you'd like to be featured on SIX QUESTIONS, send an email to mary@boonewrites.com

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