KCRA 3 anchor Leticia Ordaz was honored in four categories for her new bilingual children’s book, The Adventures of Mr. Macaw” by the 22nd International Latino Book Awards during their virtual ceremony on September 12, 2020.
While Latinos are one of the fastest-growing demographics in the United States, children’s literature has failed to reflect this trend. Only five percent of the books published in the U.S. feature a Latinx main character, yet the ethnicity makes up 18 percent of the nation’s population.
Ordaz experienced this disparity after becoming a parent. She and her husband wanted to raise their children to be both proud of their heritage and fluent in Spanish. They found it difficult to find bilingual books with positive Latinx characters to read to their young sons.
Ordaz decided to create the resource that she felt was missing. She wrote The Adventures of Mr. Macaw, a vibrant story based on their family’s experiences with a beloved kite that cut loose one day in Mexico.
When publishers balked at printing her book as fully bilingual with all text in both English and Spanish, Ordaz forged ahead with her own publishing company, Cielito Lindo Books. The Adventures of Mr. Macaw was released in March 2020.
The book can be purchased at cieltolindobooks.com, as well as through major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Barnes & Noble. The Adventures of Mr. Macaw can also be found at libraries, such as the Sacramento Public Library.
Ordaz has a second bilingual book based on her own life story coming out in November called That Girl on TV Could be Me: The Journey of a Latino News Anchor.
The mission of Cielito Lindo Books is to increase diverse narratives in children’s literature and improve the availability of bilingual books. The publisher donates its books to multiple efforts that help migrant kids and children who don't have access to books -- including the #LearningKits4MigrantKids project.
#LearningKits4MigrantKids is a collaboration of Latinx artists, authors, and businesses to gather art supplies, science kits, and books that are provided directly to migrant students and communities in need. Children in Delano, California, will be receiving copies of The Adventures of Mr. Macaw this week.
The Arnold Law Firm is a proud sponsor of Ordaz’s efforts to make bilingual books more accessible to the Latino community.