FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Jeffers
(415) 557-4282; Michelle.Jeffers@sfpl.org
Award-Winning Children’s Book Creator Yuyi Morales to Deliver 2014 Effie Lee Morris Lecture and Kick Off Summer Reading
Celebrated children’s author/illustrator to speak at S.F. Main Library
Yuyi Morales, award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, will be the special guest lecturer for the 18th annual Effie Lee Morris Lecture, which each year honors the work of a noted author or illustrator of children’s books. This year’s event, “Creating Children’s Books: An Immigrant’s Story,” will held on Tuesday, June 3, at 6:00 p.m. in the Main Library’s Koret Auditorium.
As the guest lecturer, Morales also will help kick off the 2014 Summer Reading Program on Saturday, May 31, at a 12 noon appearance in the Main Library’s Fisher Children’s Center. On Wednesday, June 4, 10:15 – 11 a.m., she will lead a read-aloud of Niño Wrestles the World, which won the 2014 Pura Belpré Award. This event will be held for children and families at the Mission Branch Library, 300 Bartlett St.
Morales fills her books with pictures in the colors of her childhood in Mexico. When she came to the United States in 1994 as a young mother with a new baby, libraries – particularly San Francisco Public Library’s (SFPL) Western Addition Branch – became her personal oasis.
“Libraries are essential in my life and in my history. I could just be, and read any books I wanted,” said Morales, speaking about her first experiences in an SFPL branch. She and her son would stay in the library until closing, reading story after story and picking up more and more English. “In the picture books, there were some words I may not have understood, but as long as I understood a few words and looked at the illustrations, I got the meaning, and it kept me wanting to learn more.”
She went on to explore books that taught her how to make paper, drawings, and puppets, and started to make her own books describing her new life. Out of that beginning came books like Niño, in which a little boy dreams of fame as a masked luchador, or wrestler; Harvesting Hope, about Cesar Chavez; Ladder to the Moon, a collaboration with President Obama’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, in which a little girl uses the power of dreams to move beyond loss; a series of tales about the trickster skeleton Señor Calavera; and other rich and evocative picture books.
Morales, who has drawn on her Mexican-American heritage to create a wide variety of picture books, divides her time between Mexico and California. Morales’s lecture theme, draws on all these experiences.
As part of Yuyi’s commitment to the importance of early childhood reading and education, she will participate in a series of events and presentations while in San Francisco for the Effie Lee Morris lecture:
Saturday, May 31: Yuyi Morales will attend the day-long Summer Read SF kick-off at the Main Library Children’s Center, 2nd Floor, 100 Larkin St., San Francisco.
Tuesday, June 3, 6 p.m.: Yuyi Morales delivers the 2014 Effie Lee Morris Lecture: “Creating Children’s Books: An Immigrant’s Story.” Main Library, Koret Auditorium, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco.
Wednesday, June 4, 10:15 – 11 a.m.: Yuyi Morales leads a read-aloud of Niño Wrestles the World for children and families. Mission Branch Library, 300 Bartlett St., San Francisco.
Michelle Jeffers, San Francisco Public Library
(415) 557-4282; Michelle.Jeffers@sfpl.org
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Note to Editors: High Resolution Photographs of Yuyi Morales and Book Covers are available upon request.
Each year, the Effie Lee Morris Lecture features a distinguished guest author or illustrator of children’s books discussing his or her work for the enjoyment of teachers, librarians, scholars, and the book-loving public. The event honors the work of the late Effie Lee Morris, SFPL’s first coordinator of children’s services.
The Effie Lee Morris Lecture is sponsored by the Library’s Fisher Children’s Center, the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, and the Women’s National Book Association, San Francisco Chapter.
For more information, please call (415) 557-4277 or (415) 557-4554.