Tonatiuh, Goldman Rubin winners of 2014 Rivera Book Award

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
March 21, 2014

Duncan Tonatiuh and Susan Goldman Rubin have been named the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award recipients for works published in 2012-13.

The award, established at Texas State University in 1995, is designed to encourage authors, illustrators and publishers to produce books that authentically reflect the lives of Mexican American children and young adults in the United States.

The award will be presented Oct. 23 on the Texas State campus with additional events scheduled in cooperation with the Texas Book Festival to be announced.

The Tomás Rivera Award considers works in two categories: "Works for Older Children/Young Adult" and "Works for Younger Children." Goldman Rubin is being recognized for her book Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People under the "Works for Older Children/Young Adult" category, while Tonatiuh is being recognized for Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant's Tale under the "Works for Younger Children" category.

Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People

In Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People, Goldman Rubin explores the life of Rivera, one of the most prominent painters and muralists from Mexico. The colorful book is a mural itself that embodies not only Rivera’s life and career, but also represents Mexico’s history and identity process through Rivera’s artwork in Mexico and the United States. The images and the text are meticulously organized to engage young readers and immerse them in Rivera’s world.

Goldman Rubin grew up in the Bronx and dreamed of becoming an artist. She illustrated her first three picture books but then turned to writing nonfiction, mainly about art and history, and is the author of more than 55 books for young people. Her titles include They Call Me A Hero: A Memoir of My Youth, Music Was It! Young Leonard Bernstein and the forthcoming: Everyone Paints! The Art and Lives of the Wyeth Family. She lives in Malibu, Calif., and has been an instructor in the UCLA Extension Writers' Program for 20 years.

Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant's Tale

In Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote, Papá Rabbit leaves Mexico one spring to find work in the U.S. to feed his family when there is no harvest in his fields. When Papá Rabbit does not return, his son, Panchito, decides to search for his father and accepts Coyote’s offer to guide him toward the U.S. border. After a long and difficult journey, when their resources are gone, Coyote decides to make a meal of Panchito. Tonatiuh’s richly-illustrated story delivers a touching allegory of an immigration experience.

Tonatiuh was born in Mexico City and grew up in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He is a graduate of Parsons the New School for Design in New York City, where he studied writing and illustration. His first book, Dear Primo, won the 2011 Pura Belpré Honor for Illustration, and Diego Rivera won the 2012 Pura Belpré Illustration Award and the 2012 Tomás Rivera Children’s Book Award. Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote also received the Pura Belpré Honor for Illustration and Narrative. Tonatiuh lives in Mexico.

About the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award

The Tomás Rivera Award at Texas State celebrates authors and illustrators dedicated to depicting the values and culture of Mexican Americans. Rivera, who died in 1984, graduated from Texas State with both his bachelor's and master's degrees before receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. A Distinguished Alumnus of Texas State, Rivera published his landmark novel in 1971 titled ...y no se lo tragó la tierra/ ...And the Earth Did Not Part. In 1979, Rivera was appointed chancellor Chancellor of the University of California-Riverside, the first Hispanic chancellor named to the University of California System.

For more information on the Rivera Award, please visit the Rivera Award website at