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Mora, Vidal to receive Tomás Rivera Children’s Book Award

Date of release: 08/19/03

SAN MARCOS — Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz is one of the most enduring symbols of women’s rights and education in Mexico, and author Pat Mora and illustrator Beatriz Vidal have been honored with the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award for A Library for Juana, their illustrated story of Sor Juana’s life and a testament to the power of knowledge.

The Rivera award, sponsored by the Southwest Texas State University College of Education and endowed by the Anheuser-Busch Companies, will be presented at 6 p.m. Sept. 25 in the Southwestern Writers Collection, Alkek Library, seventh floor. Mora and Vidal will give a presentation and sign copies of A Library for Juana beginning at 2 p.m. in the LBJ Student Center Ballroom. They will also give presentations at the San Marcos Public Library Sept. 24 and in San Antonio Sept. 26.

The honor is the second for Mora, who previously won the Rivera Award in 1997 for Tomás and the Library Lady. She has published 18 children’s books, five poetry collections and two volumes of non-fiction. A native of El Paso, she currently divides her time between the southwest and Kentucky.

Vidal’s illustrations in the book are evocative of illuminated manuscripts of centuries past. Using a magnifying glass and fine brushes, Vidal painstakingly recreated scenes of Mexican life from the latter half of the 17th century,

where Sor Juana grew to fame for her Baroque poetry and enormous library. A native of Argentina, Vidal currently lives in New York City and has illustrated such children’s books as The Legend of El Dorado and Rainbow Crow.

SWT developed the Tomás Rivera award to congratulate and acknowledge authors and illustrators dedicated to depicting the values and culture of Mexican Americans. Rivera, who died in 1984, graduated from SWT with both his bachelor's and master's degrees before receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. He was the first Hispanic Distinguished Alumnus of SWT. 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 of the University of California-Riverside, the first Hispanic chancellor named to the University of California system.

For more information on the award or ceremonies, please contact Jennifer Battle at (512) 245-2357 or