A Gift from Papá Diego
By Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Illustrated by Gerónimo Garcia
Little Diego loves his grandfather, but they don't see each other often because Papá Diego lives in Mexico and Little Diego lives in Texas across the border. One day Little Diego's father gives him a pile of comic books that his father had when he was growing up. In those comic books Little Diego discovers Superman. Maybe if he was like Superman, then he could fly off to see his grandfather in Mexico! So Little Diego tells his mother that he wants a Superman outfit for his birthday. His parents buy him one, but, of course, Little Diego cannot fly. He's heart-broken. Still, because he has had the daring to imagine, a wonderful event occurs and he enjoys one of his happiest birthdays ever! Each illustration in Papá Diego was built out of terra cotta clay and painted with acrylic paints. This gives the illustrations a 3 dimensional quality which kids will love!
About the Creators
Benjamin Alire Sáenz was born in 1954 in Old Picacho, a small farming village outside of Las Cruces, New Mexico, forty-two miles north of the U.S. / Mexico border. He was the fourth of seven children and was brought up in a traditional Mexican-American Catholic family. He entered the seminary in 1972, a decision that was as much political as it was religious. After concluding his theological studies at the University of Louvain, he was ordained a Catholic priest. Three and a half years later, he left the priesthood. At the age of 30, he entered the University of Texas at El Paso. He later received a fellowship at the University of Iowa. In 1988, he received a Wallace E. Stegner Fellowship in poetry from Stanford University. In 1993, he returned to the border to teach in the bilingual MFA program at UTEP.
Sáenz is the author of a previous book of poetry, Calendar of Dust, which won an American Book Award. Cinco Puntos published two of his other books of poetry called Elegies in Blue and the now out of print, Dark and Perfect Angels. His most recent book of poetry, The Book of What Remains, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2010. He is the author of numerous novels, books for children and young adults as well as a previous collection of short stories. His award winning young adult novels are Sammy & Juliana in Hollywood, He Forgot to Say Goodbye, and Last Night I Sang to the Monster. His adult novels include Carry Me Like Water, The House of Forgetting, In Perfect Light, and Names on a Map.
Geronimo Garcia is a highly successful and internationally recognized graphic designer. Like he did for Sáenz's highly successful A Gift for Papa Diego (60,000 in print) he hand-crafted the little clay figures and created the colorful book design in The Dog Who Loves Tortillas. He lives in El Paso, TX.