Tagged children’s book

When Woman Became the Sea Hispanic Childrens Book illustrated by Latina artist Cristina Acosta

When Woman Became the Sea, Hispanic Latino Children’s Book

Hispanic or Latino children’s books actually written or illustrated by a Latino/a in the U.S. during the 1990s were rare birds. Though the Hispanic population of the United States was quickly becoming the dominant subculture, not a lot in the arts, design and decor fields reflected that fact. Fortunately, forward-thinking Anglos that were already positioned in the publishing world took notice and did their part. The owners and staff and writers at Beyond Words Publishing in the 1990s were those people.

During the time writer, Susan Strauss was putting together her new book based on a Costa Rican Creation story, she happened to be seated next to me at the brunch of a mutual friend. Our conversation turned to her story and by the time we were done with our meal we had a plan to present to her publisher, Beyond Words. Our plan was accepted and I joined the team as the Latina illustrator.

Though that doesn’t sound like a big deal now that time has passed, it was then. I was so excited. Not only did I get to make a contribution as an artist and mother (my daughter was five at the time,”When Woman Became the Sea,” was published), I got the personal satisfaction of being a published Latina. It was very gratifying. I don’t care for cultural appropriation. Despite the best of intentions when bringing Hispanic products to market, when all of the names attached to the products are Anglo or culturally divergent, it can come across as appropriation.

The book has long since sold out and you can only get copies on Amazon, I am still very proud of the project. The beautiful marriage between Susan Strauss’ elegant writing, the typesetting and my illustrations is holding up well.

Here’s a few of the reviews for “When Woman Became the Sea”: 

“A lovely creation myth from Costa Rica is retold in read-aloud rhythm and illustrated with gorgeous, tropical paintings.  Sound effects are indicated by the waving, explosive typeface that will inspire dramatic story hours.  The rich colors and vivid patterns of Acosta’s illustrations echo Latino pottery and design, making this an irresistible package.”

Kirkus Reviews, September 1998

“Acosta illustrates the tale with swirling, thick-lined tropical scenes in which form takes second place to vibrant, emphatic color.  The eye-catching visuals. . . and the author’s natural-sounding language. . . make the tale a promising candidate for reading aloud.”
Booklist, October 1998

“When Woman Became the Sea; A Costa Rican Creation Myth recounts an allegory of the intertwined origins of trees and water in the interplay between Thunder and Sea.”
Bookman’s Weekly, November 1998

“Strauss is a storyteller and her colloquial, rhythmic narrative just begs to be read or told aloud.  The vivid acrylic illustrations make the most of strong shapes, swirling brush strokes and clean blocks of color to create a primitive style emboldened by a sense of movement, perfect for a myth about making and doing.  The page layout is excellent, with spiraled, script like print balancing and enhancing the kinetic look of the artwork.”
School Library Journal, February 1999

When Woman Became the Sea Hispanic Childrens Book illustrated by Latina artist Cristina Acosta
When Woman Became the Sea Hispanic Childrens Book illustrated by Latina artist © Cristina Acosta

When Woman Became the Sea.  By Susan Strauss    Illustrated By Cristina Acosta

Published Fall 1998, Beyond Words Publishing, Inc. Hillsboro, Oregon    ISBN# 1-885223-85-4

Though out of print, used copies may be found on Amazon.
Original paintings (acrylic on paper) are available for sale and/or exhibits. Contact Cristina with your request.

Bedwetting and Accidents Aren't Your Fault, Why potty accidents happen and how to make them Stop, By Steven Rogers with Suzanne Schlosberg, illustrated by Cristina Acosta

Illustrating the Children’s Book: Bedwetting and Accidents Aren’t Your Fault

Working with author Suzanne Schlosberg and Dr. Steve Hodges illustrating this medical children’s book about bedwetting and potty accidents was a stimulating creative collaboration that was also a lot of fun. I worked directly with Suzanne for a few months, coming up with the right visual images for text about a difficult and visually awkward subject – potty accidents.

Suzanne and Dr. Hodges hired me to create a hand painted series of illustrations that would be visually happy and friendly while instructing children about the medical problem of bedwetting and potty accidents. Dr. Hodges connects medical research about constipation in children to bedwetting and potty accidents. His protocols have been very popular with parents and children. One of the books goals is to take the shame and secrecy out of the subject and let kids know there is treatment and a cure.

I loved the artistic and creative challenges of this book and working with the author, Suzanne was a pleasure. We had a lot of interesting discussions about pee and poop, cultures around the world, medical illustrations and procedures. Working on a book that will change lives positively was a gift.

The original paintings are a mixture of acrylic and watercolor paints on Rives BFK 100% cotton paper with graphite and pen.

Bedwetting and Accidents Aren’t Your Fault: How Potty Accidents Happen and How to Make Them Stop, Perfect Paperback – November 24, 2014, by Steve Hodges (Author), M.D. (Author), Suzanne Schlosberg, Illustrated by Cristina Acosta

Read more about potty and bedwetting accident protocols at Dr. Rodgers’ site, It’s No Accident.