Los Alamos Historical Society Activity Book Earns Pablita Velarde Award

Artist Turner Mark-Jacobs and Aimee Slaughter of the Los Alamos Historical Society with medals given to Turner and the Historical Society for the Pablita Velarde Award. Courtesy/Historical Society

Artist Turner Mark-Jacobs receives the Pablita Velarde Award at the Historical Society of New Mexico conference. Courtesy/Historical Society


Meet Bences Gonzales, the newest publication from Bathtub Row Press, was honored with the Pablita Velarde Award at the recent Historical Society of New Mexico conference in Farmington.

This award recognizes an outstanding children’s publication related to New Mexico or Southwest borderlands history. Bathtub Row Press, under the auspices of the Los Alamos Historical Society and Museum, created the activity book with the help of artist Turner Mark-Jacobs.

Bences Gonzales was an important community leader in Los Alamos from the homesteading era through the post-war period. Meet Bences Gonzales is an activity book that creates a window into daily life in Los Alamos by following Bences through his life as he homesteaded, ran the Trading Post for the Los Alamos Ranch School, worked for the Manhattan Project, and contributed to the civic life of the community after the end of World War II. There are cabins to build, pack trips to plan, and even a mysterious explosion to investigate.

Cover of the Meet Bences Gonzales activity book. Courtesy/Historical Society

Mark-Jacobs, a Santa Fe artist, worked with photographs from the Los Alamos Historical Society archives to create the illustrations and coloring pages for this activity book aimed at children of lower elementary school age. One of his current projects is a story about the Villasur expedition of 1720, commissioned for the Palace of the Governors Museum. He can be found online at turnermarkjacobs.blogspot.com.

Meet Bences Gonzales is available in the Historical Museum’s shop in its temporary home at 475 20th S. (next to the Teen Center). The Los Alamos Historical Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Meet Bences Gonzales is $7. Members of the Historical Society receive a discount on purchases in the Museum Shop. More information about the Los Alamos Historical Society and Museum can be found at losalamoshistory.org.