Four outstanding New Mexico women writers will be honored for their children’s books on Saturday, April 26, at noon at the Hotel Encanto in Las Cruces as part of the New Mexico Press Women’s annual conference.
The 2014 Zia Book Award finalists for the Picture Book category are (in alphabetical order) Kitten Caboodle, written by Paige Grant and illustrated by Lisa Williams, and Tia’s Tamales, written by Ana Baca and illustrated by Noël Chilton. The finalists in the Youth category are (in alphabetical order) Children of Time: Evolution and the Human Story by Anne Weaver and Freaking Green by Laura Sanchez. A winner in each category will be announced at the event, with the other finalists receiving Honorable Mention awards.
The award is presented by New Mexico Press Women. The winning writers will read and sign books at the award luncheon during NMPW’s annual conference, “From Grassroots to the Final Frontier,” http://newmexicopresswomen.org/new-mexico-press-women-2014-conference/.
Brief descriptions of the finalist books and their authors:
For familes attempting to answer their children’s age-old question, “Why can’t we let our cat have kittens?” Kitten Caboodle eases the task in a kindhearted manner that gets to the heart of the issue without preaching. Paige Grant and her husband foster animals for the Santa Fe Animal Shelter.
Tia’s Tamales is a bilingual tale of how two children from different generations learn to make their family recipe for tamales. Albuquerque author Ana Baca has written four children’s books and a novel. Translator and illustrator Noël Chilton has illustrated two other children’s books.
Children of Time brings a vanished aspect of the human past to life through Anne Weaver’s scientifically-informed imagination. Dr. Weaver, who lives in Santa Fe, taught evolutionary anthropology at Santa Fe Community College for many years.
Freaking Green depicts a year of upheaval in the life of Albuquerque teenager Jasmine Hayward. Jasmine’s social dilemmas are complicated when her family learns they can inherit $5 million if they cut their carbon footprint by 80 percent. This is the first novel for Los Lunas author Laura Sanchez, who had previously written nonfiction books about computer graphics and architecture.
The Zia Award was started in 1953 to honor an outstanding woman in New Mexico media. Each year the award rotates among three categories: nonfiction, fiction, and children’s literature. The 2015 Zia Book Award will be given to the author of an outstanding nonfiction book published in 2012, 2013 or 2014. Details will be posted on NMPW’s Web site in the fall.
NMPW, New Mexico’s largest inclusive media organization, is open to men and women. It is an affiliate of the National Federation of Press Women, providing professional development, networking and First Amendment rights protection to professional journalists and communicators. For more information, visit http://newmexicopresswomen.org/