First First Day in Grapes

First First Day in Grapes Cover

First First Day in Grapes

By L. King Perez; Robert Casilla (Illustrator)

Lee & Low Books, Hardcover, 9781584300458, 1pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2002

Description
All year long Chico and his family move up and down the state of California picking fruits and vegetables. Every September they pick grapes and Chico starts at a new school again. Often other children pick on him maybe because he is always new or maybe because he speaks Spanish sometimes. Chico's first day in third grade turns out to be different. His teacher likes him right away, and she and his classmates are quick to recognize his excellent math skills. He may even get to go to the math fair When the fourth-grade bullies confront Chico in the lunchroom, he responds wisely with strengths of his own. Readers of all backgrounds will relate to Chico's bravery and the creative way he finds to resolve conflict. This story of personal triumph is a testament to the inner strength in all of us.


About the Author
PĂ©rez is the author of numerous award-winning stories and articles. First Day in Grapes is based on her husbands experiences growing up as a migrant child who eventually earned a degree in mathematics from UCLA.

Robert Casilla was born in Jersey City, New Jersey to parents from Puerto Rico. Like many children, Robert always loved to draw. As the new kid in his second grade class, he recalls doing a drawing of two birds with colored chalk on construction paper. His teacher noticed the drawing and then told the class, "We have an artist in the class!" Robert is thankful to her and all the teachers that motivated and helped him realize he had talent as an artist. Although he grew up in New Jersey, he did get to attend school in Puerto Rico as a fourth grader.

His formal training in art took place at the School of Visual Arts in New York City where he earned a BFA degree.

Since 1984, Robert has worked as a freelance illustrator for magazines, book publishers, postage stamps, educational publishers and others.

He has illustrated over 25 children's books, many of which are picture book biographies of people such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks and John F. Kennedy. He has also illustrated many multicultural children's books such as "Jalapeno Bagels, The Little Painter of Sabana Grande, The Legend of Mexicatl" and "First Day in Grapes" which won the Pura Belpre Honor Award.

Robert visits many schools to talk about the visual journey a story takes him through to come up with the illustrations for his books. He also teaches art to young gifted artist one day a week.

Robert lives and works from his home in New Fairfield, Connecticut with his wife and two children, 3 cats and his feisty shih tzu dog.