LocationIrving Arts Center View map
3333 North MacArthur Blvd.,
Irving, TX, 75062
- Website: https://www.irvingartscenter.com/current-exhibitions/
- Line/Box Office Phone: 972/252-7558
- Cost: Free
This exhibit now on view in the Main Gallery was organized by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature in Abilene, Texas. Yuyi Morales is a six-time recipient of the prestigious Pura Belpré award, and the first Latina to receive a Caldecott honor for her book Viva Frida in 2015. Her books have been recognized with starred reviews in publications such as Publisher’s Weekly, The New York Times and Booklist.
Morales was born in Xalapa, Mexico in 1968. The influence of her Mexican birthright and culture is evident in all of her titles and helps to identify the power of heritage in the work of children’s picture books. Her family was made of avid storytellers, which laid a foundation of creative communication from the beginning of Yuyi’s life.
Yuyi immigrated to the United States as a new mother with her two-month-old son, Kelly, and his American father in 1994. During a difficult transition period, she was introduced by Kelly’s grandmother to a local public library. In the children’s book section, she found a gateway to her new life.
Even if she did not know all of the words, she could determine the story through the pictures that communicated despite language barriers. In this way, she learned English alongside her son, Kelly. This initial introduction to a public library would lead her down a path to see her childhood dream of being an artist and storyteller come to fruition.
Yuyi’s stories are heavily influenced by her upbringing in Mexico and give poignant insight from an immigrant’s perspective. “Dreamers,” the recipient of a 2019 Caldecott Honor, speaks to this experience and topic especially.
However, pieces of her vibrant past make their way into her other titles as well. “As anyone who comes to a new country carries with her, with him, all those stories, I brought them with me, too, and I put them in my books all the time,” Morales has said.
Note that timed-entry museum admissions are free and can be be reserved online at this link or at the box office.