Rocio Bonilla, author-illustrator
Rocio Bonilla holds a BFA and worked in advertising for many years before founding her own company, Erase una vez, through which she creates murals for children's rooms. She both wrote and illustrated What Color Is a Kiss? and Little Bro, Big Sis, and wrote and co-illustrated Max and the Superheroes.
Read more about Rocio.
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What’s the difference between a neighborhood and a community?
“Once upon a time there was a neighborhood like so many others. It had houses, streetlights, trees, and neighbors who had never met one another.” Although the neighbors all have different reasons for keeping to themselves, those reasons stem from the same thing: assumptions. Because there’s so much noise coming from Camila the chicken’s house, everyone assumes she’s hard of hearing and has to turn up the TV, but the noise is actually 10 rambunctious children. Camila believes her neighbor Mr. Martínez, the fox, is too serious to enjoy spending time with her and her children. Mr. Martínez, a lawyer who loves to juggle while dressed as a clown, thinks that one of his neighbors, a dragon, is unfriendly. But the “dragon” is a mouse who has his own assumptions, and so on. Finally, a chance meeting of neighbors inspires everyone to reconsider their preconceived notions and gives each in turn the courage to step outside of their own suburban footprint to meet the people around them. When they do, the neighborhood finally becomes a community. The story, translated from Spanish, is fantastic, supported by expressive illustrations that blend fantastical elements into a traditional-looking suburban environment that will be recognized by many young readers. This is a story suited for young children everywhere—as well as a gentle reminder to many adults.
Poignant and sublime.
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Page count: 32
9 x 11