Local authors finalists in International Latino Book Awards


Two books authored by North County writers and also published locally (Dayton Publishing, Solana Beach) have been chosen as finalists in the 2018 International Latino Book Awards (ILBA) competition. Currently in its 20th year, the ILBA is a program of Latino Literacy Now, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1997 by actor and director Edward James Olmos and Kirk Whisler to promote literacy, culture and education, and to celebrate the diversity of multicultural communities.

“Jorge and the Lost Cookie Jar” by author Marta Arroyo (Oceanside) and illustrator Penny Weber (Long Island, New York) is a finalist in two categories: Best Children’s Fiction Picture Book and Best Use of Illustrations Inside the Book. Jorge, the youngest in this multigenerational family, carries out an upstairs-downstairs search to find out who has the family cookie jar, missing as they move into their new house. He succeeds, and the story ends happily, with cookies.

“Liebres y Ratas, Aves y Semillas, Cactos y Árboles” by Scripps Institution of Oceanography professor emeritus Paul Dayton is a finalist in the Best Educational Youth Chapter Book category. This introduction to desert ecology is narrated by Renaldo, an 80-year-old Sonoran Desert tortoise who knows how things work in his desert home, as he has watched the fascinating plant and animal interactions there all his life.

Arroyo and Dayton will attend the 2018 awards ceremony in Carson, Calif., on Sept. 8, when they will learn whether they were awarded first place, second place or honorable mention in their categories. Arroyo will also participate in the North San Diego County Latino Book & Family Festival, held Sept. 15 at the MiraCosta College campus in Oceanside.

Both award-winning books are available in English- and Spanish-language editions in the San Diego County Library system and at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, independent bookstores online.