Today we celebrate the book birthday of Our World Argentina. We sat down with Musa Aixa Pérez-Prada to learn all about the inspiration behind her book.
But first, a little bit about Aixa’s new book:
OUR WORLD ARGENTINA is a colorful and lively hymingboard book that celebrates a day in the life of an Argentine toddler as he enjoys the city of Buenos Aires with his two moms. It features foods, locations, and activities commonly spotted in the city such as medialunas, mate, tango dancers, the local feria, and all sorts of public transportation. The book is Illustrated by Mariana Ruiz Johnson.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve been writing poems and stories ever since I can remember. My father told me I was a writer and artist when I was very young, and he continued repeating that throughout his life. Eventually, I believed him.
How would you describe your main character? Why did you create your character that way?
My main character is an Argentine toddler called Chiche, a nickname in Argentina and one used in my own family. He is going about his day with his two moms exploring the city of Buenos Aires with all the sights, sounds, and experiences of daily life. I wanted him to enjoy all the things me and my kids love about the bustling city.
What was your favorite part of the publication process with this story?
I really enjoy writing in rhyme, and I loved writing about my home town of Buenos Aires. I think my favorite thing was being chosen as the author to represent Argentina. As a child immigrant who grew up between my adopted country of the US and my home country of Argentina, it made me feel proud, seen and connected to represent my country as the author of this book.
What is the most important lesson you have learned as a writer until now?
Don’t let difficulty finding an agent, or not getting published take away the joy you have in writing. The publishing industry is harsh, cruel and incredibly slow. If you are writing just to be published you will be heartbroken. Write because you have stories to tell, write because you are a writer whether or not you ever get published.
What message are you hoping readers will take away from this story?
I hope that this story will inspire a curiosity about Argentina in little readers and their parents. Argentina is a country full of wonders, beautiful cities, amazing natural resources, delicious food, a vibrant arts scene, interesting people, and so much more.
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