Join us in celebrating the book birthday for Veo, Veo, I See You. We sat down with Musa Lulu Delacre to learn all about the inspiration behind this book.
But first, a little bit about this book series:
A heartwarming picture book celebrating essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic that’s also a lively, bilingual game of Veo, Veo (I Spy).
Marisol’s mami is the best cook at Rosita’s Cafe! But now, the restaurant is closed. A bad virus—too easy to catch in small, crowded places—is going around.
Marisol, Pepito, and Mami still need to go out to bring Mami’s arroz con pollo to housebound Tía Olga and Cousin Johnny. As Marisol and Pepito watch the people working around the neighborhood, who their mother explains have essential work, Marisol thinks of the perfect game to play:
¿Qué ves, Marisol?
I spy…a trash collector. Essential work. Those bins were full!
By the time they get home, Marisol has another idea: a way to show the people in her neighborhood that she sees them!
How would you describe the main character of the book?
Marisol is curious, playful and one little girl with a BIG heart.
Where did you get the idea to write this particular story?
A few days before the national lockdown due to the pandemic of 2020 my mom went into hospice care. The facility did not allow any visitors. My mom became dependent on the facility's young immigrant staff during the last months of her life. Her aides, many of them young mothers, could not miss work as they cared for the most vulnerable of populations. On walks around my neighborhood I saw signs go up thanking essential workers. Some had been made by children. And the idea to link the childhood game of Veo, Veo (I Spy) with the understanding of what and who is essential in life, was born.
What was your favorite part of the publication process with this story?
Creating the collage art with my own hand painted and texturized papers was messy delicious fun. I spent hours dying, drying and organizing rice paper sheets into piles of gorgeous hues from which I would cut out the shapes to compose the landscapes of Marisol's environment.
What message are you hoping readers will take away from this story?
I would love for young readers to ask themselves who is essential in their home or school community. I'd love for them to create their own collages in windows and walls, like Marisol did, for others to see. To help young ones do just that, I created a free download that anyone can access on my site by clicking here.
What 3 recommendations would you give writers who are starting out?
Be persistent, challenge yourself, and speak from the heart.
Las Musas Speak
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