This project was a year in the making for author and creator Morales. The inspiration for the book came from her two boys, who were born 16 months apart.
“Papito And The Squeezebox” is a heartwarming tale of a young boy searching for his identity through his love of Tejano music. His musical skills are put to the test, but with the help of his family and his cultura, he finds the magic he was looking for all along.
“Papito gives families and children an opportunity to see a child’s Hispanic culture celebrated and shows all extraordinary things that come along with it like Tejano music and family,” said Morales. “I hope people see all the love and joy that is in this story, as I’ve been inspired to continue writing and encouraging kids to reach for the stars and work hard. I never knew it was possible to have my dream of putting out this book come true, so if I can do this…then anything is possible.”
Growing up, Morales always had music around her. From listening to it in her Tia’s kitchen, learning the lyrics to every song, and watching her niño perform in his Tejano band, she loved it. When she met her husband Chris, she knew she couldn’t have found a better match who enjoyed music as much as she did if not more. Falling even more in love with Tejano music after seeing the joy it brought her boys was priceless and inspirational.
Teresa Morales was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education. She has been a teacher for the past seven years while being a busy wife and mom of two boys.
Veronique Medrano, a six-time Tejano Music Awards nominee, born and raised in Brownsville, Texas, is now growing her reach with her role as Editor and Chief of Apogee Publishing. With a Bachelor’s Degree in English from the University of Texas at Rio Grande Valley and currently enrolled at the University of North Texas for a Master’s in Library Sciences, it only felt right for her to move forward in this direction combining her work in the Tejano music industry and her love of books.
“To be a part of the Tejano/Xicano culture you have to be actively working for its success,” said Medrano about the book. “When Teresa reached out to me with this concept it was something that I not only had to support but also felt vested in seeing it succeed. I’m honored to have this be our first Tejano focused children’s book. It pays homage to icons and looks at how the music is seen through the eyes of a child.”
This book is unique as it is one of the few to have women in every major aspect of its creation including the artwork. Illustration for this book comes from up and coming south Texas artist Marissa Valdez. Valdez attended the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston and graduated with a degree in Animation. Although working as a Graphic Designer during the day, her true passion is children’s book illustrations. She received the illustration portfolio grand prize at the Houston Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Conference in September. She looks forward to illustrating a wide variety of children’s books in the future. “Papito and the Squeezebox” is her first published illustration for Apogee Publishing.
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