The preschool book Vitamin C for Culture uses Mexican-American language and imagery not found in the genre.

Co-authors Susanna Garcia-Matheus and Mando Rayo decided to write a children’s book that reflects their own culture. They finished with a streak of three.

García-Matheus says the second book in the Vitamin C for Culture: Alphabetical Reference, Cultural Dictionary and Guidebook series recounts the experiences of the people of the frontier through illustrations and Spanish.

“One of the ways that I describe Spanish is that people are people who speak several named languages,” said Garcia-Matheus. “Just rely on what I call their ‘linguistic repertoire’ to communicate. And that’s a very strong feature of the book – we’re just using our bilingualism and how we use it every day in our lives.”

Contributed By Jade Publishing

She says that although the book is aimed at people of Hispanic origin, they are mindful of the diversity within the community.

For example, on the “S” page in a book that Garcia-Matheus says shows someone who could be mistaken for an Afro-Latino.

“And I love that because it really speaks to the diversity of the Hispanic community,” said Garcia-Matheus. “You know, we are not a monolithic group. We have a lot more variety inside.”

The other two books in the series are Vitamin T for Tacos and Vitamin R for Places.

Garcia-Matheus said they see the books as an opportunity to fill a gap in children’s literature.

“We saw this as an opportunity to contribute to children’s literature, multicultural children’s literature, because there aren’t many books – children’s books that reflect who we are, how we look, how we sound.” – Garcia. Matheus said.

Listen to other works by Garcia-Matheus in the audio player above.

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